If you are coming from La Spezia, Manarola is the second village of the Cinque Terre that you meet. It can be easily recognized because of its setting, with dozens of lovely small houses clinging to the cliff that descends to the sea. Thanks to this, panoramic pictures of Manarola are often used on the covers of guide books to the Cinque Terre. The setting of this village is indeed quite unique.
The beauty of Manarola sitting on the rocks has also been entered in the Guinness Book of Records, and it distinguishes itself from the other villages because of its “age”: it is the most ancient of the Cinque Terre villages. We must also mention the “dark cliff” (scogliera buia), a particular stretch of coast that is always in shadow, as the peaks of the mountains loom over it, even at midday...
Unfortunately there are practically no beaches here. But not many people will want to spend time at the beach, considering that the Path of Love (Sentiero dell’Amore), famous throughout the Cinque Terre, starts from Manarola and not far away there is a wine cellar in one of the vineyards.
Places of interest in Manarola
Open this page from your mobile phone and you can start the navigator for any point of interest or monument described here.
The Manarola – Corniglia trail runs at the foot of the cliffs. It is usually closed for landslides during the rainy season, but you can still walk along it for the first 200 meters. It is from here, in fact, that tourists go to take memorable photos with Manarola as a background. It is also a place where you can simply sit on the benches and admire the sea and the coastline as far as Punta Mesco beyond Monterosso. You can also climb up a small hill, right at the beginning of the trail. There is a play area for children here and you can find a little refreshment in the shade as you admire the view over Manarola.
It is better to go there in the afternoon if you want to take photos, so you are not taking pictures against the light.
The church of San Lorenzo
If you walk along the main street of Manarola from the sea for 400 meters, you will arrive at the main square with the Church of San Lorenzo, an expression of the Gothic and Baroque styles. The church was built in 1338 in honor of San Lorenzo the martyr, who is depicted in the painting that decorates the window above the entry. The church is located in a panoramic area with a good view of Manarola. The long route to Riomaggiore starts here.
The Nativity Scene (Presepe) – only during winter
The Nativity Scene is a work depicting the birth of Christ and is renowned throughout Italy. Every year, in addition to Christmas trees and decorations that light up the houses, Manarola prepares the setting of Christ’s birth with statues of the Nativity Scene, considered to be the largest in the world, and which have also entered the Guinness Book of Records. The project of this Christmas Crib was developed and realized over 30 years by Mario Andreoli. The Nativity scene is opened in great pomp on the day of the Immaculate Conception on December 8. It closes on different days, usually January 31 or the beginning of February. Further information can be found on the page “The winter Nativity Scene in Manarola”.
Groppo and Volastra
These are little hamlets not far from Manarola. Groppo is famous for its wine cellars and you can taste different types of wine and buy some bottles here, while the Sanctuary of Nostra Signora della Salute is found in Volastra. It is a characteristic sanctuary of the Cinque Terre of Romanesque origin and dates back to the X century. A painting of the Madonna from the XVIII century is conserved on the walls of this shrine. Both localities can be reached by bus from Manarola.
Map of the places to visit and the trails of Manarola
Pedestrian routes near Manarola
The walking trails that pass through the small villages around Manarola are very popular with tourists. This is where we find the most popular trail of the Cinque Terre, the Path of Love (Via dell’Amore). More information about the more popular routes on the page “Trails and routes”.
Manarola - Riomaggiore (Via dell'Amore)
The current condition of the route: closed for a long period. Reason: reconstruction work. It should fully open from April 2019. More info: only the first 200 meters (650 ft) are open (from the Manarola side).
The famous Path of Love is the shortest and easiest of all the trails in the Cinque Terre national park. The track goes through the valley and has no steep descents or ascents; there are elevators for use by disabled persons.
Manarola - Riomaggiore (long route)
The current condition of the route: Open.
A longer trail to get to the village that passes through the top of the mountains. Since the villages are very close to one another, be ready to tackle a steep climb near Manarola.
Manarola - Corniglia (short route)
The current condition of the route: closed for a long period. Reason: landslides and instability of the terrain. The opening date is currently unknown (it won’t be in the coming years). More info: only the first 300 meters (950 ft) are open (from the Manarola side).
The short route has often been closed in the last ten years. This is because the trail extends across the peaks and landslides fall from the steep hills, destroying all the bridges which have been built.
Manarola - Corniglia (long route)
The current condition of the route: Open.
The long route to Corniglia is very popular. The trail crosses Volastra and if you change the route a little, you can also take a look at Groppo, where you can taste and buy wine.
The trail for Volastra goes uphill rapidly (1200 steps). If you do not want to tackle the difficult ascent you can always take the bus. More information on the page “How to get around”.
To walk the short trails connecting all five villages of the Cinque Terre you will need to purchase the “Cinque Terre Card”. It is also a good idea to check the conditions of the trails in advance, as some of them could be closed due to the weather conditions and other reasons (more information on the page “Conditions of trails and map”).
* Kcal - more information on the consumption of calories and the complexity of the various trails can be found in the section “Walking trails”.
Recommended hotels in Manarola
Despite the high demand from tourists, Manarola does not offer a great selection of hotels. Its geographical location does not allow the construction of tall buildings. To search for a hotel or room you can use this tool. Taking into account the comments and discounts available at the moment, we advise you to pay particular attention to these three hotels:
Ca' de Gianchi
The Ca' de Gianchi apartments are located in the center of Manarola. The rooms offer a view to the main street of the village with flowering jasmine just below the windows. Some rooms have a balcony from which you can enjoy the sunrises and sunsets. There are restaurants and shops nearby and, not far away, a pharmacy and a bank.
The holiday home Giovanni Rooms is located above the main street of Manarola in a quiet corner. At the cost of having to climb many steps, you can enjoy the view from the rooms to the local vineyards, the sea and the whole village: it’s worth it. The apartments are not far from the shore and from the main square with the Church.
The Arpaiu apartments are located right on the seafront in a quiet area, with a magnificent view of the coast of the Cinque Terre National Park and the port of Manarola. This building sits on the ruins of a medieval castle. It has a terrace and rooms with sea view.
On this page you can read visitor comments on all the hotels and compare them. In addition, you should consult:
Low-cost hotels in Manarola.
Romantic hotels in Manarola.
Luxury hotels in Manarola.
Use a filter to search for a hotel in Manarola.
Parking in Manarola
At the entrance to the village you will find an outdoor parking area for 80 cars (marked on the map). During the summer holidays this parking is always full. To find availability there, you need to arrive early in the morning. More information on the page “Visiting by car”.
Price: 2.50 euro/h.