Vernazza, Italy, is one of the 5 centuries-old villages that make up the Cinque Terre, on northwest Italy’s rugged Ligurian coast. Colorful houses surround its small marina. The Santa Margherita di Antiochia Church has a bell tower topped by an elegant cupola. Clinging to the rocks, Doria Castle is a medieval defensive structure with a cylindrical tower. The Belforte bastion is just below it.
The Colors & Flavors of Cinque Terre
Snuggled in the evocative coastline of Liguria, the Cinque Terre present an enchanting postcard of pastel colored tower homes, rocky beaches and quiet trails among the terraces covered in vineyards, olive trees and private gardens. Vernazza is perhaps the crowning jewel among the five, named as one of the most beautiful towns of Italy, it is a traffic free village with architecture characteristic of the area, shops and monuments.
The fortified town is mentioned in documents starting a early as the 1080 and served as a military/naval base for marchesi Obertenghi as they worked to defend the coast from the Saracen pirates raids which often devastated the small towns to the left and right. For the next two hundred years, Vernazza was key to Genova's conquest of Liguria, providing port, fleet, and soldiers till they were eventually consumed by Pisa.
In Vernazza, you will find the typical Italian piazza where the locals would gather to "gossip" or spend time together. In local dialect, it is known as "u cantu de musse", and is one of the more characteristic corners of town.
Church of Santa Margherita d'Antiochia
The octagonal tower of 40 meters and the entrance, located in the apse side rather than in the facade side makes this church stand out for its exceptional simplicity and beauty and it also makes the choice for the brides in the area. St. Marguerite is the patron saint, and legend tells of a treasure chest containing the bones of her hand beached on the shore of Vernazza, lost and then found again the people of Vernazza saw it as a sign to build the church on the same spot where the bones were found.The church is mentioned for the first time 1318, however there is some debate as to its actual construction since the materials and mode of construction could place its origins earlier, some time in the 12th century. The Feast of Santa Margherita is the 20 of July where the town celebrates with a festival and fireworks.