“Ecco scogliere nude, che dànno un marmo nero e giallo, il portoro, tra cui si abbarbica la vigna; poi la vigna si stende, e copre interamente il fondo roccioso con fusti bassi per difendere i pampini dal vento robusto del mare.” (Guido Piovene)
Even if Manarola has more ancient origins, its area belongs to the municipaly of Riomaggiore, its houses are partially built on a pictoresque spur, touched by the fresh sea, its economy is based on the production of wine and olive oil.
According to some academics the name Manarola, comes from a temple devoted to the gods Mani, while others are convinced that it might mention the structure of water windmills, typical of this area.
The fishermen village par excellence in the Cinque Terre is Manarola, surrounded by a natural barrier of cliffs overlooking the sea, it is an ideal place for landscape lovers or for people who love loneliness and quiet, but nothing prevents you from sitting on the pier for an energising siesta.
The shape of the village reminds us of a fan, developed in front of the main street, with colourful tower-houses, the Gothic church of Saint Lorenzo, with a particular concrete pyramid that stands out from the roofs of the houses.
Brave hikers should be informed that above Manarola, far from the beach but where you will still able to smell the scent of the sea, there are two charming hamlets, Groppo and Volastra, here the tradition for fish dishes is still strong.
Volastra is at 300 metres above the sea level and develops on a round area that reminds ancient middle age walls, surrounded by wonderful olive groves.
Both villages are part of the municipality of Riomaggiore.
Groppo is located halfway between Manarola and Volastra, both villages can be reached on foot through the ancient paths or using the daily regular shuttle bus service.
The bus connects Manarola and Volastra in about ten minutes.