Corniglia is a frazione ("fraction") of the commune of Vernazza in the province of La Spezia, Liguria, northern Italy. Unlike the other localities of the Cinque Terre, Corniglia is not directly adjacent to the sea. Instead, it is on the top of a promontory about 100 metres high, surrounded on three sides by vineyards and terraces and the fourth side descends steeply to the sea. To reach Corniglia, it is necessary to climb the Lardarina, a long brick flight of steps composed of 33 flights with 382 steps or, otherwise follow a vehicular road that, from the station, leads to the village. Sometimes a small bus runs up and down here.
The village stretches along the main road, Fieschi Road, and the houses have one side facing this road and the other facing the sea. Corniglia is characterised by narrow roads and a terrace obtained in the rock from which all other four Cinque Terre's villages, two on one side and two on the other, can be seen. The town planning structure presents also original characteristics compared to those of the other villages: the houses are lower set, and only more recently higher, similar to those of the villages of the hinterland.
Corniglia is mentioned in a famous novella of Giovanni Boccaccio's Decameron and in the novel The Invisible Circus by Jennifer Egan.
The Cinque Terre (Italian pronunciation: [ˌtʃinkwe ˈtɛrːe]) is a rugged portion of coast on the Italian Riviera. It is in the Liguria region of Italy, to the west of the city of La Spezia. "The Five Lands" is composed of five villages: Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore. The coastline, the five villages, and the surrounding hillsides are all part of the Cinque Terre National Park and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Over the centuries, people have carefully built terraces on the rugged, steep landscape right up to the cliffs that overlook the sea. Part of its charm is the lack of visible corporate development. Paths, trains and boats connect the villages, and cars cannot reach them from the outside. The Cinque Terre area is a very popular tourist destination.
The villages of the Cinque Terre were severely affected by torrential rains which caused floods and mudslides on October 25, 2011. Nine people have been confirmed killed by the floods, and damage to the villages, particularly Vernazza and Monterosso al Mare, was extensive.