From the hiking trail high above the Mediterranean Sea you look down into the fishing community of Vernazza. The hiker immediately notices the well protected harbor and the ancient castle ruins protecting that harbor. The town itself seems cling to a large rock jutting out into the sea.
Hikers descend along the trail and enter town. The streets are so narrow that it seems impossible for a vehicle to get through. Indeed there are almost no cars in Vernazza. There are only a few small delivery trucks. Because the village is at sea level and the road is on the top of the cliff above town any vehicles have to be brought in by boat.
The harbor area is lined with shops and restaurants. The main piazza leads to a 1,000 year old church, although the bell tower was added in 1981. On the other side of the harbor, on the highest point in town, sit the remains of a castle from the time when the city of Pisa controlled this area. The central tower provides a wonderful vantage point to view the village and the sea. Fishing boats bob in the harbor and are pulled up onto the streets. In many ways Vernazza is the most beautiful of the cities in the Cinque Terre.
Returning to the hiking trail the visitor begins an hour long hike that leads to the third village, Corniglia.
While each story in this series can be read individually, the reader will gain more enjoyment and knowledge of the area if the series is read in order.