Corniglia, a stairway to heaven
Corniglia is slightly different from the other four villages as it is the only village that is not located on the sea, but on the top of a hill about ninety meters high, surrounded by splendid terraced vineyards.
The fastest way to reach Corniglia is by train, then from its station go up a long stairway called Lardarina, made up of 382 steps, or take the winding Via Stazione. The entire village develops along the main street, Via Fieschi, which leads from the church of San Pietro to the panoramic terrace of Santa Maria. From here, it is possible to descend again arriving at the Marina, on the opposite side of the hill, characterized by a rocky bay and a small port where canoes or small boats can easily be rented for a tour of the Cinque Terre. The origins of the village date back to Roman times; the name probably derives from Gens Cornelia, a family that owned the land. It is interesting to note that when the Roman city of Pompeii was excavated, amphorae with the name of “Cornelia” were found, testifying to the intense maritime and commercial traffic from Liguria to the rest of the peninsula. During the Middle Ages, like the neighbouring villages, control of Corniglia was exercised alternatively by the counts of Lavagna, Luni and finally Genoa.
In Corniglia, you can find some of the most beautiful secret beaches in the entire Cinque Terre area: one of them, Guvano, is famous as it is normally frequented by naturists, and it can be reached with a nice walk of about an hour.