Manarola – Cinque Terre

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Manarola (Manaèa in ligure), ancient village in the East Ligurian Riviera, is a hamlet of the town of Riomaggiore, in the province of La Spezia, and is one of Terre cosiddetteCinque.


Manarola, Cinque Terre as well as other, is sandwiched between the Ligurian Sea and the steep mountain range that separates the Apennines at the Zatta and down in the south-east by the watershed between the Vara Valley and the coastal area. The village lies in the final stretch of the river valley Groppo. The colorful houses, constituted by the Genoese towers tipichecase, face close to each other on a main street, this Via Discovolo obtained from the coverage of the watercourse. The country then climbs on a rocky spur that juts out over the sea, resulting in a tangle of narrow alleyways, which run parallel across multiple intermediate levels connected by stairs irregular slate. To the northwest of Manarola we find three other villages of the Cinque Terre, ie Monterosso, Cornigliae Vernazza, while to the south-east is Riomaggiore. Among the five boroughs is the smallest dopoCorniglia.


Manarola was created by the displacement of populations from the Val di Vara and the establishment of Roman Volastra move towards the sea to exploit its resources. Its name derives, perhaps, from the Latin Manium arula, which means “small temple dedicated to Mani”, but the etymology is still very uncertain.


Religious Architecture

Above the settlement meets the main square of Manarola, around which rise the Oratory of the Disciplined, the bell tower and the church of San Lorenzo, built in the Gothic style and dates back to 1338. The facade of the church, local sandstone, is characterized by a fine rose window.

Military architecture

The Castle, time a defensive bulwark against pirate raids, around which was built at the heart of the country, over the centuries has been transformed into a private home, but is still well recognized by its rounded stone structure. The access door is visible in Via the Bulwark.


In a privileged location to admire the magnificent structure of the village is Punta Bonfiglio, which is crossed by a walkway built opened in Manarola 1968, that allows you to connect the Marina with the port of Palaedo. On the top of Punta Bonfiglio is the small town cemetery. Etched on the facade are the final lines of the poem Liguria Vincenzo Cardarelli:

« Or open to the winds and to the waves
Ligurian cemeteries!
A pink color will sadly
When the evening, similar to a flower
rotting, the great lucesi goes decaying and dying. »

Very impressive is also the last part of Via Belvedere which is a real balcony overlooking the sea, ending in a scenic square dedicated to Eugenio Montale, plaque which shows the first lines of the poem Riviere:

« Riviere,
just a few stalks of erbaspada
hanging by a ciglionesul delirium sea. »

Manarola is equipped with a small hoist, especially useful for lowering and hoisting boats in water, which are neatly arranged along Via Birolli, the main road near the Marina.

If the square of the church was already covered in the 1863, but the 1950 the creek that runs through the village was completely uncovered. In place of the existing main street today, eleven stone bridges allow the transit across the country. From 1950 al1970, starting with the Marina the stream was gradually covered in many places, the last of which (the bend of the river to the church square) years 1977-1978.



From 1961, over the Christmas period, on the hill overlooking the village is served suggestive presepeluminoso (the largest in the world), whose characters, handcrafted by Mario Andreoli, retired railroad worker, consist of thousands and thousands of lights mounted on special patterns that give the performance a unique charm to the world. In addition to the famous crib, in the period diPasqua, Mario Andreoli realized on the same hill a Via Crucis light. Instead, for the Feast of St. Lawrence is illuminated with a representation of the famous holy grill.

Fixed, fairs and festivals

The 10 August is held every year Feast of St. Lawrence, the town's patron saint. The evening will be held a procession through the streets of the country, culminating with the transfer of the sedan with the statue of the saint on a boat, which, starting from the landing Palaedo, returns to Marina. From here the procession that takes, climbing to Serravalle, ends at the church of San Lorenzo.


Transport and communications

Roads and highways

You have to exit at La Spezia-Santo Stefano Magraon the Autobahn A12 or A15. Crossing the city of La Spezia, you must take on the provincial 32 (State already 370) this Coast of the Cinque Terre. After about twenty minutes, past the third gallery, Suddenly the road turns right and goes down to the village of Manarola. However, note that the last stretch of road to the village, beyond the barrier, parking is for residents only. There is also a paid parking.

It is active then an electric bus service operated by the National Park of the Cinque Terre which are shuttled from the town of Manarola at the bar of delimitation of the section reserved for the parking of residents. Electric buses also ensure the connection with Groppo and Volastra.


The Manarola Train Station is located on the Tyrrhenian line Genoa-Rome. For long-distance trains is the reference station La Spezia Centrale; From here you can also take regional trains in the direction of Genoa: Manarola is the second stop, after Riomaggiore. In the nearby stops of Riomaggiore and Monterosso, finally, Some trains also stop at medium-distance inter-.

Shipping lines

In the tourist season a ferry service line connects Manarola with the other villages of the Cinque Terre, except Corniglia that does not have a landing point. From Cinque Terre leave also ferries to Porto Venere, in turn connected with the Spezia and Lerici.


Manarola is accessible through two main paths, both marked by the CAI sezionespezzina.

The first number is the ridge trail 1, known as the Cinque Terre Haute via. This ancient trail runs along the watershed that separates the coast of the Cinque Terre from the Val di Vara and is a sub-branch of the High Way of the Ligurian Mountains, to which it connects at the Zatta.
To reach the village from the ridge trail is necessary to take one of the following paths cross: path 6 with Monte Marvede, Trail 6 / a Capri or trail at Mount 02 with Monte Galera.

The second path is the main coastal route number 2, part of a larger itinerary that crosses the entire Riviera and is known as blue path, which runs through all the Cinque Terre from Monterosso to Riomaggiore, assuming the latter in the stretch between Manarola and the appearance of the famous Way of Love.

Unlike that of the ridge, the coastal path is, however, subject to payment of an entrance fee imposed by the National Park of Cinque Terre.


Manarola is known – as well as the famous (and sought) typical wine Sciachetrà – Lavia for love, a path that connects the city to the nearby Riomaggiore and that was excavated in the rock, above the sea, between 1926 and the 1928. Closed for a long time in the nineties, The walk has been reopened in recent years after a careful restoration.

So Manarola has been described by the writer Paola Gaione in a book dedicated alleCinque Terre:

« The “Way of love” is more than a path: is the symbol of the Cinque Terre and the life he spent there. From ephemeral holidays, all swims, sun and wander the vineyards, olive and lemon groves, desired by tourists from around the world, the daily lives of people who are used to the hard work of living. »