There are five villages in this area off of the Italian Riveria. Cinque translated means 5 and Terre is lands. So essentially this area translates to “the five lands.”
Each of the villages have the own character and Vernazza is no different. The Cinque Terre has succumbed to mass tourism and visitor numbers are booming. We visited in April, and although the weather was dubious it was less crowded and allowed us to take in the beauty and explore away from the crowd.
On arriving we headed down to the harbour. Santa Margherita Di Antiochia Church sits right at the town’s main square Piazza Marconi. The church was constructed in 1318 in typical Ligurian style. Apparently the church was built there by locals because a wooden box with the remains of Saint Margaret was found on the beach. From the outside there is an ornate octagonal bell tower, but inside the interior is simple and beautiful.
Vernazza has a natural harbour and back during the Middle Ages, boats would be tied to the buildings like in Venice. In rough weather like today, the boats are not bobbing on buoys in the harbour but tucked up on the piazza which is normally a wash with alfresco diners.
Like the rest of the Cinque Terre, the homes are painted in pretty pastels a prerequisite by officials and the area has been given national park status.
Away from the charm of the seafront there are lots of pretty crooks and crannies to explore. If lucky enough to be staying, I’d be pitching up with a glass of local produced wine and watching the world pass by.