From an administrative point of view, Manarola makes part of Riomaggiore. Founded by the inhabitants of the Roman settlement Volastra, in 1276 the village passed from the Fieschi to the Republic of Genoa.
The village, placed on a promontory of dark rock, winds along the covered brook Groppo, which defines the main street.
Various narrow side streets paved in stone depart from here, and steep stairs will lead you to the houses and gardens.
The side streets and stairs constitute an artistic labyrinth which invites you to be discovered.
There has not been enough place for a square - a modern platform of stone constitutes a certain substitute.
Furthermore, the nature left only a little space for a small port which is closed between two rocky spurs.
The lack of place and of secure shelters constricts the inhabitants to pull the boats along steep "slipways" fixed on the rocks..
- Parish Church dedicated to the Nativity of the Virgin Maria - The parish church, also called S. Lorenzo, was constructed in the year 1338.
It can be found in a dominating position above the village.
The building represents a mix of gothic (a simple front with rose-window with small columns, and filigrees of various designs) and baroque style (the inside with three ships).
- Cemetery - Outside the village, there is the picturesque cemetery.
- To Volastra - 314 m - path N. 6 - 1 hour Next to the parish church of Manarola starts a steep street which will lead you between vineyards and olive-trees to Volastra, which in part conserves the village's original structure.
In an isolated position you can see the sanctuary of Nostra Signora della Salute (340 m), of the 12th century; the inside has been restructured several times, as far as the planimetry and the front are concerned, the building maintains its Roman origins.
- To manarola - path N. 2 - have a look at the "blue path"
- To Riomaggiore - path N. 2 - have a look at the "blue path"