This where you can catch the ferries that run between the five villages. Its also a popular place to congregate and you will find that most of the locals meet and greet with their friends by the harbor at the end of the working day. With the buildings and the ocean as as backdrop this is a nice place to spend a few hours.
Streets of Maranola
Much like the other villages in Cinque Terre the streets of Maranola are tight, narrow, and wind around the buildings with no specific pattern. And like the other villages every twist and turn offers something new to see and explore. Take the time in between hiking the trails to explore the streets of Maranola, it will be worth your while!
Soaking in the Sun
As you can see by the picture this is a popular place to sit on a warm stone bench and soak in the sunlight. The benches are located on the start of the path towards Corniglia. The benches face the harbor and offer a scenic view of Maranola. Grab a Coke, sit down, and relax with the locals!
The beach is located about 1/3 of the way down the trail to Corniglia, its located right below the train station. The beach itself is extremely rocky, but many of the rocks are smooth and were actually fairly comfortable to lay down on. Its one of the longer and widest beaches in Cinque Terre. Its also away from the villages so its a bit more secluded as well as many tourists don't even know its there.
Scenic Maranola Views
The best long range views of Maranola are from the trail towards Corniglia. Even if you don't plan on hiking the whole trail you can still catch some great views of the village by going about halfway down the path, roughly 10 to 15 minutes. This will give you full views of the village and the ocean, definitely worth seeing!
Enjoy the flora and fauna of Manarola
You will see many cats lazily sunning themselves, oblivious to what is going on around them. There are ducks floating blissfully in the crystal clear water and there are numerous insect photo ops from the high trail around Manarola - the one that goes to the north side of town.
Discover the charming details....
More than in the other four villages of the Cinque Terre I found Manarola to be especially charming! When strolling around town you will be able to discover lots of wonderful little details, like little madonna statues, lanterns, letterboxes or just decors - you might get an idea by looking at my photos!
Walk the small alleys and climb the steps!
What I enjoyed most about Manarola were those small alleys and staircases that leed you from one hidden gem to the next. There are fabulous lookouts, charming little houses or little piazze opening up when you turn around the next corner!
Ever since the 5th and 6th century, when Romans had conquered this region, there have been watermills recorded to be here. I do not know how old this specific mill is, but it sure is a landmark of Manarola.
These mills were used to grind grains and cereals and to press a certain amount of olive oil for private use only!
San Lorenzo Church
The Church of San Lorenzo was built in 1338, has a beautiful Gothic facade and wonderful pictures of unknown artists inside the church! It is a very impressive monument, indeed! The church is situated in the upper part of town.
Walking the Way of Love
When visiting Manarola or Riomaggiore, I insist that you take an afternoon to walk along the Via del'Amore (translated as the Way of Love). It's a beautiful footpath along the coastal cliffs between the two towns. I recommend setting off in late afternoon so you will arrive in Riomaggiore (or Manarola, depending on you point of departure) just after sunset.
If travelling from Manarola to Riomaggiore, there's a cool little bar that serves its own wine at very reasonable prices. This is a very romantic walk, and nothing celebrates having accomplished what you set out to do like a glass of wine that you've never tasted before.
Towards Riomaggiore there are great murals lining the walls of a tunnel through the cliffs. Great to stroll through.
We skipped off the trail for an evening swim. It was a great time, and I highly recommend it.Related to:
- Hiking and Walking
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
Hike and Picnic
The trail connecting the 5 villages is a pictureque walk along the coast and elevated enough to give spectacular views of the Ligurian Sea. We are not great hikers but did one day stop in the local grocer and pick up some cheese, olives, bread and beer for a picnic on the trail. Even though this was mid summer we almost had the place to ourselves and even found a carved bench in an inset area to relax and admire the view.Related to:
- Hiking and Walking
Enjoy the street art
This photo is actually from Riomaggiore. We walked the Via dell' Amore from Manarola and wandered the streets for a while. There were a number of small murals along the streets of Riomaggiore depicting it at various times in its history. This one is 1860. They really add to the enjoyment of this maze of pastel homes sort of hanging onto each other.
Walk the Via dell' Amore
These 5 villages are connected by a scenic trail along the coast so that you can hike the whole stretch if you so desire. Some parts are harder than others and hiking from one end to the other would probably take 5 or 6 hours. The views out onto the Med (actually Ligurian) Sea are spectacular. The only walk we took was from Manarola to Riomaggiore , a nice half hour stroll. It is called the Via dell' Amore and part of it runs above the train tracks as seen in the photo. The Via is at the top and the train gallery below. So take your amore and stroll this romantic passageway.Related to:
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
Manarola's Main Street
Manarola's main street is also the village's main attraction. The drag hosts many of Manarola's restaurants and shops, as well as a large crowd of tourists. Start at the village's small harbor, watching the waves crash over the breakwater, and ascend up the steep hill, absorbing the sights and sounds around you. Notice the brilliant blue fishing boats pulled up along the street side restaurants. Watch the older women call after mischievous children and hang laundry out on long lines under the bright green windows. Pick out your favorite flavor of gelato at the gelateria and climb to the small church at the top of the hill. From here, you can spy over the action below and capture a wonderful view of the entire village.
Very nice and extremely clean. This is a small hotel that has a little bar area in the lobby. You...more
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