The Cinque Terre (which literally translates as "Five Lands") is named after five tiny villages which may be considered as one of the most heavenly places to be found in Italy. Located on the Ligurian coast and nestled in a series of coves, this part of the Italian Riviera has become internationally famous over the last decades, arousing the curiosity of tourists from all over the world, and this is no surprise! The reason to this fame: its pastel-colored houses, its clear turquoise waters and its green vineyard cliffs. In this post, we covered the best things to do in Corniglia by creating a walking tour with a selection of curated tips.
The Laid-Back Town of the Cinque Terre. Unlike its bustling sisters, Corniglia is a quiet village that is perfect for those seeking a more tranquil and peaceful getaway. Perched on top of a rocky hill with no direct access to the sea and no swimming point, fewer tourists tend to visit this village, which allows for a more authentic and secluded experience. The smallest village of the Cinque Terre, Corniglia has managed to preserve its charm and authenticity due to its isolated location. It is a place where you can truly disconnect from the outside world and immerse yourself in the tranquility of the Italian countryside.
Despite its small size, Corniglia still offers plenty of things to see and do. The village is home to a number of charming cafés and gelaterias where you can enjoy a sweet treat while taking in the stunning views of the surrounding hills and vineyards. You can also explore the narrow, winding streets of the old town and discover the unique architecture and history of the village. In Corniglia, time seems to stand still and the pace of life is much slower than in the other Cinque Terre villages. It is the perfect spot for those who want to relax and recharge in a peaceful and laid-back atmosphere, away from the crowds and noise of the other villages.
HOW TO GET TO CORNIGLIA?
GETTING THERE BY TRAIN
Located in the middle of the Cinque Terre, Corniglia may be reached from larger cities of the Italian Riviera, and more generally from all the major cities of Italy. Like the other villages of the Cinque Terre, Corniglia is more easily accessible by rail. Unlike the other villages, the train station is located at the bottom of very long and steep stairs (385 steps); it takes approximately 20 minutes to reach the village on foot, however, if you are not up for a little exercise, there is the possibility of going up with a shuttle bus (2.50 EUR or free if you have the Cinque Terre card). This may be one of the reason why the village is usually less crowded than its neighbors. Below you will find some information on how to get there by train:
- From Pisa: a stop in La Spezia is necessary, the trip lasts around an hour and a half and costs 12 EUR.
- From La Spezia: direct train line to the Cinque Terre; the trip lasts around 13 minutes and costs 4 EUR.
- From Genoa: direct train line to Corniglia; the trip lasts around 1 hour and 45 minutes and costs 10 EUR.
- From Sestri Levante: direct train line to Corniglia; the trip lasts around 45 minutes and costs 6 EUR.
The Cinque Terre Train Card is the card you need! This card costs 16 EUR per day per person and includes unlimited train rides in the Cinque Terre area AND access to all the hiking trails (more information here).
GETTING THERE BY CAR
While it is possible to reach Corniglia by car, it is important to note that cars are not allowed in the village. Due to this restriction, traveling by car may not be the best option to reach these remote villages. In addition, the limited number of parking spots available can be a disadvantage for travelers coming by car, and the cost of parking is relatively high (about 2.50 EUR per hour and 25 EUR per day). However, for adventurous travelers who still decide to come to the Cinque Terre by car, below are some distances and approximate travel times from nearby cities: 114 km and approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes from Pisa, 94 km and approximately 1 hour and 40 minutes from Genoa, 34 km and approximately 45 minutes from La Spezia, and 45 km and approximately 55 minutes from Sestri Levante.
1. VIA FIESCHI
This street is Corniglia's main street, and it is really cute! The street has many shops, restaurants and other places to discover but the place we recommend most is Alberto Gelateria. As the name suggests, here you can try the best ice cream in the village, if not in the whole of Cinque Terre. The selection of flavours on offer is particularly interesting, try their specialty, the basil ice cream, made from basil growing in the ower's garden and extra virgin olive oil. You can also try the miele di Corniglia, made with local honey. You won't be disappointed! Also, around Via Fieschi, there are a certain number of alleys in which it is great to get lost in!
2. LARGO TARAGIO
Via Fieschi inevitably leads to the main square of the village: Largo Taragio. This is the central square of the village, with little cafés and restaurants where it is pleasant to take a short break in the shade, which is good, especially in the summer heat! On this square, you'll notice the Church of San Pietro which was built in the 14th century in Gothic style, with some Baroque elements.
3. END-OF-TOWN VIEWPOINT
This place is absolutely incredible! It offers a breathtaking view of the neighboring villages of the Cinque Terre, namely Vernazza and Manarola. There's not much to say here, except that it's good to sit back, relax and enjoy the beauty of the landscape!
HIKING FROM CORNIGLIA
As previously mentioned, the five villages of the Cinque Terre are connected by hiking trails (marked with red and white paint), also known as the "Blue Trail" (Sentierro Azzurro), which have been used for centuries. In order to have access to these hiking trails, you need to either have the Cinque Terre Train Card (16 EUR per day per person; more information here) or buy the Cinque Terre Trekking Card (7.50 EUR per day per person; more information here).
CORNIGLIA TO VERNAZZA
The hike from Corniglia to Vernazza is the wildest and the greenest section of the coast. It is very rewarding but also very steep! This itinerary is very popular with Cinque Terre tourists. If you decide to take this path, you are guaranteed picturesque views! You will pass through olive groves, vineyards and Mediterranean scrub. There is also a panoramic view of the famous village and its medieval tower from the trail near Vernazza. The hike is 3.2 km long and lasts approximately one hour and a half.
CORNIGLIA TO MANAROLA
This scenic hike is moderately easy and lasts approximately 45 minutes. The path is located just above the train tracks and coastline but check before going whether it is open as this part is often closed due to landslide threat!
OUR FINAL THOUGHTS
Corniglia is certainly the place to be if you are looking for a quieter version of Cinque Terre! The fact that there are fewer tourists makes the experience in Corniglia very special! Although the village does not have direct access to the sea, it still manages to be one of our favourites! Perhaps because the atmosphere here is different, much quieter than in the other four villages.
| For more information about the Cinque Terre, check our post here |
And now it's your turn to let us know what your impressions about Corniglia were. Which of the five villages is your favorite? We look forward to reading your comments.