1Manarola: Manarola is even older than Riomaggiore, it was first mentioned in 1261. It is believed to have been founded by the inhabitants of Volastra, a village that existed already in Roman times. Volastra is located above Manarola, on top of the hill, and in Roman times travellers used to change horses here. The residents of Volastra farmed the surrounding terraces, planted olive, lemon and chestnut trees, as well as vines, then in the 12th century part of the population moved down to the sea and founded the village of Manarola. The name has a roman origin: it comes from a name of an altar dedicated to the Mani Gods, “manium arula”. Other sources say that it derives from the words “magna roea”, which means “a big mill wheel”.Besides enjoying the beauty of this small town, hiking the trails to the other towns is definitely worth a day or two in the area. See Cinque Terre for more information on the paths.When you arrive at the train station, you may need to go underground to reach the main platform. Head down the tunnel toward the city. During World War 2, the residents spent the nights here for protection. There is a wonderful art gallery with oil paintings and watercolors of the cinque terre towns. Turn right and up the hill — this road used to be a stream, with bridges crossing , similar to Venice. The stream was paved over and you can still hear the running water. About half way up, there is still an old water wheel. At the top is the church of S.Lorenzo.

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