Manarola is a small town, a frazione of the comune of Riomaggiore, in the province of La Spezia, Liguria, northern Italy. It is the second-smallest of the famous Cinque Terre towns frequented by tourists, with a population of 353.
The origin of the village is linked to the need of the populations who lived on the Gulf of Gaeta to move to new settlements in a protected position on the surrounding hills, to defend against Saracen raids. Maranola is mentioned for the first time in 1029 and again in 1045, when it is indicated as castrum, a place fortified with walls and towers. In 1041 the existence of a “via carraria de Maranola” is also attested. Under the Caetani a new wall with three towers was then built, the only access to which was the so-called “ravellino”, demolished at the end of the 19th century. The village was placed under siege in 1347 by Nicola Caetani as part of the clashes conducted to regain Mola, Castellone and Traetto. His son, Onorato I Caetani, had a castle built there which took from him the name of “Castello Onorato”. In April 1400 it was besieged by the troops of Ladislao I of Naples. In the 15th century it had the status of a *university* and the statute states that it included the hamlets of Mamurrano, Ponzanello and Trivio in its territory. In 1414 the property was sold to Pietro Origlia, count of Caiazzo, but Cristoforo Caetani took it back by force. In 1428 it became an autonomous municipality together with a quarter of the territory of Maranola. In 1491 it was in possession of Caterina Pignatelli, in 1504 by Prospero Colonna and in 1691 it passed to the Carafa, who kept it until the abolition of feudalism in 1806.