Exploring Manarola

Our last full day in the Cinque Terre started off cloudy and grey. We dressed accordingly anticipating rain as per the forecast. A quick train ride to Manarola emerging blinking from the railway station the clouds cleared, the sun came out and the temperatures soared. Note to self –  treat weather forecasts with caution, dress with removable layers and always bring hats. Lesson learned here the hard way. Still, Manarola, yet another place that is quainter than quaint and a bit different to the others – it was bursting with boats. Covered boats of all kinds just stored all along the main street – I loved it.

05.27.004 - Manarola

05.27.007 - Manarola

The buildings here seemed to be just a bit taller and the streets just a bit steeper than the other hamlets. The whole place almost leans into the sea and the rainbow houses cling to the steep, black cliffs. It is bordered on three sides by a terraced hillside – simply stunning.

05.27.014 - Manarola

We strolled down past all those boats to the harbour, it took a while as Son insisted on peeking inside each one. A path led around the cliff so we took it as far as we could go (not so far). The waves were crashing onto the black rocks below and more great views back to the town – we were in no rush to move. Even our energetic ten year old was happy to hang around here watching the waves. The trail to the next village looked flat and easy, we didn’t get to confirm this – it was closed, yes another landslide.

05.27.009 - Manarola

05.27.010 - Manarola

05.27.012 - Manarola

05.27.016 - Manarola

05.27.020 - Manarola

Back in the village, a bit like the Grand Old Duke of York we marched to the top of the hill and then marched back down again. This place is full of great looking little restaurants, we picked a tiny place with tables below street level and feasted on bruschetta with pesto and tomatoes. How can everything in Italy be so amazingly delicious – even the simplest of dishes are flavour packed. Son was in seventh heaven – next door was a place selling crepes with Nutella – his idea of a feast.

05.27.023 - Manarola

05.27.024 - Manarola

05.27.026 - Manarola

05.27.028 - Manarola

05.27.029 - Manarola

We decided to walk the Via del Amore – the most famous, paved and easy Cinque Terre hike – but no luck there – the gates to the path were well and truly closed.

05.27.030 - Manarola

05.27.033 - Via del Amore

So, past the love locks and back to the train – a railway station with a view – and then on to Riomaggiore – our last (and my favourite) Cinque Terre village.

05.27.034 - Via del amore

05.27.031 - Manarola

44 thoughts on “Exploring Manarola

  1. Gorgeous photos! We missed this coast when we were in Italy, but on our next visit we will be sure to do some touring around Cinque Terre. What a lovely destination for a family holiday, it looks like there was lots to do and see 🙂

  2. Those coastal towns in Italy are just breathtaking both aesthetically and as feats of engineering. I’ve not visited this area but there were towns clinging to steep shoreline all along the Amalfi coast that have me the same impression. Thanks for the informative and interesting posts and the gorgeous photos.

    • You just wonder how those houses have managed to cling to the rock faces! Never been to Amalfi (would love to visit), having appreciated the beauty in the Cinque Terre we are determined to get there sooner rather than later!

      • Well if you do go along the Amalfi Coast, don’t drive. Take a boat. We drove – with a flat true to boot – and I’ve still not recovered from the trauma. It’s nerve-wracking. The second time we took a boat and even though I was sick the entire time and had my head over the side (sea sickness plus chronic morning sickness – nice for all the other travellers) it was still preferable to driving. As you point out, the people who live there are used to life on a precipice. I prefer security and roads wide enough for all tyres to be making contact.

    • A lot of the paths were closed during our visit – we only got to do one real hike – we were disappointed about this too. Manarola was stunning, I just loved the views back towards the village from the cliffs.

  3. What gorgeous photos. I really enjoyed your description of your experience, it really brought the photos to life. I would love to take a family holiday to that part of Italy. Although, like one of he other comments, after our short experience of driving on the roads near Lake Como (mountains+narrow roads+cyclists…), I don’t think we’ll be taking a road trip. (;

    • Definitely recommend this region if you do go back to Italy. Know what you mean about those roads though – not my cup of tea!! We didn’t drive at all here, we travelled everywhere by train and it worked really well, always on time plus very cheap and no hair pin bends!!

      • They are all gorgeous! The only one I can say I was disappointed by would have to be Corniglia. If you had a boat handy and approached it from the water then I think it would have a lot more charm. The puzzle of small alley streets and accessible roof tops was also lovely and different, but that was honestly it for me. I didn’t stick around there much after that, preferred the others much more!

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