Corniglia is the most ancient and the smallest village of Cinque Terre. There are no beaches here. The only view of the beach is possible from high up the mountains; hence there are no boat pathways to reach here. So the people rely on the Train or the hiking trails. It takes about a 400 step steep climb from the station to reach the village, and these lengthy steps are called 'Lardarina' by the people. The village has very narrow paths. When the train pulled to a halt in the station, we didn't forget to check the color of the window panes of the buildings and again, Green. Corniglia is essentially placed on the top of a massive rock surrounded by grapevine yards. In order to experience the real beauty of the village, one has to walk and reach the high San Bernardino point. The tired lot who reaches the top is welcomed by various bars & restaurants to loosen up and relax. Corniglia is also voted as the most ideal place for people who have an interest in trekking and hiking. The village located in the north west part of Cinque Terre is 'Monterosso'. This is the largest one among the 5 villages of Cinque Terre. Monterosso is also the only village which has been granted the permission for driving, unlike the other villages which can be explored only by foot.
The hike from Corniglia to Vernazza was the best hikes I have had. Tough terrains, small passages, unknown insects but to top this all a coastal view while you are hiking. We saw people from all ages hiking through this and what everyone told in the end was "It's worth it". That pretty much sums up the hike.
The middle village which is the only one to have no access to the sea, one has to climb about 400 steps from the train station to get to Corniglia. It is probably the most colourful of all the Cinque Terre villages and provides you a panoramic view of the five settlements. Getting There: A Cinque Terre Card, available at the La Spezia train station for around 12 Euros grants you free rides on trains connecting the villages up to the town of Levanto. If in case you are not walking along the Blue Trail, Corniglia is the third stop from La Spezia and the ride is approximately 15 minutes long. If you do not have a card, tickets can be bought for about 2 Euros at La Spezia or any of the other villages and require validation. The train mostly runs through tunnels but even the smallest glimpse of the sea is breath-taking.