The village of Corniglia differs substantially from the others of the Cinque Terre thanks to its elevated position above the sea. It is located on a cape, a terrace on the sea, like that of Volastra, a hundred or so metres above the sea, which descends steeply and is inaccessible from the sea. To reach it one has to climb the ‘Lardarina’, a long series of steps in brick: 33 flights totalling 377 steps; there is also a road that leads from the railway to the village.
The village layout of Corniglia also differs from that of the other villages: the houses are shorter, only recently floors have been added, making them similar to those of inland villages. The residential area develops along the main road, via Fieschi; on one side the houses look on to the opposite side of the street and on the other, they look out onto the sea. Of Corniglia’s fortifications some remains survive of a stronghold dating back to 1556, on a cliff plunging into the sea. From a document dated 1276 there is news of a castle of which there remains no trace.
Corniglia is a quiet pleasant place; just a little bit convenient to the sea, by reason of the elevated location, but on the other hand the views are spectacular from many points of it.