I might have mentioned earlier that my trip to Italy, was a.. shall we call it, turning point, in my life. That summer was the great “aha moment” when I realized if I set my mind to something, I can actually do some pretty amazing things. Crazy what kind of things travel teaches us!
Manarola was one of these great achievements. It was the day I was seriously bit by the travel bug.
I think what struck me most about Manarola is how jaw-dropping beautiful it is and how everyone except for me seemed to know about this place!!!
Though it’s true that my entire trip to Italy was part of the first time I actually went out on a real adventure of my own, it had really struck me then how closed up in my bubble I was back in Florida, completely unaware of the beauty that after all turned out to be in my reach.
We drove from Lake Garda, where we stayed, to Manarola, which took roughly 4 hours, if I remember correctly. The Italian highway wasn’t that much of an attraction so I was perfectly content with diving deep into a good book, but when a glimpse of something sparkly caught my attention I ditched the book and was sucked to the car window for the remaining of the drive.
We had approached the winding coastline, out looking the Adriatic Sea which danced with the reflection of sun rays making the water look as though covered with thousands of shiny diamonds.
My first impression of Manarola was “What an adorable, romantic, little, Italian village.” The curvy, brick road was snuggled by cottages, groomed with rustic shutters and clean laundry. The open windows let out laughter and clinking of plates as the village, though small, is full of life!
It seemed that around every curve of the peaceful road, the views got more and more breathtaking.
Then it hit me. The tourists!!! Everywhere!
How did all these people know about this beautiful little gem, and I didn’t?
It was mid September and the day was hot, to say the least. This did not stop people from lingering around.
Turns out, Manarola is quite a popular destination for travelers from all over. You know, the ones that did their homework!
We walked through allies lined with souvenir shops, ice cream parlors, and pizza joints, until we reached the edge of the coastline, lined with sailboats, kayaks and ferries.
The water below looked scrumptious and I was ready to dive right in. There were plenty of people who had the idea before me and in the heat of the sun, were seen cooling off in the crystal waters.
Seeing just a glimpse of the Italian views and culture made me feel so small in such a big world filled with beautiful scenery, putting my own problems way out of sight.
Then I found out, Manarola has sisters! Yes! There’s more!
Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia and Riomaggiore.
The Cinque Terre (meaning five lands) is connected by a railroad and a ferry system. I imagine the view of the colorful blocks, housed on rocky edge of the coastline must be absolutely stunning from the coast view but what really caught my attention is an old, goat path that connects the five villages and can be hiked. It apparently can be done in 7 hours, but my cardio kind of sucks and I like to stop and take pictures (a lot) so I think I’d like to give myself 2 days and spend a night somewhere in between. Maybe in a colorful house, maybe on a boat, maybe under the twinkling stars. Wherever it may be, I’ll be sure to keep you posted!
I'm Sandra, creator of Whispers of Adventure.
I'm a crazy dreamer with a love for adventure and new experiences. With my passion for writing and capturing the moment with a lens, I hope to inspire you for your next adventure!