If you are staying in the area around Lucca you can easily combine these two charming places. Of course if you have more time, you can spend a full day or more in Lucca and another full day in Manarola. If we had time I would have loved to hike the hill to get those pictoresque photos of Manarola. But I am happy we got to at least see it and we had so much fun!
On our last day in Italy we left our Airbnb in Ortimino early in the morning and drove (about an hour) to Lucca. Driving in the center we saw the huge walls around the city.
We parked in the center and walked through the streets to have our breakfast. The spot we wanted to go to happened to be closed so we just went to the nearby one that was open.
We all had a “cornetto” (croissant), the kids had “succo di mela” (apple juice), my husband had a tè (tea) and I had a cappuccino. The cornetto was not like the ones in Panicale… that was such a memorable breakfast… but I will say the cappuccino was really good! Lucca seems like a nice place to spend a day. My daughters names’ are Italian and we never find their names on items, but my oldest daughter found a little purse with her name on it! It was so cool to see that! Lucca had delightful stores with jewellery, art and many others. It seems like a good place to shop around.
You can rent a bike and tour the city walls or do some shopping. I’ve read from many posts while researching that people love to buy jewellery in Lucca.
We continued our journey to Manarola, which is one of the five towns of Cinque Terre. The drive to Manarola was the scariest for me. When we were close to reaching the town, the roads got super curvy and steep! I was feeling pretty nervous about that! However once we passed that, and were driving near the ocean it was just gorgeous. The view of the ocean was spectacular. We drove to the center of Manarola and parked our car (it does get very busy! I would suggest to come early), then walked to the center.
Manarola is very touristy. Cinque Terre is so famous these days and many people want to explore it, however it wasn’t too bad when we were there. The center is very photogenic and I loved the colours of the buildings.
To get the picturesque photos of Cinque Terre villages you will have to hike up the hill.
Unfortunately we didn’t have time to do that as we still had to drive to Switzerland.
We said goodbye to this pictoresque village and continued our journey to Switzerland! That was quite a story and another highlight of our journey! If you want to know more about that then click here.
I hope you enjoyed this post and can get some inspiration for your own travels. Let me know if you enjoyed reading it in the comments! Read about our five favourite experiences in Tuscany on this link.
Until next time!