Corniglia is not directly adjacent to the sea like the other 4 villages of the Cinque Terre. 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.
The first time I visited the Cinque Terre was by boat. This way you see the villages and really, the best way to see Corniglia is from the water.
To reach Corniglia, there is a climb 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.
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.
There are houses in the Cinque Terre that are so isolated that the only way to reach them is by climbing or descending hundreds of steps. These houses are usually holiday cottages for those who are looking for complete privacy.