Milan is one of Italy's main cities, but isn't necessarily a city that visitors go to massively when touring the country. Milan is Italy's financial center and likewise one of the great fashion capitals of the world. Those things add up to marvelous high-end shopping and fashionable nightlife, but they don't do much good for the hikers. Milan definitely has some interesting views and plenty of history, but except you are really a fashion person there might be better alternatives for those doing a short tour of Italy.
Vernazza, no doubt the most pretty of the five Cinque terre small towns, nests at the back of a rocky cliff in a depression in the valley near the sea. A piazza with picturesque houses spreads onto the small harbor. In 1182 Vernazza campaigned on the Genoese side against Pisa. A few parts of the old Genoese fortifications, walls and a round tower have been maintained.
Vernazza apartment in Cinque Terre italy
Today the medieval small town of Vernazza, with its magical and mysterious back streets encircled by the multicoloured houses is a top Italy location for tourists from all over the world. Vernazza boasts a long ancient maritime tradition and a splendid past of sailors and mercenary leaders. Vernazza is classed as one of the most picturesque villages in Italy.
Vernazza is to many the favorite of the five villages that comprise Cinque Terre (literally five lands) on the Italian Riviera. The path leads down past stone houses colored in rich chromatics that contrast starkly with black volcanic rocks on which they rest. In Vernazza the course extends, becoming a series of cobblestone made-up lanes wide enough for a car, but built only to carry boats that are taken out onto the streets during stormy weather. Vernazza is possibly the most picturesque towns of the Cinque Terre in Italy. It is the fourth town leading north into the Cinque Terre area. Vernazza is very narrow, steep paths descend towards the main road which leads onto a small square located facing the small port. At the waterfront, outdoor restaurants ring a central square, leading to the small but friendly beach. Its small size is not intimidating to Italians, who happily extended towels upon cracked black boulders at the water’s edge when every particle of sand is taken.
When massive landslides hit Italy’s Ligurian coast 18 months ago, damage to the medieval town of Vernazza was devastating, its stone streets, centuries-old landmarks, and picturesque waterfront left buried in mud. But in the disaster’s aftermath, this jewel of the Cinque Terre—a group of five villages designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site—is rebuilding in a sustainable and eco-friendly fashion. Pritzker Prize–winning British architect Richard Rogers, who has vacationed in the town for more than 50 years, is spearheading (with Italian architect Ernesto Bartolini) a master plan for the public areas that is funded by nonprofit organizations such as Save Vernazza.
Vernazza’s essential appeals are as they’ve always been—wandering the pedestrian-only streets out to its medieval castle with panoramic vistas; lounging on the little sandy beach with locals; poking into shops along Via Visconti. There are no big luxury hotels, though the guesthouse La Malà offers smart minimalist rooms with stunning views. Alternatively, atmospheric apartments can be rented through Trattoria Gianni Franzi, a terrific restaurant that dishes up just-caught anchovies, whole-grilled fish, and trofie, the preferred Ligurian short pasta, with pesto.
Vernazza remains one of the truest “fishing villages” on the Italian Riviera.
Vernazza has the only proper harbor in the Cinque Terre and is a enchanting, small fishing village. The hike northeast from Vernazza to Monterosso creates indelible memories of fantastically beautiful cliffs and seascapes. The hike takes about 90 minutes each way, but you can hike one way and return on the train. You can get to Cinque Terre and Vernazza, where you have many apartments and accommodation in hotel’s room, from Levanto by train or by car, and during the summer season also by boat, using a daily ferry service that connect Levanto with Vernazza and the others cinque terre towns.