Of ancient Roman origins, it fell under a variety of dominions in Medieval times: that of the Lavagna and Fieschi families, and last of all the Vernazza family, who handed the village over to the Genovese. The ancient fortifications protecting the village collapsed in a landslide triggered by sea erosion; the last episode, in 1885, swallowed the circular town square, Piazza Santa Maria.
The best-known wine is the "Sciacchetrà", a wine made with withered grapes which is perfect for accompanying with Cantucci, traditional dried almond biscuits. This amber wine is renowned worldwide; the bunches of grapes undergo a special production technique that gives them an inimitable sweet, aromatic flavour. It is expensive as a result of the extremely limited amount produced, and the characteristics of the vineyards; but it is such a rare wine that it is money well-spent. The wine bars of the villages are true goldmines of traditional flavours and tastes, served with a touch of the unusual. It is hard to resist the allure of the gastronomic souvenirs.
How to get there
By car, heading westwards from Manarola, it takes around 25 minutes. On foot following the "Sentiero Azzurro" (Blue Path) towards Monterosso. By boat from Lerici, La Spezia and Portovenere.