It is in a central position with respect to the other centers of the Cinque Terre, located to the east of the town hall, of Vernazza (to which it joins a suggestive walk halfway between the summit and the sea) and of Monterosso, and west of Manarola and Riomaggiore.
It is different from the other villages of the Cinque Terre as it is the only village that does not directly overlook the sea (reachable through a short but suggestive staircase) but is located on the top of a promontory about a hundred meters high, surrounded by vineyards characteristic terraces with bands.
To reach Corniglia, from the Railway Station you can take advantage of an Ecological Shuttle Bus organized by the Cinque Terre National Park. The more adventurous can instead climb a staircase called Lardarina, consisting of 33 ramps with 377 steps or walk the road that connects it to the train station.
The origin of the village dates back to the Roman Age as testified by the name which finds its roots in "Gens Cornelia", the Roman family to whom the land belonged.
It is interesting to remember that during the excavations of Pompeii, wine amphorae were found on which the name "Cornelia" appeared. During the Middle Ages, similar to the neighboring villages, it underwent the dominion of the counts of Lavagna, of the lords of Carpena, of Luni. In 1254 Pope Innocent IV ceded it to Nicolò Fieschi, until, in 1276, power passed to Genoa.
PLACES OF INTEREST
The entire village develops along the main street, via Fieschi, which leads from the parish of San Pietro, to the belvedere of the Santa Maria terrace. Directly under the square of the parish church it is possible to find, on the facade of a house, some remains of medieval architecture, including some small sculptures. It is likely that the hospitals of the village would rise there.
Continuing along the road you meet the road that forms the square Ciapara (in local dialect "Ciapà"), passing which you enter the corniglia of Corniglia; this narrow road leads to the main square of the town, Largo Taragio (in the local dialect "ar Taragiu"), in the center of which is located the War Memorial.
The square is dominated by the oratory of Santa Caterina, behind the church, after a long and steep staircase, you arrive on another square called "Fosso", from which the Tower is recognizable, the only ruin of the Genoese fortifications dating back to around 1556.
From what remains of this tower you can enjoy a beautiful view of the sea and the coast towards Manarola. Another breathtaking view of the entire Cinque Terre coastline can be enjoyed from the Santa Maria terrace (about 90 meters above sea level), reachable from Largo Taragio, continuing along Via Fieschi. In the corner of the panoramic terrace facing Vernazza there was a small church, which fell into the sea around the middle of the nineteenth century.
On the same side you can see the small gulf that forms the "Marina di Corniglia". Also on this side, in the mountains, you can see the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Graces of San Bernardino.
From Largo Taragio, in front of the war memorial, there is also a stairway (via alla Marina) that descends towards the Corniglia marina. The small and enchanting gulf is characterized by a small port for a few berths reserved for the inhabitants of the town, enclosed to the left by a small pier that juts out towards the sea and on the right from the imposing promontory called the three crosses due to the presence of three crosses in memory of the death of Christ.
On the opposite side of this promontory, following the coastline towards Vernazza, you get to the beach of "Gùvano": placed under what remains of the railroad wall (which now runs internally to the mountain, in a tunnel), is reachable via sea or through the old gallery of the railway now in disuse.
This stretch of coast is perhaps one of the most beautiful of the entire coast of the Cinque Terre, often a destination during the summer of numerous boats and a naturist brand tourism.
FESTIVALS, FAIRS, FESTIVALS AND OTHER EVENTS
On June 29th the patron saint, San Pietro, is celebrated. The religious celebrations include the classical procession through the streets of the town, from the Church of St. Peter up to the terrace of Santa Maria.
The typical gastronomic specialty of the festival is the rice cake, prepared with rice, cheese, eggs and baked in the oven. Equally typical is the distribution in the square of the Torta dei Fieschi to all the participants at the party. As in many other Italian countries on the evening of Good Friday, the typical procession takes place following the statue of the dead Christ, along the main street of the village.
Every year on September 8th is celebrated the feast of the Sanctuary of Corniglia, San Bernardino; the inhabitants of the village go on pilgrimage to the small church of the village with deep devotion to Our Lady of Grace.
The Church of San Pietro is located every summer of the Cinque Terre organ festival. From 9th to 12th August 2007 the third stage of the first edition of Aria Festival took place in all the Cinque Terre countries, an international festival of street and show artists for public places. Corniglia was also involved in the event, hosting the performances of Afro Jungle Jeegs, a group of Kenyan acrobats, of the cabaret artist Chris Lynam, of the contortionist Lena Ries and of the juggler Beefcake Boys.
NATIONAL PARK OF CINQUE TERRE
The Cinque Terre National Park was founded as an instrument for the protection and preservation of the Cinque Terre territory, an area that has been profoundly modified over the centuries in its geographical and morphological physiognomy by the hard work of man.
The ancient inhabitants of these places, in fact, without any imposition by sovereign tyrants, but due to the iron necessity of obtaining cultivated spaces in a hostile environment, have replaced the ancient natural vegetation of these steep slopes with a dense weaving of cultivated terraces. screw, supported by a network of about 6,729 kilometers of dry stone walls.
A titanic enterprise, which has given rise to a unique and unrepeatable landscape.
Human activities are today considerably reduced due to the changed economic and social balance that has led to a progressive abandonment of traditional crops.
The National Park intends to recover and conserve this example of architecture of the territory, with its historical, cultural, territorial and environmental values, and wants to do so by maintaining viticulture, the only human activity that can preserve this landscape, now the heritage of all humanity, and that guarantees the continuity of typical local productions, such as the fragrant Sciacchetrà sweet wine.
More information on the official website of the Parco Nazionale delle Cinque Terre