Founded around the year 1000, Vernazza it is the town of the Cinque Terre that more than the other ones has preserved the aspect of a marine town, thanks to its comfortable and safe natural harbour and to a maritime tradition known since the antiquity.
The town, like also the other villages of the Cinque Terre, greatly testifies the hard job of the farmers that “ modelled” the earth of the steep slant to build the innumerable terraces, where nowadays olive trees and vineyards luxuriant grow, as well as scented and coloured gardens.
Unique natural harbour of the Cinque Terre, the town develops itself along the stream Vernazzola (now covered), and goes up on the slopes of a rocky spur that it hides the inhabited area to the ones coming from the sea. Steep and narrow trails go down toward the main road flowing to a small square in front of the harbour.
The presence of valuable architectural elements, like loggias, arcades and portals testifies that in the past life level here was economically and socially higher than in the other towns of Cinque Terre. Also nowadays it appears, in fact, as a noble and elegant village overlooking the sea.
Vernazza is worth a visit not only for the beauty of the village: we can find here Church of Santa Margherita di Antiochia, patron Saint of the town, built in the first decades of the 13th century, and then restored in the 17th century. From the windows of this church your will be able to admire the sea, thanks to the particular location of the church: it rises in fact on a rock in the middle of the harbour.
Vernazza is overhung, almost protected, by the Castle Doria rising at the top of the promontory in from of the small harbour. This building was erected as a defence of the attacks by the sea, and it is surmounted by a sighting tower. Another tower, similar to the one of the Castle Doria rises along the first part of the path to Corniglia, behind the village, and it was used as support of the main tower.
The Municipality building of Vernazza, that also from an administrative point of view includes the village of Corniglia, it is housed in the ancient building of the Friars Convent, which will enchant you for the beauty of the 17th Century cloister.