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Corniglia – A piece of Rocky Heaven

This village is situated on the rocky terrains of the Mediterranean Sea. Corniglia stands to be the smallest and most centrally located town of all the five villages of Cinque Terre (see the map below). It has a population of less than 300 people and is approximately 330 feet above sea level. It’s the highest of the five villages, situated at the top of a steep cliff and positioned slightly above the sea. Apparently, it is the only town in Cinque Terre without direct access to the sea.


The origin of the Corniglian village goes back into the Roman times, which finds its roots in the Roman family of Gens Cornelia to whom this property once belonged. Moving forward, this land came under the possession of the counts of the Earls of Lavagna. Later, Pope Innocent IV handed Corniglian over to Nicolò Fieschi in approximately 1254. The main road, around which the town is developed, is dedicated to the Fieschi family. Fieschi owned it for a few years, and later was solely possessed by the Republic of Genoa.

Most tourists start their holiday in Corniglia by driving down or boarding a Cinque Terre train from Italian cities of Milan or Pisa. Traveling as tourists to this village has gained popularity over the years as people learn about the intriguing history, culture and beauty of this region. The nearby church where remnants fo the old tower can viewed is also a big tourist draw. These ruins were  once built by the Genoese in the 16th Century.

Corniglia is engulfed by fields; these are called fasce in colloquial Italian dialect. Inhabitants grow grapevines and yield cultivation of the local white wine. If you are an avid traveler, walk up to the opposite side of Corniglia, in the direction to Vernazza and you shall spot the very renowned ‘pebbly beach – Guvano.’ Excursions to this part of Italy are usually spent spotting parishes/ churches, interacting with people, drinking wine that is locally prepared, dining out and trekking along the trails of the village (Photo left from panoramio.com).

‘Central Square’ is supposedly the meeting point of most town officials of this village and is also a local favorite visiting area. The most famous is St. Peter’s church, known for its edging roofs, old structures, white marble rose shaped windows and animal statues engraved. A true Gothic structure, it is a must visit for tourists.


Corniglia, although being situated upon a rocky hill, is accessible to a dramatically beautiful white sandy beach which can be reached and explored by foot.


Corniglia is highly relaxing and worth visiting!

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