Almost back to Vernazza!  The last few steps down at the end of our trail.
 While visiting Cinque Terre this August we stayed in Vernazza.  We chose this town for a couple reasons.  The first being that it is known to be the "pearl" of the Cinque Terre towns and the second because it was located between 2 sections of the coastal trail that are currently open.  The other sections linking the other towns are currently closed (and have been since a landslide in 2011 with no date to reopen currently).  For this hike we chose to first train to Corniglia (4 minute train ride from Vernazza) and then take the trail back toward Vernazza.
At the very beginning of our hike, before the checkpoint, as we are leaving Corniglia 
We chose to do the trail in this direction as we would be going downhill slightly more than we would be going uphill (which is always a plus when you are toting children on your back).  Corniglia is the only town that sits above the water in the hillside - hence it cuts off some of the ascent from sea level.
Corniglia sitting up on its hill behind us
When arriving in Corniglia by train you arrive below the town just above the seashore.  There are 382 steps that switch back and forth uphill until you reach the town.  You can opt to skip these steps by taking the shuttle/bus which departs from just outside the train station and takes you up to the town of Corniglia.  This bus is included in your Cinque Terre hiking pass so if you have already purchased your trail tickets then you can ride for free.  We chose to take this shuttle to cut off some of the uphill portion.  Once the shuttle reaches Corniglia you follow signs for "Vernazza" or the painted red and white markers such as this:
Eliana and Lucas finding our trail markers
This path first leaves the town of Corniglia on a well marked and easily walked path through some terraced vineyards and then follows the coastline while offering incredible views of the cliff sides diving into the water below.
On the trail before the Corniglia to Vernazza checkpoint in the terraced vineyards

At the checkpoint: these green huts monitor hikers coming and going and sell trail tickets at the start of each trail section
It is motivating to look back at how far you have come.  Because the trail follows the coastline in the mountains above it is possible to look back at Corniglia:
Corniglia, in the distance, perched high above the water
The majority of this trail was wider than the trail we took from Vernazza to Monterosso.  And there were often railings near the edge of the path and the footing was sturdier (Vernazza to Monterosso felt very "crumbly" in portions).  I was more comfortable allowing Eliana to venture further ahead on this path and she felt more comfortable too as she rarely asked to hold hands throughout the walk.  

 Once you reach the halfway mark of the trail you are rewarded by both a cafe serving drinks and small snacks AND a downhill descent afterwards.
Excited to be half way!  And knowing the rest of the hike is downhill :-)

Enjoying some cold beverages and fresh cut watermelon at the halfway point bar. 
The downhill portion of the hike is sometimes steps and sometimes a rocky descent.  Below are some photos of the terrain while heading downhill:

Almost to Vernazza's checkpoint!

We were all very proud of ourselves and rewarded ourselves with a swim in Vernazza's beach and hearty portions of pasta!

Link to More Photos from our Trip: Cinque Terre
Link to our other hike in Cinque Terre: Vernazza to Monterosso
Link to details on our stay in Vernazza