Our May trip to Cinque-Terre in Italy, besides all the beauties of the five villages with stunning views, had an unexpected treat. As you may guess, it was a garden! Not a public garden or a botanical garden, and not a garden included into some type of garden tour, but a private, authentic garden located on one of those terraced hills, which we, as tourists, used to admire. I'd never have seen it if not for my curiosity.
We stayed in the village of Manarola, in a little charming hotel named La Torretta.
This is La Torretta's lobby. The portrait is of the owner's grandma, who opened her residence for guests first in 1995 (or 1998). She lived 105 years and spent all of her years in Manorola, never leaving the village.
The hotel has been renovated and has all the modern conveniences, although, for example, our suite is in a 400 year old building. The views from the hotel make you feel as if you are in the heart of ancient Italy, with terraces that have been used for thousands of years to grow grapes, olives and other plants.
The best way to have the place for yourself is to get up early and walk the empty streets.
La Torretta is located right near the heart of Manarola - the piazza with a church and bell tower.
Church of San Lorenzo dates from 1338. Simple, intimate and endearing.
Bell tower from 13th century was originally built as a watch tower. Pirate raids were common back then.
La Torretta offers a delightful breakfast, again, with gorgeous views of the village and the sea.
The staff is very friendly and helpful, providing excellent service.
These extensive stone terraces on steep hills were carved a thousand (or even more) years ago and have been maintained ever since:
And now, to the garden, to the garden with the permission of our owner, Gabriele, who takes care of the garden with its flowers, vegetables and fruit trees, together with his Aunt and Uncle.
These terraces and gardens are photographed by all the tourists, and I never thought I would be so lucky as to see them from inside. Since I couldn't resist and walked through the garden several times, the pictures are mixed and can take you to the same corners of the garden several times.
Nasturtium is getting wild having such freedom. I won't show this picture to my own nasturtium.
Walking such stairs every day will make you healthy.
Someone is always working on the terraces on the opposite side of our hotel:
It is very quiet on the streets in the morning...
The garden goes all the way from La Torretta to these lovely gates at the street level:
Thank you Gabriele for allowing us to stroll through your garden.
If I ever get back to La Torretta I promise to do some weeding!
Facebook page: La-Torretta Hotel
Address: Piazza Della Chiesa 20, 19017 Manarola SP, Italy
Phone: +39 0187 920327