We spent a delightful 3 days and nights in Vernazza, this is the 2nd town of the 5 villages linked together in this seaside National Park. It’s possible to get a direct train from Milano to Monterossa, or one which makes a change in Genoa. It’s about a 3 1/2 hour trip. From Monterossa, you change trains to the local train connecting the five towns.
It was easy to find accommodations in Vernazza, we arrived mid-week, at the end of August, getting into town about 7:30pm. Just asked on the street or in any of the shops or bars. During our stay we sampled 3 places ranging in price from 55 to 70 EU’s per night. There were some lovely apartments, with nice kitchens and room for kid’s if you wished to bring them along. One word of warning, we had our room the 2nd night given away because we did not get back to the hotel until evening. So be sure to check in early if they are holding a room for you.
We spend one day hiking the entire length of the coast trail. Starting in Vernazza, first on to Corniglia, then Manarola and finally Riomaggiore. We had a side trip up in the mountains between Vernazza and Corniglia, and a wonderful swim in the Mediterranean at Manarola. After taking the train back to Monterossa and exploring the beach there (very crowded, pay per stay) we completed out hike back to Vernazza.
The food was excellent and if you are daring try the local anchovy and seafood stew specialties.
We spend our 2nd day just hanging out in Vernazza, enjoying swimming just outside the harbor and sun bathing on the rocks. It’s free and we actually liked it better than what we saw on the beach at Monterossa
Vernazza and hiking to Corniglia, Downtown Cornigila, the beach at Monterossa
and taking the train back from Riomaggiore and arriving back above
Vernazza in the early evening.
Our view from our room on the final night, dinner in the piazza.