There is a specific reason why we called our property Alla Porta Rossa (At the Red Gate): its name is not random, but it is a due homage to the history of the village.
During the XI century the inhabitants of Volastra, the ancient Vicus Olestre (the olive village), came down from above to the sea, where a small village, called now Manarola, sprang up.

Some experts think that the ancient name of Manarola comes from Manium Arula, the small temple dedicated to the Dead, or Manium Aea, the island of the Dead, while some others reckon that it is from A Manaea, a dialect word, commonly used now, whose origins lie on Magna Roea, a big water millstone.

Although the real derivation of the name of Manarola is still uncertain, we know for a fact that the original kernel of the village rose on a rocky spur dropping sheer to the sea. Thanks to its singular and lucky position, the naturally fortified and sheltered village became more and more important and its population increased very quickly. However, until the middle of the XIII century, it remained suject to Volastra as far as Nicoḷ Fieschi, who did realize its strategic importance, changed it into a big castle. Over the centuries and for the many invasions from pirates, who always came in great numbers, this castle was almost completly destroyed.

 Almost, but not completly, so that what of this castle still remains, is a very small part, which has been restored by the Cappellini Bordone family; today it is the cozy romantic B&B Alla Porta Rossa, in front of which you can see the ruins of the old Porta Superiore (the main entrance to the castle), also called Porta Rossa.

The upper arch The Porta Rossa building Our building thru the Arch The Church of Volastra

ALLA PORTA ROSSA     - Via Rollandi 246     Manarola - Cinqueterre (SP)
email: info@mareterra.it - Tel. (+39 ) 0187 920189 - (+39 ) 0187 842382 - Fax (+39 ) 0187 760621

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Palmaria island in Portovenere