today i will show you a very nice place in Italy. I have already told you in my last post about Vernazza. There I have made a vacation a week ago with a friend. Vernazza is one of five fishing villages in the Cinque Terre. From Vernazza we have also visited the four other fishing villages. This went very well by train, you really do not need a car. The train station is quite central in vernazza (which is no mean feat, because Vernazza is a very small village with about 1000 inhabitants). The train takes about five minutes, then you are already at the next station. The trains are a bit older than the trains in Germany, but there is not a very big difference. The ticket costs 4 euros for a train ride within the five-village region. If you want to see all the different villages in one day (which we did), then it is recommended to buy a day ticket for 16 euros.
The idea to visit all five (except Vernazza four) villages in one day, may sound very sporty at first, but is quite feasible.
This is mainly due to the fact that all villages are relatively small in size and there is usually only one large main mile. At this you can usually go left and right into small alleys that quickly go uphill.
From Vernazza you go south along the coast via Corniglia to Manarola. The trip takes about ten minutes. By the way, this route is also good for walking. During the approach there are also tunnel sections again and again. The tunnel then leads under the rocks. Such a tunnel entrance can also be found in Vernazza.
Manarola - a similar structure of houses as in Vernazza
But now to Manarola:
Manarola resembles Vernazza as I find the structure and design of the houses very much. After Vernazza it was definitely the most beautiful of the five villages!
It has the same pastel colored houses, maybe a little brighter, than Vernazza. It also has many small alleys and a harbor for fishing boats. To get to the center of Manarola you have to go through a tunnel. This was a bit daunting for me at the beginning. It is relatively dark with yellow light and looks rather uninviting. But don't let that put you off. The tunnel is about 100 meters long I guess. At the end of the tunnel is more or less the entrance to the village. Here you are directly greeted by bars, cafes and restaurant. A little tip: In Manarola there is a very tasty ice cream parlor, it is called Sterre. There you can also get Sorbee. Here there is super delicious ice cream with an edible spoon and a wafer that is covered from the inside with a chocolate layer. For two scoops you pay here 3.50 €.
You can also see a photo of the ice cream and the ice cream parlor in my post here :) I recommend you try the variety dark chocolate times.
If you go left from the tunnel exit, you will pass a sign with a green frame on the right. There the village of Manarola is once again illustrated on a map. This may help one or the other to find their way :) If you go further, there is a square directly in front of you, which you can reach via a small staircase. At the stairs there is a fountain made of stone with a sculpture. The sculpture is white marble and features an upside down serpent and a human head.
What i think is very interesting: Manarola is the second smallest of the famous Cinque Terre towns frequented by tourists, Italy. I didnt expect that! Its so beautiful here. But to be honest, even in Manarola are lots of tourists. But its is a fraction of Riomaggiore, another town of the five.
In Manarola you can find a church too, which we didnt visit. Because of that, many think Manarola is the oldest of the Cinque Terre towns. The church is fom 1338.
A village with a great cliff landscape - perfect for cliff jumping
The valley of Manarola is relatively narrow. If you go down the main street, which, as in Vernazza, is somewhat steep, you will find yourself in front of a smaller main square. In front of it is the open sea. If you go closer to the railing, you can see some cliffs below: This was what fascinated me a lot about Manarola: Although there is no sandy beach here, not like for example in Monterosso (where there is a lot of sand), but here there are tilts that form some bays. It looks here almost like a small swimming pool with pools that nature has formed here. But be careful, the current here is stronger than it looks at first sight, if you go swimming, you should not get too close to the rocks. Stairs lead into the sea. From the place above you can see many cliff jumpers. The highest cliff from which you can jump is about ten meters high, I guess. Again, you have to be careful where you jump because there are rocks under the water as well.
A place for artists
If you take a narrow path to the right along the cliff at the square, you get a great view of the village of Manarola. It is I would say the most beautiful spot to take pictures in Manarola. The upper pictures, on which I can be seen in front of the village of Manarola, at the site, were taken here.
You can see the great house facades as well as the sea and the cliffs. From here you can also see well that the locals have cleverly used every meter to put the houses above and next to each other. The small alleys here are also all very intricate, just like in Vernazza. The similarity is unmistakable. Staircase alleys lead up the slopes from the main street to the left and right.
Manarola was also for a long time a painter's place. Many famous artists have worked from here, such as Renato Birolli, one of the important Italian painters of the 20th century. And what a backdrop they had :)
A little tip: Make sure you go around the bend of this longer path, because there you can see where the train continues along. Here you have a great view of the open sea and rocks without a village. There is also less crowding here than on the path before the bend. There is also a viewing platform here and you can get from here with another smaller staircase to another viewing platform and a restaurant. Here you are as far up as possible.
I hope you enjoyed the post. I had a lot of fun writing it, especially because Manarola was one of the villages I liked the most.
A little tip: If you prefer the beach, Manarola is probably not the right place for you. The village is characterized by rocks and you can lie in the sun only in a relatively small place directly on the rocks and on a stone slab that goes relatively steeply down. One advantage, however, is that the rocks offer a lot of space until midday and, unlike Monterosso, you don't have to pay any fees for a mooring here.
I definitely liked Manarola better. What do you say? Have you ever been to the Cinque Terre, and if so, maybe to Manarola? What did you like best in the village?
Feel free to leave me your feedback.
See you next time!