Perched on the rock and overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea, Manarola is one of the smallest villages of the Cinque Terre. A small treasure that you absolutely must visit in Italy.
Built on a 70-meter high cliff, Manarola is one of the most beautiful villages in Liguria. The town is actually a fraction of the largest municipality of Riomaggiore and is the oldest inhabited center of the Cinque Terre.
Best thins to see and do in Manarola
What are the things not to be missed in Manarola? Below we have created a list of the things to see absolutely to fall madly in love with Manarola.
1.-. Via Belvedere
One of the most beautiful viewpoints to enjoy the view overlooking the sea and the small village of Manarola is via Belvedere. It can be reached from the lower part of the town, near the marina, from where the road climbs up to the small Eugenio Montale square, known as the “balcony overlooking the sea”. There is also a small park with a bar.
2.- Manarola Castle
Of the old castle of Manarola only a bastion remains which today is a private residence incorporated into the network of houses in the historic center. The perimeter of the ancient castle overlooking the sea can be guessed from the bell tower.
3.- Church of San Lorenzo
The church of San Lorenzo is located in Piazza Innocenzo IV and is the main church in all of Manarola. Built in Ligurian Gothic style with local sandstone, it is in the Baroque style inside. The bell tower of the church is separated from the structure and as well as a bell tower it served as a lookout to observe the sea and possible attacks by pirates. In fact, from the top of the bell tower the panorama is wide and magnificent.
4.- Manarola nativity scene
The so-called hill path runs through the largest nativity scene in the world, set up every year on the hill of Manarola. Mario Andreoli uses recycled materials and objects brought from the sea to give life to the over 300 giant figures that make up his luminous nativity scene which he works on throughout the year. The path can be visited with a guided tour accessible with the Cinque Terre Card.
5.- Blue Path (Sentiero Azzurro)
The Blue Trail is one of the most famous of the Cinque Terre because it unites all the villages of the Cinque Terre in an easy and super panoramic walk. In reality, the stretch of path that connects Manarola to Corniglia is currently closed to the public due to a landslide and is awaiting consolidation works that will allow it to reopen.
6.- Via dell’Amore
The Via dell’Amore is by far the most romantic and photogenic path in the Cinque Terre and Liguria. The path is very short and measures just under a km, or the 900 meters that separate Manarola from Riomaggiore passing along the cliff. After the 2012 incident, it was closed to the public but a recent project promises to reopen it by the spring of 2023.
7.- Beaches of Manarola
The beach of Manarola can be reached from the town center going down towards the marina. However, keep in mind that the cliff is very small and is one of the most besieged beaches by tourists in the summer season. In about 3 km of walking you reach the Corniglia beach and without too much difficulty the other beaches of the Cinque Terre. At the foot of each village, there is one, while here you will find all the most beautiful beaches of the Cinque Terre.
8.- Punta Bonfiglio
Another panoramic point to admire the village of Manarola, on which runs a walkway built by the Manarolese that connects the Marina with the Palaedo port. The characteristic of this place is the poem “Liguria” by Vincenzo Cardarelli written on a wall. Also, there is a very sacred place to the citizens of Manarola, which is the small cemetery of the town.
Walking tour around Manarola
Don’t miss our walking tour in 4k around Manarola, summertime. Perfect to organize your visit to Manarola, see by yourself the most beautiful attractions to visit in this small village of Liguria.
How to get to Manarola
Manarola can be reached by car. The main road leading to the village has parking facilities which become very limited in the height of summer. The most convenient solution is the train that travels every half hour from Levante to Ponente. The Cinque Terre Express which runs every 15 minutes operates from March to November.
A ferry service navigates the Quattro Terre (Corniglia is excluded due to its raised position) and connects the various villages, including Portovenere which is not part of the Cinque Terre National Park but is certainly worth a visit.