Manarola is just after Riomaggiore and is the second village of Cinque Terre. It is less known than Riomaggiore and more protected by nature, since is surrounded by high cliffs. Manarola is set on the steep slopes, enclosed by rocks that embrace it as if it were a precious pearl inside its shell.Manarola, like the other villages, features brightly coloured, narrow houses, tower-looking buildings, that border vineyards and stretch along the main village street. From here very narrow country roads paved with stone lead to the houses and to places from where you can admire a breath-taking view of the sea, and where you can find cosy and friendly restaurants and enjoy the typical Italian “aperitivo”.Other streets lead to private vineyards for the production of typical wines, including Sciacchetrà (renown local wine). Following other narrow lanes, you can find nice elderly ladies preparing anchovies to be preserved in the typical local way -stored in “arbanelle” (glass containers) with a lot of salt so they last up to three years. You can also get to the paths that lead to Corniglia (the third village of Cinque Terre), Volastra and the other villages. Manarola suddenly appears at the end of the railway tunnel, offering an impressive sight. Here you can also find the offices of the National Park of Cinque Terre.
Even during the winter, at Christmas time, the village offers a memorable show with its nativity scene that is lit up in the dark, on the hill called Tre Croci (‘three crosses’) among vineyards and olive trees. It is one of the biggest in the world and there are organized excursions to get there on foot.