Throwback Thursday Cinque Terre Edition: Corniglia to Vernazza

As a continuation of last week’s Cinque Terre trail adventures, this week I present to you our hike from Corniglia to Vernazza. I’ll admit, my deep love for this trail could largely be in response to how much I disliked Corniglia and my strong desire to get out of it as quickly as possible. It could also be because Vernazza stole my heart. Either way, check it out.

Trail: Corniglia to Vernazza
Distance: 4 km
Elevation Gain: Unknown (though I suspect no more than 300 ft)

We hiked this trail the same day as our unexpectedly steep climb from Manarola to Riomaggore. I have to say for all I’ve read about this being one of the tougher trails, it was nothing compared to the Beccara Trail.  In fact, the only part I recall being tough was the initial slog out of Corniglia, and I believe that felt worse than it is because we’d already had to climb all the damn stairs from the train station into the town itself. Seriously, the stair case into Corniglia is ridiculous, and likely one of the reasons I was less enamoured with this Cinque Terre town…well, that and I had the worst of my Cinque Terre gelato there. And we know how important my gelato is.

Never ending staircase into Corniglia.
Never ending staircase into Corniglia.

At any rate, I was personally happy to start the climb out of Corniglia. What I recall of this trail, three weeks after the fact, was gentle ups and downs, and nearly constant coastal views. I recall the largest cacti I have ever seen. I recall a delightful little bar and patio exactly half-way between the two towns, which my refusal to stop at when my boyfriend was both tired and thirsty is likely still a point of contention for him (relax, I bought him a large beer when we got to Vernazza). I recall my first views of Vernazza and descending with constant views of what turned out to be my absolute favourite of the Cinque Terre villages.

It was wonderful.

Starting the trail. Blue skies and bluer seas surround us.
Starting the trail. Blue skies and bluer seas surround us.
Views through narrow passageways off the main trail.
Views through narrow passageways off the main trail.
High stone walls offer some much needed shade.
High stone walls offer some much needed shade.
Whaaaaaaat!?!
Whaaaaaaat!?!
Cacti!!!!!
Cacti!!!!!
This town...I cannot even tell you how much I adore this town. Coming into Vernazza.
This town…I cannot even tell you how much I adore this town. Coming into Vernazza.
img_9901
One more of Vernazza because this town stole my heart, and can you blame me?

I personally recommend hiking the trail in this direction, but this opinion is largely based on my deep love of Vernazza and my general lack of enthusiasm for Corniglia. Also, if you hike it in this direction, you can treat yourself to a gelato at Gelateria Vernazza. Get the crema cinque terre and fig ricotta, and promptly walk through a nearby stone archway to visit the larger of Vernazza’s two beaches. You will think you have died and gone to heaven.

This is your waterfront gelato-eating destination in Vernazza. You're welcome.
This is your waterfront gelato-eating destination in Vernazza. You’re welcome.

Join me next week for the final instalment in Throwback Thursdays Cinque Terre Edition, at which point I will probably get even more deeply nostalgic for my adventures there…particularly if we head into yet another week of Vancouver rain!

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