The Cinque Terre represent one of the most popular Italian summer destinations. The characteristic seaside towns and the rocky cliffs make them real postcard locations. It is no exception Manarolaa beautiful fishing village nestled along the Ligurian Riviera di Levante not far from La Spezia.
It is the smallest fishing village in the Five lands and is located in the valley of the Groppo stream. Despite its two small dimensions, it contains an enormous tourist capital, also thanks to the colorful buildings that compose it. At the base of the inhabited center about 70 meters of rock, overlooking the deep seabed of the marina. There is no beach, but it is still possible, paying due attention, to take a bath in the splendid waters near the marina.
Manarola, history and attractions
The first written traces of what is currently one of the villages most visited of the Cinque Terre date back to the thirteenth century. It is said that there was close relations with the Republic of Genoa as early as 1273, as well as with the important Genoese family of the Fieschi di Lavagna.
Despite these important commercial and political relations, there are no absolute certainties regarding theorigin of the village. According to the most common theory, it seems to have been founded by the inhabitants of nearby Volastra. Less sharing on the other hand as regards the name: some believe it derives from the Latin Manium arula and be linked to a small temple dedicated to the Mani. Others affirm that Manarola derives instead from Magna roea or “big wheel”, to underline the then agricultural vocation of the settlement.
The treasures of the village
The beauty of its sea and the picturesque landscape of this village are just some of the reasons why this village of the Cinque Terre is so loved by tourists from all over the world. There Bell tower and the church of 1338 in Ligurian Gothic style dedicated to San Lorenzo represent two elements of absolute importance for those who want to venture through the streets of Manarola. In the church there is also a rose window in Carrara marble dated 1375.
Although a landslide forced the local administration to close the Love way, we must not despair. The first 200 meters of the route have been reopened and full access to the route should be allowed by July 2024.
In the meantime, you can enjoy the beauty of the Ligurian sea also overlooking the panoramic terrace located at the end of via Belvedere. Without forgetting the possibility of taking advantage of one of the various fish restaurants present for an unforgettable dinner, based on the catch of the day, or for an aperitif overlooking the sea.
Also not to be missed is the path that starts from Manarola and leads through Volastra and a panorama made up of terraces of vineyards with dry stone walls, up to Corniglia.
For those who have the opportunity to be in this village on August 10, the advice is to participate in the celebrations in honor of Saint Lawrence, patron of Manarola. Every year on this date a truly suggestive procession takes place that through the old and new streets of the town. Including a stretch to be covered at sea, from Palaedo to the Marina.