A gem in the crown of Cinque Terre, Vernazza has a story dating back to the middle ages. The first lords of the town were the Obertenghi family, and later the Genoa Republic used it as a naval base. Over the years, the town's residents fought pirates and built fortified walls to defend themselves against attacks by sea.
Nowadays, Vernazza is still a small fortified harbor locked between the mountains and the water. Colorful buildings are built one one top of the other on the mountainside. Arriving to Vernazza by sea is an enchanting experience. There is just one tiny beach, so residents use the harbor-facing rocks as their own private sun decks.
In October 2011, heavy rains hit Vernazza and caused flooding that buried the town in 13 ft/4 m of mud and debris. Famed architects Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers were among those who helped to bring the town back to its original splendor.
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