Manarola vs. Vernazza

Mar 18th, 2007, 02:58 PM
  #1  
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Manarola vs. Vernazza

I've read the posts on this site (very helpful) but still can't decide. We'll be in Cinque Terre for 3 nights in May, arriving by train. Several places in both towns have availability, but I'd like to book soon.

Which town would you recommend?
misqui is offline  
Mar 18th, 2007, 03:50 PM
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Would like to see the answers to this as well!
stellamarina is offline  
Mar 18th, 2007, 04:05 PM
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My husband and I stayed in Manarola in Sept. 05. We absolutely loved it! We visited Vernazza during the day when we did the hike from Monterosso, and while beautiful, we were happy to be staying in Manarola. Vernazza seemed a bit more touristy, but then again we were only there a few hours.

Manarola wasn't full of lots of people - we wandered the streets and rarely saw anyone other than locals. It left such a wonderful imprint on my memory but yet it's hard to put it into words! Definitely a highlight of our trip.
sherhatfield is offline  
Mar 19th, 2007, 12:25 AM
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I don't think you could go wrong with either town - they are equally stunning. Difficult choice. I would make the decision on the accommodation available, price, quality, etc.
amandab is offline  
Mar 19th, 2007, 08:12 AM
  #5  
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I think amandab is correct! We stayed in Manarola last summer and are staying in Manarola this summer, largely because we like the hotel we are staying at. I actually like Vernazza a little better as a town, but they are all so close it doesn't so much matter. Pick the hotel you like best and don't worry about it!

Sally
SRS is offline  
Mar 19th, 2007, 08:27 AM
  #6  
nma
 
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My personal favorite was Vernazza! DH and I ended up there every night we were there after dinner to hang out at The Blue Marlin.
nma is offline  
Mar 19th, 2007, 08:30 AM
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I've stayed in Vernazza and loved it, but I have to admit that I have never stayed in Manarola. Vernazza is just enough "life" to provide a rainy day plan or some good dinner options, but doesn't overdo it.

I think it will be the rare Fodor's poster who has honestly stayed in both cities (not just visited both) and can make a good head-to-head comparison. I've been to Manarola but haven't stayed there.
HonestAbe is offline  
Mar 19th, 2007, 09:16 AM
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First of all I should say it has been over 5 years since we stayed there so I think both towns have gotten substantially busier. Take this with a grain of salt.

We stayed in Manarola and LOVED it. We ate dinner each night outdoors at the Marina Picola where we were staying right on the harbor. One night after dinner we strolled the town (about 10:30). The entire town was shut up tighter than a drum. We thought we were talking quietly, but shutters would open from upstairs bedrooms and people would "shussshhh" us. Quiet does not begin to describe that town. If you are looking for ANY night activity, you'd probably be better in Vernazza.
NeoPatrick is offline  
Mar 20th, 2007, 05:13 PM
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I second Manarola and Marina Piccola (our last visit was October 2006.)

Yes, it's quiet after 10:30 or 11:00pm; but that doesn't mean that dinnertime (8 or 9) is the least bit dull -- lots of restaurants, lots of patrons, very lively!

And the after-dinner quiet makes it all the better for taking a romantic moonlight stroll down to the "beach" right beneath the hotel. Heaven on earth, imo.
LucieV is offline  
Mar 21st, 2007, 07:09 AM
  #10  
 
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In reading over my post above I realize that I was suggesting that Manarola is TOO quiet, or might best be avoided. Nothing could be further from my intentions. I was only stating that IF you wanted lots of action, then Manarola would not be the place to stay.

Of course, I have a feeling I would hardly recognize Manarola compared to the super quiet place it was in 1997 -- ooops -- 10 years ago is considerably more than the estimated 5 years ago I was thinking above. At that time we only saw one other dinner option in the entire town. But we LOVED the peace and quiet.
NeoPatrick is offline  
Mar 22nd, 2007, 05:18 PM
  #11  
 
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It may be different than it was in '97, but Manarola is still pretty peaceful, NeoP. We fell in love with the place in October, from the minute we arrived; we actually revised our original itinerary so that we could spend more time in Manarola. It's one of our all-time most beloved spots on earth.
LucieV is offline  

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