Manarola has very ancient origins. Founded during the twelfth century, the village probably derives its name from an ancient "magna roea", a large mill wheel present at the time.
The first evidence of the village, dating back to the thirteenth century, is related to the events of the Fieschi.
The characteristic tower houses are located on a promontory of dark rock, with the small harbour enclosed by two rocky outcrops.
The village is built around the main path, which was once the course of Groppo creek, now covered.
In parallel there is the Via di Mezzo, which had great importance in the village prior to the coverage of the creek; uphill there is the square with the religious buildings, including San Lorenzo church – Gothic style - the Oratorio dei Disciplinati and the bell tower.
Do not miss the bright nativity scene, famous world wide, that occupies the whole hill in front of the village, in which the figures are formed by thousands of colored lights
The famous “VIA DELL'AMORE” ("Way of Love") starts from Manarola rail station. It is an ancient path that connects the village to Riomaggiore.