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Vernazza, Italy
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Vernazza, Cinque Terre


Photo by Nicoletta Marconi

Vernazza is the most panoramic of the Cinque Terre. It sits on a rocky spit. It's dominated by a Dorian castle. It boasts the Cinque Terre's only natural port. It has a charming square and delightful petite pebble beach. Yet to fully appreciate Vernazza requires an overnight visit. This once fishing village is teeming with tourist from mid-morning to late afternoon.
Getting There
Vernazza is the second of Italy's Cinque Terre when approached from Genova. It is located on the seashore and is situated roughly 30 km or 18 miles from the A12 motorway. The nearest airports are located in Genoa and Pisa, roughly 90 minutes away. The train is by far the most convenient way to reach Vernazza. The ferryboat is a fun way to make the journey. Car travel is the least kid-friendly option. - The 30 km journey from the motorway takes 40 minutes. The narrow road has numerous hairpin turns. Parking is limited. Family Travel Tips: Local trains on the Genoa - La Spezia rail line stop in Vernazza. A train trip from destinations farther a field requires a transfer. The ferry service operates May through September but cruises past Vernazza when the sea is rough. For Vernazza, exit the A12 Genoa-Livorno motorway at Brugnato - Borghetto di Vara. Numerous turns are required thus it's best to print a map and directions. Parking is roadside. The last stretch of road is reserved for residents.
Getting Around
Vernazza is situated between the two longest legs of the coastal pathway. Each segment is 1.5 hours, for an average walker. The segment between Monterosso and Vernazza is more difficulty of the two; it has steps on both ends. The trail from Vernazza to Corniglia is easiest when hiked the opposite, Corniglia to Vernazza. Other trails from Vernazza include the moderate route 7 to San Bernardino and on to Cigoletta. Family Travel Tips: Heavy rains can affect the coastal path 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
The pebble beach in Vernazza may be handkerchief-sized yet its a great end to a hike. Pack a suit, towel and watershoes.
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Travel Trivia
Arizona shares a border with which of the following U.S. states: