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Review 141: La Torretta, La Torretta


Review by Marta from WA who is a SlowTrav Contributor

apartments in Manarola (Cinque Terre), Liguria


Fall 2001, 3 days


We stayed three days recently in Manarola at La Torretta B&B which also has an apartment available. Our apartment was a studio. It had a sofa bed which wasn't too bad but we were always so exhausted each day from walking that we never noticed. We did notice the church bells which you will also at de Baranin since it is near La Torretta.

There was a cook-top, European refrigerator, sink. It had enough dishes and pans for two people. Adequate linens, but bring your own soap and detergent. It had also been recently remodeled with a nice bathroom but small. It was very tight between the toilet and bidet.

The best feature was the wonderful terrace. It overlooked the town and the harbor was in the distance. It was a great place to watch the sun go down with a glass of local wine after a day of hiking. It was also nice in the morning to watch the locals tending their vineyards and gardens on the hill opposite.

There is a Coop for grocery shopping. The town is separated by the train track and on the harbor side are two restaurants, bakeries for focaccia and a wine store. The harbor is pretty interesting. They use a crane to lift the boats from the harbor up to the town for storage. We watched several fishermen bring their boats in one evening. It is quieter and less touristed in Manarola than Vernazza.

We did not try any of the restaurants in Manarola. We ended up eating a large lunch after hiking in Vernazza twice. We did cook a lighter meal each night. The pesto is great. Try it on the local pasta trofie made with a bit of potato. Gambero Rosso restaurant has great pesto.

We took the train from Pisa to Manarola. We took both the boat and the train to get around. The boat is more reliable and on time than the train but in the evening you only have the option of the train. Unless you have a car. The train also doesn't run much between 8 and 11pm so you do have to plan ahead if you want to train to another town for dinner and expect to come back late after dinner.

The hiking is great. We hiked from Manarola to Vernazza (left a little after 9am and arrived by 11:45am). We were early enough to get a table at Gambero Rosso for lunch. Then we took the boat to Riomaggiore and hiked the Via dell'Amore in the late afternoon. The next day we took the train to Monterosso and hiked to Vernazza for lunch at Castello. We took the train back to Manarola late in the afternoon.

The car park wasn't too far away but it is a pretty steep walk up from the harbor and Coop. There is now shuttle service in several of the towns including Manarola. It will take you from the train station up to hotels or car park. I think the special Cinque Terre combination pass that is sold includes not only the trail access and day train pass but also usage of these shuttles or taxis. Otherwise it was 3,000 lira I think. We didn't use them.

I recommend checking out the Rick Steve's Guide to Italy for the best information on Cinque Terre along with the following web site: home.sunrise.ch/avong/cinque_terre/. Also see the Cinque Terre page on SlowTrav.


This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.

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