a long weekend in Cinque Terre - part 3

Monday, October 20, 2014

Ahhh Cinque Terre - my favourite place in Italy, and in Europe. I've said it once and I'll say it again - this is the most visually beautiful spot I've visited in the world.

If you haven't seen my previous posts do check out a long weekend in Cinque Terre - part 1 and a long weekend in Cinque Terre - part 2. Today I want to finish off this small series by telling you about my favourite of the five small villages that make up Cinque Terre - beautiful Manarola.

Manarola, Cinque Terre - Italy
Manarola, Cinque Terre - Italy

Manarola is the second smallest of the five Cinque Terre towns and survives off three primary industries - fishing, wine making and of course tourism. Built on the rocks, Manarola's bright multicoloured houses stand out in contrast against the sky and ocean, and take your breath away on first view.

To get the best views of this beautiful town we climbed up through the vineyards in the hills behind it, pausing every other second to take yet another photo...

Looking towards Manarola with the ocean breeze behind us - Cinque Terre, Italy
looking towards Manarola with the ocean breeze behind us - Cinque Terre, Italy

Exploring the hillside paths surrounding Manarola - Cinque Terre, Italy
exploring the hillside paths surrounding Manarola - Cinque Terre, Italy

There's lots of lovely little paths to follow in the hills and you could spend many hours here happily strolling, climbing, enjoying lunch with a view and of course giving your camera a work out.

Looking back towards the ocean - Manarola - Cinque Terre, Italy
looking back towards the ocean - Manarola - Cinque Terre, Italy

Enjoying the warm Spring weather - Manarola - Cinque Terre, Italy

Spring was a lovely time to visit as the hills were blooming with wild flowers, making the view even more picturesque. 

Looking back towards the ocean - Manarola - Cinque Terre, Italy

Manarola - Cinque Terre, Italy

After a few hours of looking at Manarola from a distance we decided to descend into the town and headed along the promenade to the sparkling harbour front...

Manarola - Cinque Terre, Italy

Manarola - Cinque Terre, Italy

...we followed our noses (and stomachs) on the hunt for a seafood themed lunch and were rewarded with homemade fresh pasta...

Lunch - Manarola - Cinque Terre, Italy
lunch - Manarola - Cinque Terre, Italy

One Christmas I hope to re-visit Manarola. In the holiday season the hillside overlooking the town is turned into a giant nativity scene, with more than three hundred characters lit up by lights. Apparently it's quite easy to rent rooms with a view of the nativity in December and January - so if this sounds of interest start planning now.

Manarola's permanent nativity scene overlooking the town ready to be lit up next Christmas
Manarola's permanent nativity scene overlooking the town 
ready to be lit up next Christmas

After lunch we decided to carry on up the hillside to the small village of Groppo - famous for its wine. This was a longer and much more tiring walk - but we persevered with wine on our minds...

The view walking up to Groppo - Cinque Terre
the view walking up to Groppo - Cinque Terre

The view walking up to Groppo - Cinque Terre

Groppo is a very small village, and from what we cold tell and there was just a single place for wine tasting, that had wines from several vineyards in the area. For a small price we were treated to six different wines, snacks and a informative chat.

Wine tasting in Groppo - Cinque Terre
wine tasting in Groppo - Cinque Terre

Warm from the sun and jolly from the wine we headed home happy.

If you've never visited Cinque Terre I can't praise this area of the world enough. Furiously busy during summer I recommend visiting in the months of April, May, September or October when it's still warm but so much quieter. Make sure you let me know what you think.

Viaggiare bene.

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12 comments

  1. It looks so lovely :) Have googled the nativity scene and it looks amazing when it's all lit up!
    Rosie x

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    1. Yeah me too - looks like just the spot for some Christmas bubbly!

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  2. I've also googled that nativity scene - you made me very curious with your blogpost - and it really is amazing !!

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    1. Time to book a Christmas holiday Ingrid?

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  3. Gorgeous photos - there are some of the most beautiful photos of Cinque Terre I've seen! I mean it's such a popular place right now and I can understand why!

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    1. Thanks Camila. I was actually quite disappointed with the photos - as when I got home realised I had been snapping away at ISO 800! All because I had been taking some night photographs the day before! Oh well...

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  4. I need to go here! I've loved all three of these posts and it just looks incredibly beautiful!

    Charli | Charlotte Rose

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    1. Do it, you know you want to ;)

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  5. Oh my word - stunning! The first shot is epic!

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  6. Your photos are so beautiful!! I'd never heard of Cinque Terre before, but now it's on my list of places that I need to visit someday ;)

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    1. Oh Miwa, you have to go. It's honestly one of the most beautiful places I've ever been.

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