Corniglia, with its mellow main square, is the quiet town — the only one of the five not on the water. From the train station, a footpath zigzags up nearly 400 stairs to the hilltop town. According to legend, a Roman farmer originally settled Corniglia, naming it for his mother, Cornelia (which is how Corniglia is pronounced in Italian). Residents claim Cornelia's son produced a wine so famous that vases found at Pompeii touted its virtues. Still, today, wine remains the town's lifeblood. Following the pungent smell of ripe grapes into an alley cellar, I find a local who lets me dip a straw into her keg.