A HOMAGE TO THE PAST
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.
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.
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