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Il Patio
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Reviewed 15 July 2013

My family and I -- two adults, two kids 9 and 13 -- spent two nights in Manarola. It was in the middle of a two-week trip to Italy, and we were spending the rest of the time in Rome and Tuscany. We decided relatively late to make a side trip to Cinque Terre, and were a bit nervous since most of the accommodations we checked were full. (It was early July.) But several apartment and inn owners we tried suggested we look into Il Patio and contact the owner, Piera. I am glad we did. I can't say enough good things about the accommodations or the owner. I recommend this place VERY highly.

What you need to know:

LOCATION: Manarola is one of the "five lands" in Cinque Terre -- the second town, going south to north. We got there by taking the local train from La Spezia, where you can connect to the rest of Italy. I gather it's also possible to get there by car, and park outside the city, though we didn't try that and it seems like a much more complicated way to get there.

The apartment is right in the middle of things. Walk downstairs and you are literally in the middle of the main street. Go left, and it's a short walk to the waterfront. Go right, and it's a short walk to the train station -- and hiking trails beyond. When I say "short" walk, I mean it. We're talking less than two minutes at normal foot-speed. Along that main street, you can find pretty much anything you'd want -- from gelato to fine food, t-shirts to handcrafted pottery.

FYI, Mararola is on the water but does *not* have a traditional, sandy beach. Instead, it has a rocky cove with a swimming area. We loved it -- the kids had a great time jumping off the rocks. But your mileage may vary. Also, most of the cliff walk connecting the towns has been closed because of some recent landslides, following bad storms. I'm not sure when they re-open. But you can go from town to town by hiking in the mountains. We did it and it was among the highlights of the trip. You can also take the very beginning of the cliff walk, which extends maybe a quarter mile or so, which will give you a great view of the city itself. And it's quite a view to behold.

One last thing: If you've done any research at all, you know that Manarola is a city of many stairs. That's true of Il Patio. You'll have to walk up and down a lot of stairs to get to and from the apartment -- and pretty much do anything. I thought that added to the fun -- plus it was good exercise. But if that's not something you can/want to do, you might not want to stay here or come to Maranola at all.

THE APARTMENT: The only rooms open by the time we inquired were your basic inn rooms -- bed, bathroom. They were spartan but very clean, modern, and comfortable. It appeared to be remodeled very recently and/or kept in excellent condition. The bathroom had no problems with hot water. The wifi worked just fine. Each room even came with its own mobile phone, for making local calls.

The rooms also had refrigerators and hot pots, though not full kitchens. If we were spending a lot of time in the room, it would have been nice to have the greater space and full kitchens in the larger apartments. But for our purposes -- who wants to spend a lot of time in the room? -- it was more than adequate. The room had no AC but it was hardly necessary. Windows plus a fan (provided) kept things very comfortable.

The *only* complaint I can make is that the walls are a little thin. We could hear the neighbors once or twice. But this seems to be true of most places in Italy and, really, it was not a big deal.

THE OWNER: Piera is delightful and helpful. We arrived on the very last train from Rome -- past 9 pm local time. That was no problem. Piera met us right outside the train station and made sure we got settled. She helped us plan activities and made herself very available if we needed anything more. Oh, and communication before the trip was seamless -- she was very responsive and answered all of our questions.

Like I said, I can't say enough good things about Il Patio.

Room Tip: We were too late to reserve a room/apartment with a sea view, and that would have been nice. But with the waterfront so close, it really didn't matter much. Also, I gave the "swimming pool" a 5 but, just to be clear, there's no actual pool -- just the public swimming cove at the waterfront, open to everybody in Manarola. But it was really spectacular and one of the best things about our stay.
  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled with family
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Thank BSRS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 July 2013

We loved staying in this two room flat in Manarola. Piera made reserving the flat easy and met us in Manarola after an easy and quick payphone call. She led us down the narrow corridors to a clean and beautiful place to stay with a small terrace off the bedroom and a terrace with chairs off the larger room where we enjoyed drinking wine and listening to the sounds of the small village. We were comfortable and had all we needed to make our time quality and enjoyable. Piera makes the stay effortless because she has thought of virtually everything to accommodate guests. We were so happy with our choice.

Room Tip: A payphone is located in the center of town, and the call is local. Just use 0.50 euro to make the call.
  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Melissa S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 July 2013

The apartment with the sea view was great. We had everything we needed. Wifi was an added bonus. Very nice, friendly service from Angelo and Piera. The room was spotless and the bed was comfortable. Just what you need after exploring in the Cinque Terre. Angelo carried our luggage all the way back to the train station, made sure we were on the right platform, gave us a warm good-bye and wouldn't even take a tip.

  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank ItalianByChoice
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 June 2013

We stayed at Il Patio for 2 nights this June before heading off to Vernazza, but we wish we stayed there for more nights! Piera was wonderful and our room at Il Patio was fantastic! Piera was an excellent host, and our room was furnished impeccably; which made our stay extrenely comfortable. The room was spacious and very clean, I highly recommend staying here! We're hoping to come back again next year! Thank you Piera!

Room Tip: For those who wish to stay in a sea-view room, I'd recommend booking 6 months in advance!
  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled with family
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Thank ctv1987
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 June 2013

My husband and I visited Cinque Terre last April and spent four nights in this great appartment (number 4) - very comfortable, affordable and with a great view of the ocean. Piera, her husband and Angelo were so very helpful. We enjoyed visiting all five villages, but were glad that we had chosen Manarola as our place to stay (village life, good restaurants, lovely trails, etc.). We would not hesitate to return to Il patio.

A retired couple from Québec

  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank MireilleRichard
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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