Next to Vernazza, Manarola was our second favourite village in the Cinque Terre. We loved it, and only awarded it second place as it was lacking a great beach (which Vernazza had). There was swimming in the lagoons in the harbour, but these spaces were overlooked by tourists, and restaurants, and really didn't seem ideal for a lazy day by the water. They would however suffice for a quick cool off when need be.
Overlooking the swimming holes.
At one point, we looked up to see this...
As we loved Manarola, we visited it a few times. When we were too hot, and too lazy to change into our swimsuits, we'd sit by the fishing boats, dangling our toes in the water, beer in hand.
Another favourite spot to sit and escape the crowds...
Below (though slightly out of sequence) are photos of our last supper in the Cinque Terre. S had found a review of Trattoria Dal Billy in the New York Times. Although the service was interesting (to say the least), the food and view was wonderful. It was a special spot to spend our last evening.
You should know that this was our third attempt at eating here. The first time it was closed that particular day, the second time was too early, and on our final attempt we were told seen as we didn't have a reservation we'd have to vacate by 9:30pm. Deal.
The moral of the story is make a reservation. It is quite the climb to get up to this special spot (let alone three times), but at least you can say you've earned your dinner.
...and nobody complains when a meal finishes with all-you-can-drink Limoncello and a bottle of some other aperitif.
Views from our walk back down the hill...
Would you tend your tomatoes cliffside?
As the sun tucked behind the hill, we headed back to the train station, and back to Vernazza. I will do one more post (in the next few days) on the Cinque Terre with Riomaggiore and a closer look at our favourite little village.