Village spotlight: CORNIGLIA

11 thoughts on “Village spotlight: CORNIGLIA”

  1. Love you blog – such the perfect insight to help me get a sense of what to be prep’d for, for when I visit in a couple of weeks. The lovely little bay where you can swim off the rocks you meantion… is it easy to locate? Or do you have some quick instructions to help find it? Love little isolated bays 🙂

    Thank you for this beautiful and honest blog – super excited to visit Cinque Terre for the first time.




    1. Ciao Lisa!

      So glad to hear that you are enjoying the blog! The swimming bay in Corniglia is on the opposite side of the mountain as the Corniglia train station. To reach it, you’ll need to:
      -Climb the 382 stairs to reach the village from the train station
      -When you reach the historic center of Corniglia, make a left on the main street of the village (where Gelateria Alberto and all of the little shops are located)
      -Walk down this narrow laneway and make a right where the signs indicate the beach/spiaggia
      -Now go down just as many stairs as you just climbed and you’ve arrived!

      It’s lovely down there and most people can’t be bothered so it’s one of the least crowded swimming spots around. 🙂

      Buona vacanza! & buon bagno!



  2. Hi Amy,

    In a couple of weeks (mid september) we will be visiting the Cinque Terre region and your website is an AWESOME find for getting some insiders information (read: how to avoid the tourist clichés)!.

    We’ll be staying outside the national park, about half an hour drive from La Spezia. We are a (reasonably young) family with a curious 3-and-a-bit year old boy. Our plan is to go to the Cinque Terre at least 2 days during our stay. Mainly during the day, once to just explore most villages (using public transport) and once for a hike (maybe on Palmaria; we have a Kid Carrier backpack).

    However as I have photography as a hobby I would also like to spend an evening (say 18:00 to 21:00) there to (hopefully) catch a nice sunset, or at least for the much better light conditions. I’ll be on my own (as our son will be out cold by that time, I guess). Do you have any tips for me? What place (location, spot, village) should I definitely visit? Maybe some hidden gem most people do not know of? Is it doable to travel around a bit (maybe two villages). Should I drive up there or just take the train again? I don’t carry too much heavy gear, just a DSLR and a (small) tripod.

    Thanks in advance!
    Cheers, Ronald


    1. Ciao Donald!

      Please pardon the delayed reply… school is out for summer so my time is occupied with taking care of our two little ones full time!

      My advice (seeing that you prefer to get a bit off the beaten path): book the Explora bus (it’s brand new, I will be posting about it here on the blog as soon as the kids cooperate and nap simultaneously… ha!). The bus is hop on/hop off and hits up the main villages but also small secondary villages (like Volastra, San Bernardino, etc.) which will most definitely get you off the beaten path. Also, as the buses are small you aren’t going to face the throngs of visitors and big tour groups that you’ll find on the trains. And no worry of pickpockets, either (phew!). The only downside is that you won’t be able to reach Monterosso by Explora as the road between Vernazza & Monterosso is closed. However, you could take the ferry from Vernazza to Monterosso (and back so that you can pick up the Explora bus again). Kids LOVE riding the boat!

      If you are really wanting to get off the beaten path for some AMAZING photos, I would recommend hiking to Schiara (not far from Tramonti, it’s still within the national park). Because of the stairs I wouldn’t recommend it for a little one but if you’re on your own you’re golden. 🙂



      1. Chiao Amy,

        Don’t know who Donald is, and I’m not related to the duck (haha, no problem btw ;-). Thanks for your extensive reply – I understand completely that kids come first, same for us so don’t apologize. Anyway I read it just in time (a couple of days before we did visit CT).

        In the end we didn’t actually use the Explora bus or did I manage to hike to Schiara, but nevertheless we did have a nice day in Portovenere with a hike on the island of Palmaria (parked in Lerici and taking the boat is just the way to go!) and on a different day visiting 3 villages of CT (Riomaggiore, Corniglia and Manarola) using the train (and CT card). I’ll post some additional comments in the appropriate article pages as we did use your very useful information when we where there.

        So thanks again and keep up this amazing website. It beats pretty much any other site about CT I’ve seen so far 🙂

        Ronald (and Amy and our 3-and-a-bit year old boy Trystan who had a good time in Italy)


      2. Ciao Ronald, Amy & Trystan!

        I’m so glad to hear that you enjoyed your time spent here in our area! And sorry about Donald… let’s blame it on autocorrect (ha!).

        Take care and thanks for your comments and feedback!



  3. Out of the 3 villages we visited on one day we picked Corniglia as “the village to have a meal”. Sure enough we enjoy a little challenge so we walked the steps (my girlfriend counted 385, but hey). Although a bit exhausting (especially with a 3 year old on your shoulders shouting “to go up, daddy!!”) we enjoyed the views very much – and indeed it was way less crowded here!

    We had a nice meal at Caffe Matteo and the waitress (didn’t catch her name, she wasn’t Italian from origin) was very fond of our son Trystan; she even played with him with his cars and gave him hugs and kisses. Trystan had a really good time here and we definitely recommend this place. After diner we obviously stopped at Alberto’s for a gelato, and I must say that it was really good (although I didn’t go for the more exotic flavours as I was sharing with my son), so thanks for the good tip!

    We did take the bus down to the station, but just so we could catch the next train 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s