Situated right above the sea in the quaint little town of Manarola lies Marina Piccola which boasts the most prime location for sunsets and views of the beautiful Cinque Terre waters. We planned this lunch stop from our hiking through the Cinque Terre ("five lands") from a recommendation by our friend who always eat here for lunch and dinner during his stay in Cinque Terre.
We shared the Fritto Misto (mixed fried seafood) which had lightly battered fresh shrimp and squid. I couldn't get enough of the calamri because they were so light and tender. I didn't even need the lemon really because I loved tasting the freshness of the seafood.
We also ordered Ligurian's local dish: the Trenette al Pesto - which consists of pesto sauce, potatoes, and green beans. This region is the birthplace of pesto. Basil is grounded with cheese (Parmigiano cow cheese and pecorino sheep cheese), garlic, pine nuts, and olive oil.
After traveling through 3 different Italian cities, this was our first time seeing bottles of olive oil and balsamic vinegar with bread being served (but we had to ask for it). An American thing?
Hiking from the town of Corniglia, we rounded the hills and saw this magnificent view of Manarola. Marina Piccola is located above the ramp on the left side of this photograph. It's a great rest stop as you hike along the trails through the charming 5 lands. Be prepared to wait though as many people want to enjoy the beautiful view as they dine.