For me, Vernazza is the most beautiful of the five villages that comprise the incomparable Cinque Terre.
It could be because Vernazza was our base when we explored the coast and, subsequently, we got acquainted with it to a larger degree than with any of the other villages. Or it could be because its topology and features – by the water unlike Corniglia, with an advantage of its own lagoon unlike Manarola, and more compact than either Riomaggiore or Monterosso al Mare – on balance appeal to me the most. Whenever I see Cinque Terre in my mind’s eye, the views of Vernazza appear to me first and foremost.
This is one of the iconic perspectives. If you ever searched for images of the village on the web, you undoubtedly have seen it before.
We are standing at the top of the village to the south-east, at the beginning of Sentiero Azzurro segment that leads to Corniglia. All of the village is seen from here, hugging its natural lagoon. The tower of Castello Doria marks the highest point of the little cape. The gorgeous belltower of Chiesa di Santa Margherita di Antiochia offers the counterpoint across the lagoon. Between and around them are the colorful houses that are quintessential Cinque Terre.
Mountains, blue sea, and the distance to Monterosso – which is barely discernible in the background – are all fully suggestive of the remoteness of the place.