Enchanting Manarola

posted by Sharon October 14, 2014 25 Comments
Manarola

Well I was born in a small town,
Live in a small town,
Probably die in a small town.
— John Mellencamp

The small Italian town of Manarola hugs the mountainous rock face above the Mediterranean. This may be the most picturesque small town I’ve ever visited.

The clusters of houses cling to the land and lean into each other. Behind them, the green of gardens and vineyards reaches to the sky. You can hike up into the hills and take in the view.

The tiny downtown with its one main street goes from the sea up the hill. It’s lined with markets and restaurants that offer handmade pesto and fish caught that morning.

We stayed in a clean, inviting B&B. The friendly desk clerk chatted with us about the place. It was a home and shop, now turned into a hotel, run by the same family for generations. The grandpa tends to the garden. He takes pride in growing flowers — and giant lemons.

His son served us breakfast in the pleasant day room. He bustled to bring our cafe au laits and kept our basket filled with freshly baked breads.

We asked who tends the winding hills. The answer? Everyone who lives in this town. Each property comes with a plot of land far above the house. So each owner builds stone stairways and plants and harvests.

The problem, we learned, is that the older folks of the town aren’t able to climb the hills and keep up their gardens. What our friend yearns for is for more young people to move to Manarola and put their energy into balancing in the dirt and growing the grapes and tomatoes that help sustain the town.

I loved staying in Manarola. Our friend at the hotel called his friend at the best restaurant in town and asked to reserve a table for us. So we got the prize place by the window and enjoyed fresh seafood and local wine. Everyone knows everyone else here and they look out for each other (and guests!).

So much that’s good in a small town can be found in Manarola. If you have a chance to visit, you’ll love it. And you just may bump into our friend, who will still be looking for newcomers to put down roots.

Linking up with Texture Tuesday, Wednesday Around the World, and Sweet Shot Tuesdays. Photo edited with Kim Klassen’s texture Unscripted. Also linking up with a song-inspired party, Song-ography, where the theme this week is “Small Town” by John Mellencamp.

The hotel we stayed in is Hotel Ca D’Andrean. It’s simply perfect.

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25 Comments

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Kathy October 14, 2014 at 3:25 am

One of my favorite small town places everrrrr! As a matter of fact, I have a big glass jar in my bedroom, called my Cinque Terra fund…I keep stashing money in there for a future trip there! Thanks for linking up to Song-ography.

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nancyjeann October 14, 2014 at 3:29 am

oh my goodness … such a beautiful small town! Thank you for taking us on a tour… it is breath taking!!

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Buckeroomama October 14, 2014 at 5:10 am

Wow! Thanks for sharing this with us, Sharon. Now, another new locale to add my ever-growing list of places to visit! Wonderful images.

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Tamar October 14, 2014 at 9:12 am

Wow! What a place to visit, it looks beyond picturesque!

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Catherine October 14, 2014 at 11:20 am

This took my breath away Sharon! I’ve just added it to my travel list, placing it near the top. It’s so beautiful this treasure of a small town tucked within the mountain vineyards…

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Sheila October 14, 2014 at 2:49 pm

Such a gorgeous place! Amazing images – thanks for sharing with us!

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Karen October 14, 2014 at 5:30 pm

One of the most enchanting places! Italy! That is one of the reasons why I love living in Europe….everything is just around the corner ( ok almost). Such wonderful pictures you are showing here.

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Adrienne October 14, 2014 at 8:29 pm

Beautiful photos of what looks like a magical place!

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Lisa @ FSL October 14, 2014 at 8:49 pm

Your photos were just stunning. I miss the color of Europe immensely.

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Michele Matucheski October 14, 2014 at 11:46 pm

What a neat stroll through the town. I felt like I was there–with your pictures! Thanks for the tour. I like the one at the top the best. Were there people there painting the scene as you were photographing it?

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dalettre October 15, 2014 at 1:23 am

Oh, my goodness…wow!!

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nicki October 15, 2014 at 1:29 am

So colorful and compact – a quaint small town.

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Ida P. Krause October 15, 2014 at 2:40 am

What a beautiful place. Love all the different colors of the houses/building. It’s very charming.

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coolquilting October 15, 2014 at 3:45 am

absolutely gorgeous photos…I can see why you loved it there!

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elizabethfstewart October 15, 2014 at 4:40 am

Completely lovely.

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Carol Blackburn October 15, 2014 at 4:58 pm

Such amazing photographs.

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Englepappa October 15, 2014 at 7:31 pm

Wow! This is such a beautiful town! You’ve catched a lot of great sceneries from the town, and I enjoyed the “travel”!

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Uwe October 15, 2014 at 8:31 pm

Bravo! Fantastico! 😉
Ciao, ciao…
…Uwe.

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Kelleyn October 15, 2014 at 9:09 pm

Such a gorgeous place!

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Barbara October 15, 2014 at 9:58 pm

I have been there too!! So charming!

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Anne@Grit and Giggles October 15, 2014 at 10:56 pm

Wow! What an amazing place. I love how the buildings seem to be clinging to the rocks. Isn’t it amazing how ‘man’ tries to tame the land.

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lifewithkaishon October 15, 2014 at 11:44 pm

You aren’t kidding. That is all sorts of gorgeous. Oh my word. My favorite picture is the lemon!

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Earl October 16, 2014 at 12:26 am

What a fantastic small town. Such wonderful colors. Thank you for seeing it with your eyes and comments.

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Molly October 16, 2014 at 6:31 pm

Perfect images to go with those lyrics!

Mollyxxx

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Abrianna October 17, 2014 at 4:07 am

Beautiful shots and that town sounds delightful!

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