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Corniglia, Italy
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Corniglia, Cinque Terre


Photo by Nicoletta Marconi

Corniglia is the least kid-friendly of the Cinque Terre. It's difficult to access. It offers few services. It doesn't have direct access to the sea. Having said that, there are six reasons to consider a visit. 1) Corniglia is the most sophisticated of the Cinque Terre. 2) It's the only hamlet to sit above the sea. 3) It retains more of its original structure than the other four. 4) It boasts an exceptional panorama. 5) Corniglia is delightfully quiet at the end of the day. 6) It has the best beach in the area.
Getting There
Corniglia is the center village in Italy's Cinque Terre. It's situated roughly 25 km or 15 miles from La Spezia. It's perched 90 meters above the sea and 377 steps above the train station. The nearest airports are located in Genoa and Pisa, roughly 90 minutes away. The train is by far the most convenient way to reach Corniglia. The ferry doesn't stop here. The drive to Corniglia is never ending whether approached from east or west. Family Travel Tips: Local trains on the Genoa - La Spezia rail line stop in Corniglia. A train trip from destinations farther a field requires a transfer. For Corniglia, exit the A12 Genoa-Livorno motorway at La Spezia. Follow the signs for the city center and, once on the coast, follow the signs for the Cinque Terre. From Manarola, follow the signs for Corniglia. The 25 km trip from the motorway takes 50 minutes. The road is narrow and has many hairpin turns. Parking is along the main road. The small lot before town is reserved for residents.
Getting Around
Corniglia is linked to the other four lands by train and trail. The train trip between Corniglia and Vernazza is less than 5 minutes. The journey between Corniglia and Riomaggiore is under 10 minutes minutes. The hike from Corniglia to Vernazza is 1.5 hours. The 45-minute walk between Corniglia and Manarola is the least charming segment of the coastal pathway but it's suitable for strollers. Family Travel Tips: Heavy rains can affect the trail between Monterosso and Corniglia; check trail conditions at the local tourist office before setting out. A trail fee, currently €5.00 per day for adults and €2.5 per day for children aged 4 -12, is charged to all walkers accessing the Sentiero Azzurro or path N2. All other trails are free of charge. The park service rents mountain bikes.
When to Travel
Spring (April and May) and fall (September and October) are the best times of year for a Cinque Terre holiday. The weather is generally warm and sunny and the throngs have yet to arrive or long since departed. Summer (June through August) is hot and crowded. Winter (November through February) is cold and rainy.
Things to Keep in Mind
There are three beaches near Corniglia. Guvano, a nudist beach, is the most beautiful of the Cinque Terre beaches. It's reachable in two ways, via the trail to Vernazza or short tunnel through the promontory. The beach in front of the train station is overrun with budget holidaymakers. The small beach below Corniglia is accessible from the staircase in center of the village.
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