History Vernazza Cinque Terre Italy
The word “Vernazza” should come, according to some scholars, from the Latin adjective “verna”, whose meaning is “local, native”.
This term was used also to indicate the wine vernaccia, produced by local peasants, and from here the current name of the village should be born.
First documents about Vernazza date back to the year 1080, when it was written a document which talked for the first time about a village called Castrum Vernatio.
This name witnesses that Vernazza was already a fortified town, and we know that Vernazza was one of the main port from where ships against pirates left.
During the following two centuries Vernazza was very active in the cooperation with the Republic of Genoa, providing it a great number of soldiers and a powerful fleet.
In 1209 Vernazza subjected itself to Genoa, through a loyalty Act subscribed by the richest families of the villages,
During the 16th and 17th Century Vernazza suffered, like the other towns of Cinque Terre, a period of decline, with strong negative repercussions on wine production and fishing.
During the first half of the 19th Century the inhabitants of Vernazza began to enlarge the terraces where vineyards grew, wine production increased again and so the commercial life of the villages recovered.
During the same years the construction of the railway line Genova-La Spezia began, and this event broke the centuries-old isolation of the Cinque Terre. This situation got better during the following years, when commercial and working relationships with La Spezia increased, thanks to the military activity and the harbour and afterwards to the tourism.
In 1997, together with Portovenere and the Island of the Poets’ Gulf (Palmaria, Tino and Tinetto), the Cinque Terre were declared World Heritage by the UNESCO.
Since 1999, the National Park of Cinque Terre has been created, not only for the enchanting beauty of this area, bur also for the good work of the administration in improving tourist activities.
In fact the main activities in Vernazza are nowadays connected with tourism, even if fishing and wine and olive tree growing are still present, as testimony of the strength of a centuries-old tradition.