Vernazza is considered one of the most beautiful places of the Cinque Terre, surrounded by rocks, sea and dotted with tall multicolored houses in the Genoese style. Vernazza is famous for its square and the port, that have no equal in any other village of the Cinque Terre, and the many romantic restaurants, although tourists also like to just get a takeaway pizza and eat it on the Point, as they admire the location and the coast.
Article was last updated in December, 2023.
How to reach Vernazza and get around
The quickest and most convenient means is the train. The train station (and the Tourist Office) is located in the very center of Vernazza; trains run frequently and regularly. For further information on prices and timetables go to the page “By train”.
Boats ply regularly between La Spezia, Porto Venere and all villages of the Cinque Terre (except Corniglia). The port of Vernazza is marked on the map. More information on the page “By boat”.
You can easily reach Vernazza along the trails that connect it with most of the surrounding villages. More information on the page “Cinque Terre Hiking Trails”.
Tourists should leave the car 1 km / 0.6 mile from the village in a small parking lot (indicated on the map): €3/h. You will find parking available only in winter; and getting to Vernazza from here is rather inconvenient, therefore arriving here by car is not recommended.
Address for the GPS navigator: Vernazza.
What to see in Vernazza
The most popular places are the 1piazza on the seafront of Vernazza and the Punta (Point). Tourists can relax for hours on the benches by the water, and tasting the local dishes. The main street, Via Roma, starts here with lots of souvenir shops, bars and restaurants. The 2Doria Castle is also located at the port, with the Belforte lookout tower (XI century): buildings erected as defense against pirate attacks from the sea. On the terrace on the tower you can seize the opportunity to take some great panoramic photos. Entry costs €1.50.
There are also places of worship to see in Vernazza. One of them is the 3Church of San Francesco (the former convent of the Franciscan Order) built in honor of St Francis of Assisi (XVI-XVII century). Another is the 4Church of Santa Margherita d'Antiochia (XIV century), which is built in the Ligurian Gothic and Baroque style. The Church is located just opposite the promenade.
In addition, there are 5two beaches in Vernazza (near the square and behind the Belforte tower), which are considered more as a destination to rest and recover one’s energy, rather than a place to spend the whole day on the sand, or in this case, we should say... pebbles.
What to see near Vernazza
6The Shrine of the Black Madonna (or Reggio) is an ancient building. The sanctuary is located on a hill and it takes about 40 minutes to get there, but the uniqueness of Reggio and the view from up there makes it absolutely worth a visit. In addition, you can get your water supplies near the Sanctuary. It takes about an hour and a half to walk from Vernazza to the shrine and back again, even if it is possible to lengthen the walk and continue toward Monterosso from the Sanctuary.
Not far from Vernazza is the 7hamlet of San Bernardino, which can be reached by bus or along the trails. The unique sanctuary of Nostra Signora delle Grazie (XIX century) is located here, and there is an image of the Madonna with Jesus in exposition on the altar.
Walking paths near Vernazza
Five trails are among the most popular. Two of them (one short and one long) connect Vernazza and Monterosso, and another two connect Vernazza and Corniglia. But for those who are lovers of long walks there is “The Ring of Vernazza” (l’Anello di Vernazza), where you can admire the surroundings and the places of interest around the village and then return. For more information, please refer to the map and the description of the trails on the page “Cinque Terre Hiking Trails”.
Where to stay in Vernazza?
The hotels in Vernazza are usually inundated with bookings, therefore you should begin to look for your accommodation 3-4 months before a vacation in this part of Liguria. We suggest you pay particular attention to these hotels:
Rating: Wonderful, 9.1.
Hotel Elegante e Romantico, Casa Catò offers rooms (six in all) with a view of the sea. The location is suitable for tourists who want a quiet vacation in the Ligurian hinterland. A sandy beach and the station are right nearby.
Rating: Excellent, 8.9.
There are some apartments located in a narrow alley a little higher up with respect to Piazza Marconi in the center of Vernazza. The windows of the rooms overlook the church and the seafront. Camere Nicolina is an ideal solution for those who do not want to spend more than one minute to walk to the center.
La Perla delle 5 Terre
Rating: Excellent, 8.5.
A comfortable guest house near Il Pirata café. There are rooms available with windows overlooking Via Roma. The hotel is not far from the main square of Vernazza and the station. With a 5-minute walk you are on the beach. The hotel has an elevator.
Or you can compare some of the hotels based on the comments from tourists and at the prices indicated on this page.
Where to eat in Vernazza
The most famous and romantic restaurant is 8Belforte. Where the most renowned dishes of the Ligurian cuisine are served. You can enjoy the ambiance of Italian life as you dine on the terrace of Belforte. Or you can try the more economical option, the 9La Torre bar, where you can admire a beautiful sunset view and it is an ideal place for an aperitif.
Takeaway food at La Punta
A very popular custom around these parts is to pick up a pizza, a sandwich or other takeaway food from the bars located on the seafront and enjoy it on the rocks at La Punta. It is an economical and pleasant way to eat.
Excursions near Vernazza
A trip by boat or canoe along the picturesque coast of the Cinque Terre is the best way to enjoy the landscape from the sea. Tourist boats depart three times a day: around 10:00, 15:00 and 21:00. On each trip there is some unique entertainment: stopping for a swim or deepwater diving, wine tasting, trying local dishes and a trip to the Cinque Terre at night.
In addition to the tourist boats, you can put to sea by yourself by renting a boat (about 70-160 euros) or a canoe (€5-10/h).
More information on the Nordest website.
When to visit Vernazza
Vernazza is very beautiful at any time of the year. Thanks to the Mediterranean climate, the temperature here does not drop below +10°C (50 deg. F) even during winter. The ideal time to visit is from mid-March to mid-October (before the beginning of the rainy season).