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    • Pesto Impresto 🌿🧀 🍷

      June 12, 2022 in Italy ⋅ ☀️ 25 °C

      Wow! Wow! Wow! ☀️🤩

      What an amazing experience this was!

      Nessum Dorma is a renowned restaurant that sits above a cliff top in Manarola. This is one of the few ways you are able to get in without a reservation. It was worth every single euro of the €60 we paid.

      Not only was the location absolutely amazing. Gobsmackingly beautiful& stunning but the staff and the presentation of the entire experience was out of this world! Perfect 😍

      The owner, Simone, won the piece of land the restaurant is on in a competition. Only three people entered and he won the right to build whatever he wanted overlooking the Manarola Bay. Surprisingly, there were only three people who actually entered the competition in total. Now that he has made an absolute success of it the locals are constantly trying to make it hard for him. It seems he is having similar experiences with some of the locals as Richard and I have had. Many of them begrudge others for being here. What a shame! He has done an amazing job. The pesto experience happens in the morning and then people are lining up down the path to come into the restaurant to eat. Without a reservation it is not going to happen.

      Anyway we were given all of the necessary ingredients of quality including local garlic, fresh basil, local cheese and pine nuts. We were told exactly how to perfect the most delicious pesto I have ever eaten. We were never rushed and constantly supported and always in good humour.

      Towards the middle of the experience we were each given a glass of local wine 🍷 which was slightly salty due to the region terrace agriculture and wine growing right beside the sae. Then came the most delicious 😋 platter: individually prepared and passed to every single participant. We were allowed to take as long as we like to enjoy and devour the food and the view. And also there was a competition to win a local bottle of wine… Everybody was a winner! 🥳👍🏻🍷

      I would put this up with one of the most amazing experiences of my life.

      Every single moment was perfectly orchestrated and we felt honoured to be part of the group. W🙃Right down to the moment that we were gently sprayed with mists of water that where perfectly constructed within the balcony frame construction. This is the true meaning of entrepreneurship. He deserves every success and we had the best time enjoying what Simone has created!

      The 10 gorgeous young Italian waiters added quite a significant benefit of this experience as well…🥰😝😝

      This was a brilliant way to finish our week in the Italian Riviera! 🍸👍🏻🥰

      This took place in Manarola, the final of the 5 towns (Cinque Terre)

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      Traveler  Oh what an experience! It sounds absolutely amazing. If I ever get to Cinque Terre I’ll make sure to book this. Bravo Simone! Manarola is the nicest looking imo. It’s iconic and those crystal clear waters?? It made me want fly over and dive in. Like you said Troy this looks like the perfect conclusion to your cinque terre adventure. And this blog was the best thing for us to experience it vicariously through your posts. Mille grazie signore xx


      Traveler  Thanks Ephie! I have really enjoyed writing my thoughts down like a diary in a way… I hope you shared it with your mum… Funny you should say that about Manarola because I think that and Monterroso were the absolute best. Probably equal first. Although, I absolutely loved Rapallo and the walk down to Portofino on the first day. The towns had less tourists and more locals just living la vida loca! 👍🏻❤️🥰


      Traveler  👍🏻

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    • Day 11

      Cinque Terre

      September 5 in Italy ⋅ ☀️ 24 °C

      Heute waren wir der frühe Vogel, da wir bereits kurz nach um 8 Uhr im Zug sitzen wollten, um die Cinque Terre anzusehen. Das Wetter verkündete schon morgens einen heißen und sonnigen Tag. ☀️ Wir kauften uns am Bahnhof die Cinque Terre Card und setzten uns in den Zug nach Monterosso, dem ersten Dorf. Von dort aus wanderten wir knapp 4 km zum zweiten Dorf, Vernazza. Ein wunderschönes Dorf, welches uns mit einer herrlichen Ansicht der bunten Fassaden vom Wanderweg aus begrüßte. Da man von Dorf zu Dorf mit dem Zug fahren kann und nicht zum wandern gezwungen ist, waren wir zu Beginn noch relativ allein, in Vernazza selbst merkte man dann aber schon, welche Touristen Massen tagsüber durch die Straßen strömen.
      Wir setzten uns zunächst mit einem kühlen Bier ans Wasser und akklimatisierten uns, bevor wir das Dorf erkundeten. Danach beschlossen wir, den nächsten Wanderweg nicht anzutreten, sondern auch mit dem Zug zu fahren, da die Hitze und das ständige rauf und runter einem schon ziemlich zusetzen. 😄
      Wir fuhren bis zum Letzten der 5 Dörfer, Riomaggiore und erkundeten auch dieses.
      Danach beschlossen wir aber, die Mittagszeit am Meer zu verbringen und fuhren nach Levanto zurück. Zum Sonnenuntergang ansehen fuhren wir dann nochmals mit dem Zug los nach Manarola, stiegen auf einen wunderbaren Aussichtspunkt und genossen die letzten Minuten der golden Hour. 🥰

      Morgen gehts weiter in die Toskana und nach Florenz. 🤗
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      Traveler  Da sieht’s ja wunderschön aus (:

    • Day 13

      Von Volastra nach Manarola

      May 25 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 23 °C

      Ich dachte das man im Nationalpark Cinque Terre nicht nur mit dem Bus die Landschaft genießen sollte, eine kleine Wanderung kann man gut damit kombinieren. Luftlinie von Volastra nach Manarola sind es nur gut einen Kilometer, allerdings knapp 400 Höhenmeter. Naja dann ist es wohl nicht Luftlinie, aber machbar, hat sich gelohnt, auch wenn Manarola extrem touristisch ist. Hier kann man auch mit der Bahn hin fahren, aber das kann ja jeder!

      Volastra ist dagegen recht verschlafen, hier verkehrt keine Bahn und die Parkplätze sind rar.
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      Traveler  Super Fotos. Die Amalfiküste ist immer noch mein Traum Mal schauen ob ich es noch schaffe

    • Day 5

      Cinque Terre - Manarola

      June 6, 2022 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 24 °C

      Vom Hafen aus geht es per Bus und Bahn zu den Cinque Terre, zuerst in den kleinen Ort Manarola. Dieser ist oft auf Postkarten und im Internet zu sehen. Wäre das Wetter besser, wirkt es sichwr noch mehr... aber wäre auch deutlich voller 🙈

      Weitere Bilder folgen.
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    • Day 41


      September 14, 2022 in Italy ⋅ ☁️ 25 °C

      This is the post card picture town called Manarola :) if you see pictures from Cinque Terre, I bet it's of this town! The houses are literally built on cliffs and everything is either up or down hill! So great to stop and have lunch :) we also SWAM! It was a fairytale. The water was perfect temp (just a tad refreshing) and so blue, surrounded by magnificent cliffs and ocean.Read more

      Traveler  I want to live there!


      Traveler  Just like the boulders


      Traveler  I recognize this area! My mom and dad travelled there. Beautiful! ❤️

    • Day 69

      The Cinque Terre

      July 10 in Italy ⋅ ☀️ 27 °C

      Today was a magical day - not because of the 40+ degrees temperature, but because of our time on the Cinque Terre - five villages on the coastline of the Ligurian Sea that date back to the 11th century and the time when nearby Genoa effectively ruled the known world.

      We started in Manarola, then caught the ferry down the coastline to Manarossa, where we had lunch - 'fantastico'.

      Then we caught the train back to Sant Margherita Ligure, where we caught another boat down to Portofino - another magical place.

      Today was one of our best days ever - amazing scenery and great food. This area of Italy is a special place.
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      Traveler  Those beers would have been essential for hydration. We stayed at Monterosso and caught the train down to the first village. We walked the first three from memory and then I caught the train back. The next part of the track was very rough we had been told. ‘Good decision’ said a very weary and mud spattered Wayne when he finally arrived back. Am I right in thinking they have not restored the walking track since various land slips after we were there? Not that you could have walked it in the temperatures you are having…we did this prior to joining James school History trip when he was in Year 12.


      Traveler  > sure about the track condition but you would have been mad to try it yesterday.

    • Day 33

      Cinque Terre (Days 1 & 2)

      September 7 in Italy ⋅ ☀️ 82 °F

      What we did:
      - We arrived at Manarola, the town in which we were staying, at midday after taking a taxi at 6am from our hotel in Taormina, then a flight from Catania to Pisa, and then three trains to get to Manarola. We had reserved a hostel for our stay, but once we checked in the the hostel they informed us that they upgraded us to an apartment. It was awesome! Big apartment with great views of the Main Street and harbor of Manarola, with a washing machine to boot! Safe to say this was one of our favorite lodging situations of the trip thus far!
      - After some brief research, we took off on the hike from Manarola to Corniglia (roughly 2 hours). Halfway through the hike, after climbing through backyards, steep inclines, vines, lots of bugs, and rundown paths, no views, and not seeing a single person within the first hour and a half, we discovered we may have taken the wrong route. Not to worry though, we met up with the “right” path and proceeded tn have amazing views of vineyards and the Mediterranean on the remainder of the hike down to Corniglia.
      - After strolling through Corniglia, Trent found an awesome ocean front bar for us to grab a drink at. It was VERY hot that day, temps are 95 degrees, no clouds, and little wind coupled with a good amount of hiking had us really looking forward to this drink. Bar was awesome but little shade and lots of sun so we couldn’t stay too long or we may have left larger puddles of sweat than what we did.
      - Took the bus and train back to Manarola and watched the sunset from our balcony. We then went to a fun pizzeria that Doug and Sally had gone to during their visit, and headed home for an early bed time!
      - Woke up on day two ready to hike the Blue Trail from Corniglia through Vernazza to Monterosso. Grabbed a quick breakfast from the takeout version of our same pizzeria restaurant from the night before. Hopped on the train to Corniglia and started our hike! Had great views of each of the towns, mountains, and sea this day. Stopped midway between Corniglia and Vernazza at a bar that is located at the highest point of the Blue Trail. Trent grabbed us some smoothies and we had great views of a very sparkly Mediterranean Sea!
      - Continued our hike down to Vernazza and walked around the town a bit before grabbing poke bowls to go. We were a bit tired of Italian sandwiches and big Italian meals so decided to switch it up a bit and get poke bowls for lunch and eat them by the harbor in Vernazza.
      - We then proceeded to continue our hike from Vernazza to Monterosso. Great hike but not for the faint of heart if you’re not up for some stairs and inclines! Reached Monterosso and grabbed some gelato before jumping on the ferry to take us back to Manarola. Had some good views of the coastline and each of the Cinque Terre towns!
      - Stopped back at the apartment to change and then hit a good swimming spot near Manorola. The very refreshing, salty, and clear Mediterranean Sea strikes again as great for swimming!
      - Trent then picked us up some pizza from the pizzeria that we grabbed dinner the night before and breakfast that morning, yes very unoriginal but all good. We had pizza and white wine while we watched the sunset from our balcony and people watched until it was dark. Hit the hay early to get up for an early morning train to Nice.

      What we ate:
      - Airport breakfast: Steph really wanted McDonald’s but it was in the international terminal so had to settle with a Sicilian food - prosciutto sandwich and arancini (Steph was sad because they gave her the wrong type of arancini).
      - McDonald’s at train station for lunch (no other explanation needed…)
      - Marina di Corniglia: Aperol Spritzes and some nuts, olives, and pretzel snackies!
      - Il Porticciolo Dinner: 2 side salads, Trent got a white fish plate and Steph got the Salsiciccia pizza (pesto, sausage, mozzarella, and tomato sauce) and split a bottle of Montelccino red wine. Pizza won this dinner!
      - Il Porticciolo Takeout Breakfast: 2 cappuccinos, one ham sandwich for Trent, and a berry croissant and donut for Steph.
      - Bar Il Gabbiano: two fruit smoothies as a hiking break
      - Organic Poke Vernazza: poke bowls with salmon, tuna, avocado, and mango!
      - Gelateria La Scogliera: strawberry, lemon, and blackberry gelato. Voted out least favorite gelato of the trip, but still very good!
      - Il Porticciolo Takeout Dinner: Prosciutto and Burrata pizza, and Gorgonzola, walnut, truffle pizza. Local bottle of white wine.

      Fun facts:
      - Cinque Terre is a UNESCO protected site.
      - Part of the blue trail (which goes through all 5 towns) was impacted by several landslides over 10 years ago. This was supposed to be fixed by 2023, but as of now you cannot complete the whole blue trail due to closures between Corniglia and Manarola, and Manorola and Riomaggiore and must take “detours” to hike through most of the towns.
      - This may be our favorite Italian destination…
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      Traveler  Just think about how easy the hiking in Cinque Terre would have been if we had hiked UP to Ravello to get in shape!!

    • Day 4

      Les 5 terres

      September 20, 2021 in Italy ⋅ ☀️ 21 °C

      Une image dit plus que 1000 mots … pittoresques, colorés, romantique. Mais que la vie était dure dans ces villages avec des vignes en terrasses très pentus, et des ports si petits qu’il faut monter les bateaux des pêcheurs au village, tous les soirs (à Manorola).
      Aujourd’hui ces villages vivent de toute évidence majoritairement du tourisme, pour la visite il vaut mieux ne pas être agoraphobe. Mais comme partout il suffit de faire un ou deux pas de côté pour un peu plus d’intimité.
      De toute façon la vue sur les villages compense pas mal le nombre des autres visiteurs.
      Nous sommes allés en train de Chiavari aux 5 terres - ce qui m’a offert une belle occasion de pester sur les transports en commun en général et sa version italienne en particulier. J’ai trié toutes les photos et écrit ces lignes sur le quai de la gare de Levanto, en attendant notre train …
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      Traveler  Dans les années 80-82 j’avais fait les 5 terres à pied, je m’en souviens encore ! Pas de voitures, juste un petit train pour le retour…… C’était magnifique et il y avait pas trop de monde à l’époque ! Bon voyage 🤩🤗

    • Day 24

      Daytrip to Cinque Terre

      September 4 in Italy ⋅ ☁️ 26 °C

      Morning train ride from Firenze via Pisa to La Spezia for a day trip to Cinque Terre. First stop - Manarola for a Pesto class, wine, and lunch at Nessun Dorma. Fantastic experience and it got very messy with the mortar and pestle as we made our own Pesto. Fresh basil, salt, garlic, pecorino cheese, and olive oil...Bellisima. This went perfectly with the prosciutto, breads and Cheeses, not to mention, the perfectly matched wines.
      Now at Montorossi El Mare for a swim and sun time. 30 Euro for an umbrella and 2 chairs for the day. Nowhere near as many staps as yesterday in Tuscany....more relax and foodie time.
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    • Day 2

      Cinque terre in the rain

      June 30 in Italy ⋅ 🌧 21 °C

      “What a day 😨!

      First, we were running late compared to the schedule we had planned the day before. After driving for about 10 minutes, it started raining. It was a bit disappointing, but the rain wasn’t too heavy.

      However, as we got closer to our destination, the weather took a turn for the worse. When we arrived in Levanto, it was pouring rain. We felt helpless in the face of this situation. We contemplated going back and visiting the Genoa Aquarium instead 😔. After some discussion, we mustered up the courage to proceed, despite the stormy weather.

      Fortunately, we were able to find some ponchos and braved the elements.

      We decided to start from the end, so we visited Riomaggiore, then Manarola, and finally Corniglia. By the time we reached Corniglia, it was already 1 PM, and we took a lunch break. During our meal, the sun peeked out from behind the clouds, and the weather began to improve.

      After a long, tiring, and wet day, we ended up eating at the same restaurant as the day before. And guess what?

      RAINED AGAIN ☔️⛈️

      I was overjoyed to finally lay down on my bed!”
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    You might also know this place by the following names:

    Manarola, Մանարոլա, マナローラ, 마나롤라, Manium Arola, Манарола, 马纳罗拉

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