Corniglia is the middle village in the chain of five Cinque Terre towns. It is the only one that isn't built at the water's edge; instead, it is 100 meters up with a sharp drop down to the sea. From the train station, Corniglia is reached by 380 steps or by a very squiggly road. Like the other towns on the coast, it puts on a burst of color, with the characteristic tower-houses (case-torri) painted in bright shades of yellow, pink and peach. Corniglia sits on its rocky perch with fantastic views of the surrounding hills and the sea below.
The terrain is striped with narrow, steep terraces that cultivated with lemons, olives and vineyards, and also contain gardens and flowers. The setting is truly dramatic and from here you can watch the boats going past on the bay, and see birds dancing on the breezes.
The peaceful village was part of the powerful Republic of Genova in 1276 but remained an isolated place until relatively recently. It is now on the "milk train" line as well as the walking trail that connects the five Cinque Terre towns.
The center of civic life is the main piazza, the Largo Taragio. Stores and cafes line the Via Fieschi. The Church of San Pieto is a Gothic-Genovese adaptation of Romanesque style built in 1350. It has a bas relief of a stag, the emblem of the town. The sanctuary of San Bernardino is a charming chapel that rests at the edge of the village. There are abundant hiking trails to enjoy and access to the other Cinque Terre villages, where you can soak in the sun or absorb the unique atmosphere of the differing towns.
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