Manarola is a bit "off the beaten path" and this little hotel was more of a place to stay than a beach resort. Which is exactly what we were looking for.
Arriving is a bit of a chore as we had to lug our bags quite a way from the train station down the main street (pedestrian only) to the marina. Then we got some more sherpa practice as we discovered that our room was on the third floor and there was no lift. (Hint: You do not need that much wardrobe variety in Cinque Terre anyway ... leave half of it at home!)
Once we were settled in, though, we began to be charmed by the town, the staff and the hotel itself. The room was quite comfortable with a window that looked out over the marina and the sparkling blue Ligurian gulf. Things like electric outlets and wardrobe space were a bit limited, but this was only a very minor issue. The sound of the waves crashing on the rocks below soon put things in the proper perspective.
The staff was very friendly, though not all spoke English. We managed. Little touches like free bottles of cold water whenever we left were very nice. And the breakfast was delicious. Fresh breads & pastries, cappucino on demand, and a nice selection of melons and other fruit got us fueled for the day. And fuel was necessary! Hiking the hills above Manarola ... especially the rather challenging route to Corniglia now that the coastal path has been closed ... took a lot of energy!
We also tried dinner at the terrace restaurant, also overlooking the marina. It was great. Acciughe con limone (anchovies with lemon) were fresh and delicious and the local white wine (sampled frequently during our short visit) was a perfect match.
We visited all five of the Cinque Terre and Manarola was probably our favorite. I hope (and expect) we will be back, and if so, I woiuld not hesitate to stay again at Marina Piccola.
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- Also Known As:
- Marina Piccola Hotel
- Marina Piccola Manarola
- Hotel Marina Piccola Manarola, Cinque Terre, Italy