Manarola Italy Travel

Manarola Italy: Manarola, built on a high rock 70 metres above sea level, is one of the most charming and romantic of the Cinque Terre villages.The tiny harbor features a boat ramp, picturesque multicoloured houses facing the sea, a tiny piazza with seafood restaurants.

Along the main road the boatsare pulled onto dry land every time the sea is rough. Although there is no real beach here, it has some of the best deep-water swimming around.

Manarola Italy Travel

Bequeathed with more grapevines than any other Cinque Terre village, Manarola is famous for its sweet Sciacchetrà wine. It’s also awash with priceless medieval relics, supporting claims that it is the oldest of the five. The spirited locals here speak an esoteric local dialect known as Manarolese. Due to its proximity to Riomaggiore (852m away), the village is heavily trafficked, especially by Italian school parties along with the regular tourists.

The village is all ups and downs, with steep narrow alleys carrugi, leading to the sea. If you want to venture up to the top of Manarola, make sure you check out the church. Today it serves as a religious and community meeting place, but in more ancient times, the bell tower was used as a post to watch for potential pirate raids.

Another peculiarity of Manarola is a pyramid in white cement whose peak can be seen rising between the taller houses and is used as a navigational reference point for all those at sea.

Manarola Cinque Terre Italy

Manarola may be the oldest of the towns in the Cinque Terre, with the cornerstone of the church, San Lorenzo, dating from 1338. The local dialect is Manarolese, which is marginally different from the dialects in the nearby area. The name “Manarola” is probably a dialectical evolution of the Latin, “magna rota”. In the Manarolese dialect this was changed to “magna roea” which means “large wheel”, in reference to the mill wheel in the town.

Manarola’s primary industries have traditionally been fishing and wine-making. The local wine, called Sciacchetrà, is especially renowned; references from Roman writings mention the high quality of the wine produced in the region. In recent years, Manarola and its neighboring towns have become popular tourist destinations, particularly in the summer months. Tourist attractions in the region include a famous walking trail between Manarola and Riomaggiore (called Via dell’Amore, “Love’s Trail”) and hiking trails in the hills and vineyards above the town. Manarola is one of the five villages of the Cinque Terre. Most of the houses are bright and colourful. Manarola was celebrated in paintings by Antonio Discovolo (1874–1956).

Manarola In Cinque Terre

This lovely village is huddled on and down the sides of a rocky outcrop, with the tall colourful houses leading down to a small harbour and piazza below. Some of the houses on the water side of the village look as if they might slip into the sea at any moment, but have probably looked the same for the last 500 years so I imagine they are not at any risk!

Manarola is often listed by travel guides as one of the most lovely villages in Europe, although I sometimes get the impression the guides concerned haven’t actually visited all that many villages, but Manarola is certainly exceptional and would be a contender. Personally I would have said Vernazza, another of the Cinque Terre villages, is slightly more attractive because of its harbour but no problems you are going to visit them both while you are here anyway and they are both listed among the ‘most beautiful villages in Italy’!)

The main historic monument of importance in Manarola is the 14th century Church of Saint Lorenzo, with an ancient watchtower and the Oratorio dei Disciplinati close by on this principal square in Manarola..

…but as you would expect it is the ensemble of ancient houses, the harbour cafes and the scenery that are the main attractions rather than any particular historic monument. You can enjoy lunch at one of the fish restaurants in the small square next to the harbour.

From La Spezia Centrale you can easily get to Manarola by train. It takes about 10 minutes.

Getting there and around the Cinque Terre
  1. Arrive by car. …
  2. Arrive by plane. …
  3. Arrive by train in Manarola. …
  4. How to get there. …
Vernazza Is The Most Popular And Crowded Village In Cinque Terre. Vernazza is one of the best places to stay in Cinque Terre.


 Manarola La Spezia Italy

Romantic Manarola – a hamlet of Riomaggiore – spills down a ravine to the wild and rugged Cinque Terre coastline. Besides its natural beauty, the village is also famous for its sweet Sciacchetrà wine, celebrated by Gabriele D’Annunzio in one of his amazing poems. Manarola has brightly painted houses, priceless medieval relics and a tiny harbour that features a boat ramp and a swimming hole; to the north, on the way to Corniglia, there’s a stunning viewpoint (Punta Bonfiglio) where visitors can enjoy a drink in a bar between the village’s cemetery and the sea. Everywhere is the scent of the lemon trees, thyme, rosemary and Mediterranean maquis; the grapevines – grown on terraces – embrace the village in a tight hug.

Built at the mouth of the Volastra Creek, Manarola (Manaea in the local dialect) seems to be the oldest of the Cinque Terre villages. Although probably founded in Roman times, the present settlement dates back to the end of the 12th century, when the inhabitants of Volastra – ancient Vicus Olestre – descended from the hills in order to exploit the natural resources of the sea. Like the other Cinque Terre villages – Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia and Riomaggiore – Manarola grew under the Republic of Genoa and experienced a development which was largely ichthyic and agricultural; Sciacchetrà – the delicious local wine – has been renowned for its quality since the Roman age and, although now produced everywhere in the area, it has its origins in this village.

Important families in the history of Manarola were the lords of Carpena and the Fieschis, the latter family ruled over the village until 1276, when Genoa officially took possession of it. In order to protect Manarola against the frequent Saracen attacks, the Genoese almost certainly reinforced the preexisting castle; however, after several incursions, the castle was destroyed and sadly, very little remains of it. In recent times, the village has become a popular tourist destination, particularly during the Summer months.

Manarola Italy Real Estate

Supposing you arrive in the morning, we suggest you start your tour on the main square – Piazza Papa Innocenzo IV – located in the high part of the village. Literally embraced by luxuriant vineyards, this simple piazza houses Manarola’s most important buildings: the Oratorio dei Disciplinati, the Church of San Lorenzo and a freestanding campanile built on the ruins of a preexisting watchtower. If you happen to be here around Christmas (from December 8th to the last week of January), you will also discover that the village’s main square is the ideal location to admire Mario Andreoli’s lighted outdoor nativity scene, probably the undisputed highlight of Manarola. This unique Christmas installation is set up amid the vineyards and occupies the top of a hill; with its 300 characters made out of reclaimed materials and illuminated by 15.000 bulbs, it is the biggest in the world and makes the village even more magical.

The lower part of Manarola is a maze of narrow cobbled streets and charming alleyways home to cute little eateries and inviting craft shops. Before plunging into the refreshing water of the harbour, look for the old watermill and explore the last stretch of Via Belvedere, basically a balcony overlooking the blue sea. Manarola doesn’t have a real beach but offers the best deep-water swimming in the Cinque Terre region; so, if you like snorkeling or are an adventurous swimmer, we bet that you will love to spend some time at the marina. Should you prefer other activities, such as hiking or walking, the village boasts beautiful hiking trails in the surrounding hills and a romantic walking path named Via dell’Amore that connects Manarola with nearby Riomaggiore. On a visit to the village, don’t forget to try its succulent seafood caught by the local fishermen off the coast and immediately drop off at restaurants.

Manarola can be comfortably reached by train from La Spezia or Levanto and the local train station is also very well connected to the other Cinque Terre villages, GenoaPisaTurin and Milan. If you are visiting Florence or Milan and you feel like going on a group tour to Manarola and Cinque Terre, we do offer the following options: day trip from Florence to Cinque Terre, Cinque Terre private tour from Florence and a day trip from Milan to Cinque Terre.