Vernazza is a quaint, tiny place, with a population of about 1,000. Vernazza is the next to northernmost town and perhaps most picturesque of the five towns of Cinque Terre in Italy. Colorful, antique homes cling to impossible cliffs. A lovely small harbor is nestled under the shadows of an ancient castle and a dramatic seaside church.
The entire Cinque Terre is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Vernazza has the only proper harbor in the Cinque Terre and is a charming, small fishing village. Vernazza was founded about 1000 A.D. and was ruled by the Republic of Genoa starting in 1276. Vernazza’s medieval castle, Belforte, was built in the mid-1500’s, primarily to protect the village from pirates.