Manarola is an ancient village of the Ligurian Riviera in the province of La Spezia and is a town of the Cinque Terre, probably the most picturesque of all thanks to its colorful tower-houses perched.
The village is perched on a steep promontory and develops around the course of the stream of Groppo that is now covered and no longer visible but that defines the structure and represents the central axis: starting from the stream, many stone alleys lead to the houses on the sides of the promontory.
Manarola, like many villages of this kind, is irregular and the different levels of the country are connected by irregular slate staircases.
The main square is high above the rest of the village and allows a view of the colorful houses overlooking the sea. A truly impressive show.
What to see in Manarola, Liguria: the marina and the remains of the castle
Impossible not to mention as the first beauty to admire in Manarola, the marina: it is the most scenic and most photographed of the village and all the Cinque Terre. The colorful houses attached to each other and the turquoise of the sea below participate in making the view truly breathtaking!
Manarola is beautiful to visit all year round but, in summer, you can dive into its crystal clear water and swim among the rocks.
Walking around the marina you can take advantage of the typical restaurants and restaurants that offer street food to taste the delicacies of the place, as well as the excellent DOC wines of the surrounding hills.
For those who love postcard views, even the remains of the castle are an attraction not to be missed: it is a castle that, in ancient times, had a defensive function from pirate raids and, most likely, of the oldest nucleus of the village from which the village developed.
The famous crib of Manarola
Is your holiday in Manarola scheduled for next December? Then you are in luck as you can attend one of the most anticipated Christmas events in the province. It is the Crib of Manarola, set up on the hill above the village for the first volga in the sixties.
To design and realize it was Mario Andreoli, retired railway worker and craftsman for passion, who used recycled materials for sets and characters and the battery of a car to illuminate the first cross, which added 15 thousand bulbs for the two thieves crucified.
Currently the crib is fed thanks to a photovoltaic system and, following tradition, is lit every December 8.
The Church of San Lorenzo
The Church of San Lorenzo is one of the first attractions that visitors encounter once in Manarola, built in 1338.
Built in Gothic style, the interior of the building was reminiscent of the Baroque until the restoration occurred in the twentieth century that restored, at least in part, the Gothic features.
The Mill with the wheel
Restored thanks to the intervention of the Cinque Terre National Park, the famous Mill with the wheel of Manarola.
The wheel of the mill could have to do with the name of the village that, in a distant past, for a period was a pole of production of wine and oil.
According to what some scholars say, the name “Manarola” derives from the agricultural mold of the village: in dialect it would be “Manarea” which comes from the oldest “Magna Roea” and which translates to “magna rota”, ie wheel from a water mill.
The paths of Manarola: The Way of Love and the Blue Path
The Way of Love is not yet open to the public: due to a large landslide in 2012, the route is still closed. To date access is only allowed for the first two hundred meters from Manarola. Fortunately, by July 2024 should reopen completely.
A second route is the Sentiero Azzurro, the best known of the Cinque Terre and walking it is a wonderful experience, especially for the beautiful views you will encounter on the way.
This is not a particularly difficult route, on the contrary, the important thing is to know that you may face particularly slippery points, cliffs or other difficulties.
The Blue Path of Manarola is divided into four different sections that linked the villages of the Cinque Terre and is 12 kilometers long: admission is paid but you can also buy cards that include more attractions and experiences, saving compared to individual inputs.
Manarola is a mix of history, breathtaking views, adventurous experiences and contact with nature: you just have to book your holiday here and maybe organize a tour to visit all the Cinque Terre!