MANAROLA (Dominic Piperata, 2010)


This painting belongs to Manarola, which is the oldest of the cities of the Cinque Terre. The Cinque Terre is a zone that is located on the rugged coast of the Riviera Italian. «The Five Lands» comprises five villages: Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore. The painter is Dominic Piperata, a very famous artist from California. The image comes from the artist’s official blog and is characterized by its brilliant color and simplicity. It centers its attention in the cliff and the terraces formed in the rock. The author also wanted to reflect the simplicity of the houses. With a soft style he shows to the perfection that it is a calm village.

In this image we can appreciate the great importance that has the cliff and the port for the development of fishing. In the last years, these 5 villages have become very popular and its tourism has increased, overall in summer. However, the most important activity in Manarola is concerned to the primary sector (fishing and viticulture). Manarola has a path, which surrounds the coast and joins with Riomiaggoire, (The Route dell´Amore). In addition it also has routes of hills and vineyards that surround the whole village. This route was excavated to hand, with beak and spade between the years (1920-1930) for workers who are employed in the railway to join Genoa with The Spezia. The Five Villages are connected between them thanks to these ways but many people are still using boats. The cars cannot come in the village because of the narrowness of the streets.

The town planning is irregular, because the village is set in the edge of a cliff and it cannot construct this one of another form. In the center of the village there is a temple dedicated to ¨The Manes¨ – Roman patron gods of the house, representing the spirits of the late relatives. Concerning the streets, Manarola has a main street which is Via di Mezzo, which in turn follows the course of the water. Also we can find 3 principal streets: ¨Via Antonio Discovolo¨, ¨Via Di Corniglia¨ and ¨Via Renato Birolli¨. The village is formed by small houses that are wonderfully painted. The houses are distributed along the principal streets. There are numerous terraces, which form almost 7.000 kilometers of walls constructed with stones joined without cement, in where  the persons who live there, plant and cultivate vineyards and olive tree. This village does not possess any monument of great importance, since is characterized by its spectacular view and its beautiful beach, where it is possible to practice scuba diving. The streets are narrow, the majority with stairs. There are ancient houses that answer the structure of tower houses that were in the habit of being constructed at the beginning of the middle Ages for the defense, with balconies that give to the streets. There are a lot of boats along the streets. Manarola is the oldest of the villages in the Cinque Terre, with the cornerstone of the church, San Lorenzo, dating from 1338.

At present, the place is catalogued as World heritage of the Humanity, and from 1998 has happened to turn into National Park and Preserved Marina Zone. It is curious to note that the ships have to get up to pulse up to the nearest terrace, because the wharf does not exist. The fishermen use ropes and talk a local dialect called Manarolese, which is marginally different from the dialects in the nearby area. An historical event that took place here is that until the 60s this zone was isolated by its detachments. In conclusion, this zone of the Cinque Terre is characterized for being a place of easing.

Andrea Paños Castillo