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Click the village name to visit its page Monterosso Vernazza Corniglia Manarola Riomaggiore

» Vernazza
Panorama of Vernazza from west
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The harbour
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Vernazza from the Blue Path. In the background, Punta Mesco
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Vernazza, the only natural harbour, is the jewel of the Cinque Terre: its beauty made it famous all around the world and it is easy to find pictures of this place in many books and magazines.

The village was built as a fortification where the houses grow creeping on the sides of a very narrow valley.
The built-up area on the seaside lies on the side and on the bottom of a rocky rampart, more than 40 mt. high. It looks like a ship prow, stately bearing forward the sea for about an hundred meters.
On the peak of the bastion there is a mediaeval castle with a cylindrical tower, overlooking the village.

Down, at the entrance of the harbour, almost at sea-level, another fortification, called "Belforte", closes the defence area on east and south.
The uphill part of the village is protected by boundary walls and a cylindrical tower.
On the north-eastern side we find another cylindrical tower, called "La Torre" (the tower) looking like dropping from the cliff to the sea, used in the past for sighting the ships.

In some scholar opinion, the origins of Vernazza date back to the legendary Ligurian people. They assert that the Romans settled down in this area in 177 a.c., after the conquest of the etrurian town of Luni and the partition of the "Ager Lunensis". They called this place "Vulnetia", latin for "wound" because of its topographic structure.
Monterosso, Corniglia and Volastra have the same origin.
In 1207 the masters of Vernazza promised their help to the Genoese Consuls in case of enemy attack.
In 1209 Enriguino di Poenzolo transferred on Guglielmo Usodimare all his rights over the Vernazza castle and each single man in the village swore allegiance and fidelity to Genoa.
In 1276 Vernazza was annexed to the Republic of Genoa.

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