Manarola, the most colorful little town in the world in Liguria, Italy

Manarola, the most colorful little town in the world in Liguria, Italy

Manarola is the penultimate town that makes up the Cinque Terre walking from North to South, after having known Monterosso, Vernazza and Corniglia; just before reaching Riomaggiore.

What characterizes Manarola?

Its liveliness, its fantastic restaurants and its architectural beauty,
so many colorful houses nestled in the stone, that the poet Lino Crovara describes very well as «A beehive on the rock, a nest of seagulls high above the waves, a town where the slight whisper of the waves caresses the attentive ears of the soul» .

Words that really touch our senses when we meet there.

What is there to see in Manarola?

The only answer I could give you is: «See Manarola itself» because its main attraction is its streets, getting lost walking among its colorful alleys is very pleasant and relaxing, besides that they are not very difficult to walk, within everyone’s reach.

The town contains a main street, called “Via di Mezzo” (or middle road) where you will find numerous restaurants, bars and shops of local artisans and artists where they sell and display beautiful objects as colorful and friendly as the town itself.

Something that you cannot miss in Manarola is eating a typical «Focaccia» ligure: it is a soft and fluffy bread, made with spices and olive oil, which in the «La Cambusa» focacceria located on Via di Mezzo they do it wonderfully.

I assure you that you will eat more than one, and the taste will be remembered forever.

Main attractions to see in Manarola

The Church of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary or of San Lorenzo

The Parish Church of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary is commonly known as the Church of San Lorenzo, the patron saint of Manarola, which is celebrated every August 10.

The building dates from 1338, as indicated by the plaque on the right side of the facade, and is a work in the Ligurian Gothic style of the Antelami Masters.

The facade has a portal with a pointed arch and a lunette with a bas-relief representing the martyrdom of Saint Lawrence. The rosette is decorated with twelve columns with leafy capitals and an outer crown adorned with human heads and lionesses.

The work is attributed to the authors of the rose window of San Pietro in Corniglia. The 14th century bell tower, with a square plan, separated from the church, was obtained from an old watchtower.

The interior of the Church of San Lorenzo is presented with three naves, in Baroque style. In the main altar there is a triptych from the 14th century that represents the Virgin with the Child and Saints Lorenzo and Caterina, in the left nave a triptych with a gold background, which belongs to the church of Volastra, which in the central compartment , is from San Lorenzo and on the side panels, Santos Domingo and Juan el Bautista. Both works are attributed to the Maestro delle Cinque Terre.

The Tower / Bastion of Manarola

Manarola castle has completely disappeared, except for some remains of a bastion, probably from times before the 13th century.

The ruins are incorporated into the walls that support the houses that face the cliff towards the sea. It is a very suggestive view of the small port and it blends in very well with the beauties of the place.

Manarola Beach

They can bathe in Manarola near the port, easily accessible from the train station. In the area known as “Marina di Manarola”. Due to the limited space available, during the summer it is usually quite difficult to find a place.

The entire beach is practically composed of rocks with a very beautiful deep blue. If you want a wider beach, it is possible to reach Corniglia beach after a 3 km walk, considered one of the most beautiful beaches in Cinque Terre.

Where to sleep in Manarola

Manarola is a small town that offers few accommodation options relatively to other larger cities, also during the summer it is easy to find rooms or rental houses.

Sleeping in Manarola is one of the best experiences you can do in Cinque Terre, it is a quiet town where the beauties of the sea reign, good restaurants, rooms with panoramic views and the peace that reigns when the tourists of the day leave the town.

At present, the place is listed as a World Heritage Site, and since 1998 it has become a National Park and Marine Protected Area.

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