That feeling you get when you find yourself in a postcard, that's the feeling when you finally arrive in Manarola, Italy. Located in north west Italy on the Mediterranean coast in Cinque Terre not far from La Spezia.
Cinque Terre literally means ‘Five Lands’ and is made up of five towns each with its own personality and charm. Manarola is the second smallest but perhaps the more well known of the five towns. Chances are that you have seen one of the most famous travel photo in one or more travel advertising; the view of Manarola. Here is my version of the famous shot from the Cimitero di Manarola and it is as spectacular as it looks. This view is not the only view that will take your breath away. No matter where you stand to take a photo in Manarola, it will be one of your most memorable shots.
Manarola shares a unique quality with Venice in that even the rivers of tourists that eb and flow in its streets do not diminish the beauty you see there. Along the main streets leading to the small marina you will find tempting ristorantes and bars that offer open air seating where you can become part of the scenery for an hour or two as the world wanders past you.
Tourist season is, of course, the most crowded time but in early September the crowds thin yet the temperature is still mild enough to even take a dive off the cliffs at the marina or just take a brave dip into the cool Mediterranean water and take some sun on the rocks near the boat ramp.
Manarola and all the other villages in Cinque Terre are accessed best by train from Genoa, Bologna, Pisa or Florence making this an excellent day trip from any of those Italian gems. But it is well worth spending a day or more in a local Airbnb or hotel. From Spezia all five villages are a short 15 minute train ride.