From Manarola to Volastra: a climb
The distance between Manarola to Volastra offers today the opportunity to make one of the most spectacular and significant walks that one can make in the Cinque Terre. In just over an hour’s walk, starting from the waves of the coastal village and going up among the olive trees of the ancient farmer settlement, you can touch with hand the soul of the land, encountering one after the other all its delights.
The advice is to start from the sea in Manarola and reach, with a slight rise, the picturesque cemetery of the village, worth a quick visit, to discover some old really special gravestones, and to overlook the whole area from its porch.
From the cemetery, the road continues to rise, after a short flight of steps, to a scenic walkway that leads to the plateau that, over the Christmas period, houses the illuminated nativity scene of Mario Andreolli. Many of the figures are left in place and it is curious to go through shepherds, sheep, angels and iron fishermen and bulbs. It’s like being on a stage with closed wings.
The illuminated nativity scene of Manarola seen “from the inside”
The staircase leading to the top (where the cabin is arranged with the baby Jesus) is the most challenging point of the path, but the view over the rooftops of the village and the open sea (right after the hill crossing) are worth the effort. From here on, we begin a slow and steady climb to Volastra, through terraced vineyards.
In this path, which leads to the ridge that overlooks Corniglia, Vernazza and Monterosso, the spirit of the heroic agriculture so typical of this corner of the world can be sensed and looking at the small train rails rack you can figure out the work required for the construction of such a beautiful landscape.
You will, therefore, have to choose whether to continue to walk to Volastra along the road or the staircase. The advice is – of course – to not be scared by the steps, because if you have appreciated the vineyards, the plateaus with its olive trees that accompany you in about twenty minutes until the heart of the village will be amazing.