Coming from the west, Vernazza is the second of the villages that make up the Cinque Terre, in a bay between the municipalities of Monterosso al Mare and Riomaggiore. It also includes the subsequent village of Corniglia, one of its fractions. Its central location makes it an excellent starting point for visiting the whole area.
The territory is part of: Cinque Terre National Park and the Site: UNESCO Portovenere, Cinque Terre e Isole (Palmaria, Tino e Tinetto).
The first documented news of Vernazza, as the first castrum of the Cinque Terre, dates back to an act of 1080, in which the castrum Vernatio is mentioned as a maritime base of the Obertenghi. Powerful dynasty of Frankish origin, the Obertenghi were also lords of Vernazza in the 11th and 12th centuries and most likely used its natural landing place as a naval base both to protect the Levante coast from the raids of the Saracens and to support the commercial exchanges of the territory
The town develops along the Vernazzola stream from the slopes to the rock towards the sea with the typical Ligurian houses, tall and colorful, which wind through a thousand alleyways and then end up in the famous Piazza Marconi on the sea or in Via Roma, the main street teeming with shops and local. Rich center of commercial exchange in the Middle Ages, Vernazza hosts valuable architectural elements such as loggias, arcades, portals. To visit the Doria castle with the defensive tower against the Saracens located at the top of the town and from which you can enjoy an excellent view of the whole coast.
The church of Santa Margherita di Antiochia, a Genoese Romanesque church, whose construction dates back to the 13th century and in which a medieval and a subsequent Renaissance part are recognizable, overlooks the small square overlooking the sea..
Vernazza is among the: Borghi più belli d'italia.