September 2018 – Manarola was the fourth village of the Cinque Terre that we saw from the sea. Along with Vernazza,they are both registered as among the most beautiful small villages of Italy. So they are both going to be explored on the way back when we catch the train. Manarola was first mentioned in 1261. Believed to have been founded by the inhabitants of Volastra, a village that existed already in Roman times. Volastra is located above Manarola, on top of the hill, and in Roman times travellers used to change horses here. The residents of Volastra farmed the surrounding terraces, planted olive, lemon and chestnut trees, as well as vines, then in the 12th century part of the population moved down to the sea and founded the village of Manarola. The name has a Roman origin: it comes from a name of an altar dedicated to the Mani Gods, “manium arula”. Other sources say that it derives from the words “magna roea”, which means “a big mill wheel”.
The little cruse boat didn’t stop at Manarola and we carried on to the last village……to continue.