Corniglia is a small village located exactly in the center of the Cinque Terre. Its main peculiarity is to never be bathed by the sea. In fact, walking to Corniglia you can realize that it is located exactly on top of a rocky promontory surrounded by vineyards that make the landscape breathtaking. Another characteristic that distinguishes this small village is the fact that it can only be reached through a long staircase. If you want to live a unique experience visiting the Cinque Terre and Corniglia on foot, you will find fantastic ideas for numerous trekking experiences throughout Liguria.

The village has very ancient origins, it is even thought that the first inhabitants of this area were Roman slaves, who, once they obtained freedom, took the name of Corneli. Certainly the first settlers decided to exploit the characteristics of the territory by dedicating themselves to the production of wine, as demonstrated by some amphorae found in Pompei with the name "Cornelia". Vernaccia di Corniglia is a very fine white wine with a unique flavour, also mentioned in a story of Boccaccio's Decameron.

If these places fascinate you, you can visit Corniglia with one of our tours in Liguria:

Trekking stanziale in Liguria

A spasso per la Liguria: trekking Cinque Terre e Portofino

What to see in Corniglia

Walking through Corniglia it is possible to admire numerous remains of medieval buildings, this is because, like all villages in the area, it underwent numerous dominations before being annexed to the newborn Kingdom of Italy. Why not decide to spend a carefree day to discover the beauties of this fascinating village in the heart of the Cinque Terre?

If you want to spend a day in Corniglia, we have prepared a list with things to see and visit in peace:

  • Parish of San Pietro
  • Terrace Santa Maria
  • Sanctuary of Our Lady of Grace 

And now let's set off together to discover the most identifying places in Corniglia!

Parish of San Pietro

The Parish of San Pietro, located in the upper part of the village, is one of the most characteristic elements of the Genoese Gothic style widely present in the territory of the Cinque Terre. Here, in addition to the unique architecture, stand out the marble baptismal font made in the 12th century and a polyptych placed on the altar. It is also possible to admire many paintings inside the church.

Terrace Santa Maria

Walking through Corniglia and following a steep staircase you get to a characteristic small square called “Fosso” from which you can admire the majestic Tower. This represents the only remnant of the medieval Genoese domination. Climbing up to its top you can enjoy a breathtaking view of the entire gulf towards Manarola.

Continuing the visit of Corniglia on foot you can reach Largo Taragio, a very special street that leads to the terrace of Santa Maria. This wonderful terrace allows you to admire the wonderful gulf.

Sanctuary of Our Lady of Grace

Another building that is absolutely worth visiting is the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Grace or San Bernardino. It is one of the sanctuaries of the Cinque Terre and is particularly interesting because it is thought to have been built on the remains of an ancient medieval monastery. Inside it, in addition to the architectural wonders, you can admire the wonderful triptych of the Madonna and Child, along with the two depictions of Saint Bernard of Chiaravalle and Saint Bernardino of Siena.

What to do in Corniglia - the Slow Active Tours proposal

Once you have discovered the wonders hidden among the streets of Corniglia, the time has come to get to the heart of the sounds and smells of this ancient village.

  • Walking among the characteristic carrugi 

    One of the most recommended activities in this village is to walk around Corniglia and get lost among its caruggi. Carrugi are the small streets and alleys that run through the wonderful Ligurian villages and that often welcome ancient shops and shops.

  • Marina of Corniglia

    If you want to make a stop at the beach and relax after a bit of trekking to Corniglia, you can not miss the "marina of Corniglia". It is a small sandy bay, one of the few in the area. It is not easy to reach it, in fact you have to walk a steep staircase, but once you get there, the show is wonderful.
    Another obligatory stop is at the beach of Gùvano, a rocky and high ridge overlooking the sea that leaves room for a breathtaking view. From here you can reach the beach below thanks to a small steep path.

  • Cinque Terre walking holiday

    Slow Active Tours offers an incredible walking holiday to discover the fascinating strip of land between the Tyrrhenian Sea and the mountains of north-western Italy. In fact, the itinerary that connects Sestri Levante to the most beautiful Ligurian towns passes through Corniglia.

Festivals and Popular celebrations in Corniglia

Corniglia is one of the stages of the famous "Festival organistico delle Cinque Terre". It is a famous festival that brings every summer wonderful concerts of classical music in the streets and squares of the villages of Cinque Terre. An unmissable show.
On the religious level, however, the patron saint celebration par excellence is the Feast of Saint Peter, celebrated on 29 June. On this occasion a large procession starts from the church of San Pietro and parades through Corniglia and its streets until it reaches the terrace of Santa Maria.

Typical dishes of Corniglia

The cuisine of Corniglia contains above all the Ligurian and spezzina tradition, but, among these, stand out some dishes born in the Corniglia area. Among these we remember the rice cake, prepared with rice, cheese, eggs and baked and the Fieschi Cake.

Eating and Drinking in Corniglia

Here are some suggestions from the area:

Bar Pan e Vin in Via Fieschi, 123. This particular bar is located in the middle of the main street of corniglia and with only 3 small tables outside, but inside it encloses a small treasure. In fact, here you can taste different types of very special bruschetta that satisfy the most diverse palates.
Terra Rossa in Via Fieschi, 58This charming restaurant with a terrace overlooking the sea is located right in the heart of Corniglia. Here, particularly appreciated are the abundant aperitifs cooked  with high quality ingredients and accompanied by excellent cocktails.
Osteria A Cantina De Mananan in Via Fieschi, 117. In the narrow main street of the old town of Corniglia there is this characteristic Osteria. Its strengths are definitely the helpful staff and the authenticity and tradition of recipes and typical dishes.

So what are you waiting for? Get your stuff ready and off you go!