Manarola is the oldest and second smallest of the five lands that make up the Cinque Terre on the Liguria coast. The name of Manarola likely evolved from the Latin term for a large mill wheel that is located in the centre of town, ‘magna rota’.
The village dates back at least to 1338, the year inscribed on the local church, San Lorenzo that bears the local bell tower.
Manarola is also home to the Oratorio dei Disciplinati (‘Oratory of the Disciplined’).
Traditionally life in Manarola revolved around fishing and the production of the local wine called Sciacchetrà. Produced from grapes cultivated on vines grown on the sheer cliffs overlooking the sea, this local wine was well received even as far back as the Roman times.
Above the town, there are many popular trekking paths. The Via dell’Amore (“Trail of Love”) hiking trail connects Manarola with the next village along, Riomaggiore.
Besides Manarola and Riomaggiore, the other towns that comprise the Cinque Terre are Corniglia, Vernazza and Monterosso. They are connected by a local train or, when the seas are calm enough, a local boat.