Corniglia

The smallest and most distinctive of the five villages that make up the Cinque Terre, with ancient roots and enchanting scenery.

 

Visuale panoramica di Corniglia

Corniglia is the smallest of the Cinque Terre villages, and the only one not directly on the coast. It is also the most peculiar of the five, with a style all of its own. It is situated at a higher altitude than the others, perched on a rocky rise some 90 metres from the sea, and the houses in Corniglia are not tall and narrow like those of Riomaggiore or the other villages, more closely resembling those of the inland villages.

 

The history of Corniglia can be traced back to Roman times, and indeed the name derives from the gens cornelia, the family of former slaves of the Roman settler this land was given over to.

 

During the excavations in Pompeii, a number of amphorae were found bearing the name Cornelia. During the Middle Ages, the neighbourhood came under the rule of a succession of noblemen, lords and counts, until it was brought under the rule of Genoa.

 

 

A number of traditional local festivals are held in Corniglia during the year, the best-known of which are the celebrations in honour of Saints Peter and Paul on 29 June, and the procession to the Sanctuary of Nostra Signora delle Grazie on 8 September. During the former, a huge cake is prepared in the square in honour of the saints, while during the latter, a walking trip is organised into the nearby woods, with a procession leading up to the sanctuary, at an altitude of almost 4000 metres.

 

Visitors to Corniglia can also admire a number of historical monuments, including the Church of San Pietro (considered the finest mediaeval monument in the whole of the Cinque Terre) and the Stronghold (built in the 16th century to defend the neighbourhood from pirate attacks), as well, of course, as the Sanctuary of  Santa Maria delle Grazie (at San Bernardino, about 3km from the village itself).

Terrazzamenti a Corniglia

 

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