Manarola would have to be my favourite town on the Cinque Terre. The view of the cliffs, the crystal blue waters, the rocky Riviera face…its such a lovely spot, but sure all the towns on the Cinque Terre have this! What does set Manarola apart from some of the other towns is the ability to walk up the adjacent cliff to the town and get some pretty stunning panoramic views of the town.
Before you do that…when you get to Manarola, I do suggest strolling around the town and just soaking up the Riviera sun for a while. It’s a pretty romantic little town….
At the edge of the town there is a beautiful V shaped waterfront bay with views of the Mediterranean.
I spend what seemed like an eternity gazing at the water with the beautiful Italian sun painting my skin with some much-needed warmth to counter the sea breeze. Then I walk to the right of the bay and up through the cliff face in a circular path that leads me towards a panoramic view of the town.
If you continue along the path it leads you to one of the best bars/cafes in the area: Nessun Dorma. This place provides the best view of the town and the bay from near the top of the cliff. It also has a wonderful selection of apertivo snacks to welcome the afternoon. Here is the view from my table.
I order my usual Aperol Spritz (okay I am starting to get a tad predictable – but I do love these) and a bruschetta (okay here’s where I mix things up a little) with an authentic Ligurian pesto.
The Pesto is from the region with a rich herby basil taste paired with the crunch of the pinenuts on a rustic crusty piece of bread. This is one of my faves.
It’s all washed down with a beautiful Aperol Spritz with the sweet / bitter streak of the Aperol and of course the refreshing sparkling wine to add some dance to it.
The beautiful waitress at this place threatens to steal my attention, but to no avail, my eyes and heart are set on this view of the town of Manarola and the Mediterranean.