Corniglia (Italy) – attractions, tourist places

Corniglia, Italy, is the center of the famous natural park of the Cinque Terre and the only one that does not have direct access to the sea. Corniglia was built on a high and steep cliff and surrounded by terraced vineyards.

One of the most important families of the Republic of Genoa – Familia Fieschi – is considered the founder of the medieval city. Its part was named the main street of the city. It is assumed, however, that the area was already inhabited in Roman times, after which, however, no visible traces remain.

There is no agreement as to the etymology of the city’s name. Theories are different. The name Corniglia may come from one of the Roman families. Another theory is that the name comes from the Italian word corno, which should refer to a steep rock facing the sea.

Sights of Corniglia. What to see in the center of Cinque Terre?

Corniglia, like other cities in the Cinque Terre, does not have many tourist attractions or monuments. The biggest “sights” are the narrow shop-filled walk down Via Fieschi and the two lookouts.

The first of the viewing terraces can be found behind the chapel/oratory of St. Catherine (belongs to the Capella dei Flagellati) is on Via Fieschi. Right behind the church there is a fairly large area, but this is not our purpose of observation. For a better view of the area, you need to climb the stairs on the right, (the coordinates of the observation deck are 44.119551, 9.707854).

Capella dei Flagellati

The second terrace (Santa Maria Terrace) is at the end of Via Fieschi. They offer a pleasant view incl. on the rocks below. In place are the tables of one of the pubs, at which people who want to drink something cold can consume previously ordered food.

Santa Maria Terrace

Near Corniglia you can find a small wild beach, which is very difficult to get to. To go down, you have to go down a steep path. It is best to ask the locals or at the information desk for access to the beach.
Another church was built in Corniglia, which is on the other side of the city. The church was finished in 1351. Pieter (owner of Chiesa Di San Pietro) leads up the hill, but those interested in architecture and sacred art should not regret the visit: the building is a combination of Gothic architecture (including a monumental rosette) with baroque decorations inside. Inside the temple, there are characteristic Ligurian stripes on the walls, frescoes on the vault, wooden statues from the early 17th century and a typical Ligurian altar.


Where to sleep in Corniglia?

Corniglia can be a good base for tourists who want to spend more time on the hiking trails and start the day in the morning. On a two-day stay, you can go west on the first day and east on the second.

We do not recommend Corniglia to tourists for whom walking is not the main purpose of the trip. This is the most difficult in terms of logistics of the cities of the Cinque Terre.

It is worth stopping at Affittacamere La Torre during one of your trips. This place, in addition to the high standards, offers access to the terrace, which offers a beautiful view of Manarola.