I mean, nothing has changed 😉 Cinque Terre, these famous that is recognized by UNESCO, that are always overpopulated and full of tourists are still and only five 🙂
I had an idea to add some places that are very similar to Cinque Terre and to called them other “Terre”. For instance, last year I wrote a post about Levanto (“Levanto, the sixth Cinque Terre”) cause Levanto is located close to the Cinque Terre and it is so similar to them. I think it should be included in the famous villages. After some time I thought that Volastra is also very similar to them and it should be described as well! Moreover, all of you that are looking for a tranquil and relaxing place in Cinque Terre: Volastra is a thing you need 🙂
How to get to Volastra?
-by car – from La Spezia, you can get a provincial road SP370. At the beginning follow the road signs to Cinque Terre and then after you passed by Manarola, turn right and get SP51 road to Volastra. The trip takes about 35-50 minutes. Normally I discourage to go to Cinque Terre with a car. Also this time I recommend you to use a train or ferry for reaching Cinque Terre. However, the car is the most comfortable and the fastest way to get Volastra when you are in Cinque Terre.
-by bus– from La Spezia you can catch line 29; the trip takes about 40 minutes; you can depart also from Manarola. The trip from Manarola takes about 10 minutes and the ticket costs 2,5€. If you have the CT Card the bus ticket is included.
-on foot – trail sentiero 1 (506 ex.6) from Manarola to Volastra; a distance between the villages is about 3 km; more about the trail I wrote below.
The first settlement was created here probably by Etruscan. According to the scientists the proof that they created it is the round form of the village. In the following ages, the inhabitants of Volastra founded Manarola. In all that time the inhabitants of Volastra grew olive trees and grape vines … and in fact, they still grow them 😉 Volastra is surrounded by olive trees and vineyards.
The name Volastra comes from “Vicus Oleaster” what in Latin means village of olives. It is quite clear why it was named like that … 🙂
Things to see and do
The first thing that impresses everybody is the village forme. It is oval and built at the top of a hill. From Volastra you can admire a really stunning view on Manarola and Corniglia. All these things are really breathtaking.
The most fantastic characteristic of Volastra is that it is very close to Cinque Terre and so similar to them and at the same time and it is so calm and undiscovered by tourists. You can stay here in a bar or in a restaurant, take a rest and admire amazing views.
Volastra has basically 2 streets, so you can quickly walk around it and it is impossible to lose here (but I did!). The main attraction is the medieval church that is located in the higher part of the village.
Santuario di Nostra Signora della Salute
It was built in the XII century. It represents a Romanesque and Gothic style, very typical for the churches of these part of Liguria.
Via dei Santuari
The church of Volastra is located on the way of the Via dei Santuri a trail that connects five different churches that are located above five famous villages of Cinque Terre. The trail leads about 500 meters above the sea level and is very panoramic. The view here is really stunning. It starts in Monterosso and ends in Riomaggiore. It is about 25 km long and it takes about 7 hours to cover it.
Trail Manarola – Volastra
As I have mentioned before, you can arrive at Volastra on foot. There is a trail 506 / Caruggio – Volastra that starts in a Manarola’s harbour. Then you have to climb up on the more than 1200, steep steps … It is quite hard. I saw people on there that were cursing the idea to take that trail. The trip takes about 1h40min-2h20min. However, the view is really incredible!
Volastra is the answer to the most frequent question that is made to me: How to avoid the crowds in Cinque Terre? The answer is: spend some time in Volastra 😉 You will love it!
p.s. Stay tuned cause I’m going to write also a post about “The eighth Cinque Terre” 😉
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