Friday, February 10, 2023

Wandering Around Vernazza

Vernazza, just south of Monterosso, has no car traffic and the only natural port in Cinque Terre. The city dates back to 1080 and, over the following two centuries, the city provided port, fleet, and soldiers for Genova's conquest of Liguria.  In the 15th century, Vernazza built fortifications against frequent pirate attacks and, in the 17th century, entered a period of decline that ended in the 19th century with the growth of the wine industry and the completion of the La Spezia-Genoa rail line, with stops in the Cinque Terre cities (the rail line that we ride out from on our arrival in Milan:  Milan-Monterosso, passing through Genoa).

It's a cloudy day as we leave Monterosso for the three minute train ride to Vernazza

Cloudy at Monterosso train station

We walk up above the Vernazza train station for great views across the city.

Views of Vernazza

We pause briefly to wait for one of the small rubber-track tractors that are used to carry deliveries up the stairs to homes, offices, and restaurants.

Delivery on the way up

We then descend into Vernazza through the picturesque, narrow, windy streets.

Streets of Vernazza

Every now and then, there is an opening to a small park overlooking the Mediterranean.

Overlooking the sea

We leave the sea, back into the internal city streets, wandering and traipsing up and down.

Continuing on the streets of Vernazza

Now, we're on the other side of the city from the sea, facing the port, the piazza, and the hills, with great glimpses of all of them.

Views of the port and piazza

Great spot for lunch!

The sea is rough today (no ferry service) and washes over the breakwater and into the port of Vernazza, causing us to occasionally move backwards very fast.

The sea today.

We walk around the harbor to the Church of Santa Margherita d'Antiochia built in the 13th century on a rock overlooking the sea.  The interior is beautiful, with front and rear entrances and great views of the sea.

Santa Margherita d'Antiochia, overlooking the harbor

Beautiful inside, with views of the harbor and the sea

Outside the church, we climb the stairs a little further and come upon more great views of the harbor and Vernazza on the other side, with the train tracks heading into the tunnel that continues on to Monterosso.

Harbor, sea, city, and train

Soon, it is time to head back and we exit the Monterosso train station to beautiful views of beach umbrellas partially furled for the weather, with a few open for those who brave the storm for a dip in the sea.

Back in Monterosso

Our lunch reward today is bruschetta:  anchovy and tomato.


Today was a short trip with great exploration, scenery, and a little history.  And, lunch.

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