The village of Manarola has ancient origins, prior to those of Riomaggiore. Some scholars assume that Manarola (as well as Corniglia) has roman origins; other sources suppose that it was founded by inhabitants of Volastra in the 12th century.
This village has the same characteristics typical of Cinque Terre; at the end of the village it is possible to find a small port, located between two rocky spurs, that links Manarola with the other Cinque Terre villages and La Spezia. Cinque Terre can be reached not only by ferry but also by train. Trains run quite often from Manarola and they need less than 10 minutes to reach the Central station of La Spezia, which is just 5 minutes by walk from The Poet hotel.
There are numerous paths linking Manarola to the other villages and to the surrounding area, perfect for active tourism lovers. Moving upwards, it is possible to reach the villages of Groppo and Volastra.
Groppo is a destination not to be missed for those who love wine. Here, there is the Cantina delle Cinque Terre (Cinque terre wine cellar) where it is possible to taste and buy the well-known Sciacchetrà (grappa from Cinque Terre) and many other typical products.
Volastra is located 240 meters altitude along the Shrines road, where it is possible to visit the Nostra Signora della Salute shrine, built around the 10th century in Romanic style.
In Manarola, there is the San Lorenzo church located around a square upstream of the village. It was built in the 14th century in Ligurian-gothic style with a basilical shape and three aisles. In the same square it is possible to find the 14th century oratory of “Disciplinanti della SS. Annunziata” (also called “degli Azzurri”).
In winter, during Christmas time, it is worth to visit Manarola where you can admire the illuminated nativity scene, one of the most beautiful around Italy. It is made up of 300 life-sized characters built with recycled materials. After sunset, the lights located along the Tre Croci hill create an amazing and breathtaking atmosphere.