Located along the coast of La Spezia is the gorgeous Vernazza, one of the five Cinque Terre towns.
This tiny fortified fishing village dates as far back as the 1st century A.D.. Vernazza was used as a naval base tasked with protecting the coast from pirate attacks, taking advantage of the natural moor created by the cliff arching into the sea.
The name Vernazza derived from a local grape variety: the Vernaccia.
Like the other towns in the Cinque Terre area, Vernazza experienced a sharp economic decline between the 17th and the 19th century. However thanks to the construction of the Genova–La Spezia rail line the town isolation ended and it started to prosper again. Vernazza returned to fishing, wine and olive oil making as main industries, remaining much the same as it has been all these centuries. It has no cars and it is still considered among the truest fisherman villages of the Riviera.
in 1997 the UNESCO named the Cinque Terre a World Heritage Site; a couple of years later the National Park of the Cinque Terre was created.