Vernazza: A Unique Italian Getaway
Settled between the vastness of the Mediterranean Sea and sharply rising hills, Vernazza, with its small harbor, old fortification and army of staircases, evokes the very essence of small-town Italy. Lazing about at a restaurant, knocking back a few glasses of chianti and nibbling on thin-crusted pizza as the sun sets over the water is the perfect way to relax during your vacation in Italy.
With its narrow streets and small squares, Vernazza is arguably the most charming of Cinque Terre’s five towns. Because it has the best access to the sea, it became wealthier than its neighbors–as evidenced by the elaborate arcades, loggias, and marblework. The village’s pink, slate-roof houses and colorful squares contrast with the remains of the medieval fort and castle, including two towers, in the Old Town. The Romans first inhabited this rocky spit of land in the 1st century. Today, Vernazza has a fairly lively social scene. The action is at the harbor, where you’ll find outdoor restaurants, a bar hanging on the edge of the castle, and a breakwater with a promenade, corralled by a natural amphitheater of terraced hills. In the summer, the beach becomes a soccer field, where teams fielded by local bars and restaurants provide late-night entertainment. In the dark, locals fish off the promontory, using glowing bobbers that shine in the waves. Definitely, Vernazza is the brightest jewel of the Cinque Terre and is not to be missed while on an Italy vacation.