Corniglia City Guide

Corniglia, known as Corniggia in Ligurian and locally referred to as Curnigia (citation needed), is a hamlet within the comune of Vernazza in the province of La Spezia, Liguria, northern Italy. It has a population of approximately 150 people as of 2016. Unlike the other localities of the Cinque Terre, Corniglia is not situated directly by the sea. Instead, it is perched atop a promontory that stands about 100 meters high. The village is surrounded on three sides by vineyards and terraces, while the fourth side descends steeply towards the sea. To reach Corniglia, visitors must ascend the Lardarina, a lengthy flight of 33 brick steps comprising a total of 383 steps. Alternatively, a vehicular road from the station leads to the village, and occasionally a small bus operates.

The village extends along the main road, Fieschi Road, and the houses are positioned with one side facing this road and the other side facing the sea. Corniglia is characterized by its narrow roads and a rocky terrace that offers panoramic views of the other four villages of the Cinque Terre, with two villages visible on each side. The town’s urban structure displays distinctive features compared to the other villages, with lower-set houses that have been constructed higher in more recent times, resembling the villages of the hinterland.

Corniglia is mentioned in Giovanni Boccaccio’s famous novella, Decameron, and in Jennifer Egan’s novel, The Invisible Circus.

History of Corniglia, Cinque Terre

The origins of the village trace back to the Roman Age, as evidenced by its name, which derives from the Gens Cornelia, the Roman family that owned the land. During the Middle Ages, it was under the possession of the counts of Lavagna, the lords of Carpena, and Luni. In 1254, Pope Innocent IV granted the village to Nicolò Fieschi, who held it until 1276 when it was acquired by the Republic of Genoa.

3 Best things to See in Corniglia

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Tours and Activities from Corniglia