Volastra – Cinque Terre
Volastra is located at 350 meters above sea level, on the back of a steep hill surrounded by terraces of vineyards and olive trees supported by impressive dry stone walls.
It is a small village where houses were built in three concentric semicircles to adapt to the landscape.
Volastra dates back its origins to 177 B.C. when the Roman legions turned into peasants after the victorious battle against the Ligurians who founded the village that was built on the track of the old road Via Romea, prior to the Roman road Via Aurelia.
On elevated position above the village, stands the Romanesque church dating from the tenth century, dedicated to Our Lady of Health. The church was built entirely of sandstone blocks and decorated by the Gothic portal and the mullioned dating from the twelfth century.
“Vicus Oleaster”, the land of the olive trees, was a staging post for changing horses, while today it is one of the most beautiful places in the heart of the National Park of the Cinque Terre, where terraces for the cultivation of vines and olive trees, supported by dry-stone walls, make this place one of the most suggestive in the area.
Volastra, thanks to its dominant geographical position, since the middle age was elected sanctuary of Manarola, which is only 2 km away and in addition to offering an extraordinary natural landscape overlooking the sea, it is the most important crossroad of paths of the Cinque Terre.
From here you will have the opportunity to walk through trails of various difficulties all suitably marked by the C.A.I. (Italian Alpine Club), surrounded by an enchanting nature.
You may reach Manarola with the path n. 6 in about 30 minutes and Corniglia with the path n. 6d-7a in about 1 hour and 20 minutes. Moreover you can get to the ridge on trail n.1 in about 45 minutes and then continue in the direction of Portovenere or Levanto with the alternative to go down to the villages by the sea.
Another path of considerable interest is the one going to Montenero that may be reached in 1 hour and a half by using the old road of the sanctuaries. From the sactuary of Montenero you can enjoy a breathtaking view of the sea and then you may continue down to Riomaggiore using the old mule track.
Volastra, unlike the other villages of the Cinque Terre, has free parking areas in the immediate vicinity of the village.
Considering the peculiar morphology of these places, the use of the car is not recommended while visiting Cinque Terre.
Using the shuttle bus service, included in the cost of the ticket to visit the National Park, in a few minutes you can reach Manarola, from where, taking advantage of trains and boats, you can easily reach the other four fishing villages.
In Volastra there are 2 bars, a small supermarket with fresh bread every day, a deli and 2 excellent restaurants with typical Ligurian menus mainly based on fish.