The village of Corniglia differs significantly from the others of the Cinque Terre due to its elevated position with respect to the sea. It rises on a promontory, a marine terrace like that of Volastra, a hundred meters high, which falls steeply and inaccessible towards the sea, surrounded by vineyards placed on the typical terraces. To reach it you have to go up the 'Lardarina', a long brick staircase consisting of 33 ramps for a total of 382 steps. But there is also a carriage road that leads from the railway to the village. Also the urban structure of Corniglia has original characteristics compared to those of the other villages: the houses are lower, only recently raised, more similar to those of the villages of the hinterland.
The inhabited area develops along the main road, via Fieschi; the houses on one side overlook the street and on the other look at the sea. Of the fortifications of Corniglia the ruins of a fortress dating back to 1556 have remained, on a cliff overlooking the sea. From a document of 1276 there is news of a castle of which however no trace remains. Corniglia appears more refined than the other villages, thanks to remarkable architectural details still visible such as the stone decorations of the building portals; Indeed, in the late Middle Ages Corniglia was one of the Fieschi residences, a noble Genoese family. The remains in Via Fieschi date back to this period, where some houses rest on a pre-existing medieval building and the 16th century defensive tower, built by the Fieschi, to defend themselves from the Saracens.
Corniglia is a very pleasant and peaceful place; just a little more inconvenient to reach the sea due to its elevated position, but on the other hand, from many points of the town, you can enjoy spectacular views from the viewpoint of the terrace of Santa Maria and from the Tower. The main square is Largo Taragio with the Monument to the Fallen and the oratory of Santa Caterina. Through steep steps you reach the marina, with its small gulf, the marina and the imposing promontory "of the three crosses". In the upper part of the village it is worth visiting the Church of San Pietro, from 1334, built in Gothic-Ligurian style by Comancini masters. Among the few beaches in Corniglia we remember Gùvano, a famous destination for naturists and reachable by sea or with the disused FS tunnel.
To reach Corniglia we recommend using the train. Genoa-La Spezia line, regional trains, Corniglia stop. In summer the local 5Terre Express train service is available.
Info Point Reception and Tourist Information: at the railway station Tel. 0187/812523