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36 Hours in the Cinque Terre, Italy, Ariel Foxman, August 5, 2007
It’s almost unfair how much intense beauty, great cuisine and amazing aromas are jampacked into such a compact space”
Vernazza, the next village over, could certainly nab Miss Congeniality in a Cinque Terre pageant. Everything from its historical attractions and manageable size to its somewhat chic vibe make this port arguably the most agreeable of the five towns. Read more…

On the Edge of a Time Gone By, Jo Broyles Yohay, March 18, 2001
Compelled by a friend’s description — ”old fishing villages you reach by walking on a mule track” — I couldn’t get there fast enough. The romantic in me pictured a place suspended in time, pure and uncluttered by the commercial icons of contemporary life, its people as weathered and rugged as the landscape, living alongside nature as their ancestors had for generations.
People don’t come to the Cinqueterre for museums and paintings, for grand hotels or for soft-sand beaches. They come because life on this coast has remained much the same for centuries. Laundry still flaps in the wind at open windows. Groups of men with work-hardened hands gather in the twilight to talk. Fishermen, bringing in the day’s catch, haul up their boats to the quay because only a few vessels will fit in the harbor at one time. Farmers still climb to vineyards perched so precipitously that some are connected by ladders propped against the retaining walls. Read more…

In Search of An Ancient Mediterranean, Michael Mewshaw, October 1, 1989
The hills above Vernazza have been scraped bare by the wind, and we sailed into the town as if on the wings of the doves that circled the bell tower. For a long while, from the winding path, we saw the village laid out below us like a sketch in a draftsman’s notebook – the cobbled streets, the salmon-pink and Pom-peian-red houses around the harbor, the castle poised on an outcropping of rock, its austere ramparts and crenellated tower as forbidding as a uniformed guard at a birthday party. But as we descended, the overall design disappeared and we were lost in the details of the town, swallowed up in its daily life. Wandering through the maze of its streets, we had the impression of being inside an immense palazzo owned by a loud and lively family that had given us free run of the place. Each vest-pocket piazza was like a room where a party was in progress. Japanese lanterns dangled from overhead wires and from the trees in the main square. On the beach, boys played a kind of rugby match-cum-battle royal with a ball of rags. Read more…

A Walk in the Cinque Terre, Robert Packard, October 6, 1985
Soon, rounding a turn in the path, through a break in the trees, looking far down to the water’s edge, you get your first clear view of the town of Vernazza. It extends out on a rocky promontory, the arms of which form a small natural harbor, looking like a Renaissance fresco. Read more…


Italy: Cinque Terre – 99 Coastal Destinations Rated
“The Cinque Terre are more than just one of the treasures of Europe,” McMahon says. “They’re a great example of sustainable-tourism management for the whole world.”
“What’s unique about this place,” says McMahon, “is that each town has its own personality—and that you can go from one to the next independent of cars and tour buses. The villages of Cinque Terre offer us the chance to experience extraordinary journeys as well as authentic destinations.” Read more…

Top 10 Walks & Hiking Tours
From the National Geographic book The 10 Best of Everything
#3: Cinque Terre, Italy
Imagine walking a spectacular coastal path with the Mediterranean on one side, mountains on the other, and Italian fishing villages just ahead. Now multiply that experience by five. Welcome to the captivating region linking the “five villages” of the Cinque Terre. Footpaths cross the terraced slopes of the Riviera di Levante to hamlets with pastel-colored buildings and contrasting shutters and lead to brightly painted boats in small harbors. Walk past trattorias and a solitary abbey to a rocky promontory with the sea always in full view and a clear sky overhead. Read more…


Cinque Terre’s Dramatic Cover Girl
Rick Steve Tribune Media Services, April 22, 2009
You can choose any village for a home base, but Vernazza is my favorite. At the top end of town a little road hits a post, effectively a dead end for drivers. Like the breakwater keeps out the waves at the bottom of town, the post keeps out the modern storm at the top. No cars enter this village of 600 people — except on Tuesday morning, when a few cars and trucks show up for a tailgate-party street market, augmenting the meager business community. Read more…


A Guided Walking Tour of Vernazza. Introduce yourself to this village in Italy’s Cinque Terre through its characteristic town squares. Rick Steves, October 1, 2009
Vernazza was once nicknamed “Little Venice” due to the series of romantic bridges that connected the two sides of the town before the main road was built. Read more…


5 Hidden Gems on the Italian Riviera : Few Americans have heard of these tiny villages, set like jewels into the Ligurian Coast and known as the Cinque Terre Colman Andrews, June 26, 2004
Vernazza is the jewel of the Cinque Terre, a picture-book village built around the Cinque Terre’s only real natural port, small but memorably picturesque. Precisely because of this port, Vernazza was colonized by the Genoese in the 10th Century, and as a result became the most important town on this piece of coastline, with the most beautiful houses. These crowd around the port, simple, graceful structures glowing warmly in assorted shades of yellow, pink and terra cotta. Read more…



Hidden towns a slice of old Italy John Korobanik, May 14, 2008
It’s 7 a.m. on a warm Thursday morning and the tiny village of Vernazza is just awakening. Giuliano Basso is already at the little coffee shop busily making cup after cup of espresso for the locals and his tongue-teasing cappuccino for visitors. Read more…



The Lands Of Cinque Terre From the sea to the hills, the sweetness of doing nothing is just a short hike away. Kevin Pang, July 1, 2007
Strolling down the passages of Vernazza one morning, I recall an Italian phrase: ” Il dolce far niente.” The sweetness of doing nothing. I walk and watch as women hold conversations four floors apart. Three elderly men sit on a bench — talking, laughing, people watching. Linens dry in the Mediterranean breeze, a few cats stray down the Via Roma. Every 15 minutes, the bells at the 700-year-old Church of Santa Margherita di Antiochia break the quiet with their toll. Read more…


Hike the Italian Riviera on cliffside trails Giovanna Dell’Orto for the Associated Press, April 27, 2010
Catchy harmonica music wafts across the cafe umbrellas that line the minuscule harbor of this conch-shaped village, squeezed between vine-covered hills and the Mediterranean Sea.
Tourists sip aperitifs and enjoy the sunny cliches of the Cinque Terre, one of the most scenic (and overrun) stretches of the Italian coast. But today, sweat-drenched and a bit wobbly, I feel smugly that I am in on a secret: I have earned this gorgeous view because I hiked here, up and down a cliff-hugging sliver of a path that will take me several more strenuous miles by day’s end. Read more…