Since 1961, during the Christmas period, a suggestive luminous nativity scene (the largest in the world) has been set up on the hill overlooking the village, whose characters, handcrafted by Mario Andreoli, retired railway worker, are made up of thousands and thousands of lights mounted on special shapes that give the representation a unique charm in the world. The statues are made with recycled materials (old shutters, plastic containers, wood, iron rods), to illuminate the first cross he used the battery of a car to transmit the current, while for the two crucified thieves he came to use 15,000 bulbs.
In addition to the famous nativity scene, during the Easter period, Mario Andreoli creates a luminous Via Crucis on the same hill. Instead, for the feast of San Lorenzo a representation of the saint with the famous grill is illuminated.
Manarola has a railway stop on the Genoa-Pisa line, served by the Trenitalia regional relations carried out under the service contract with the Liguria Region. A second stop is in the town of Riomaggiore.
In the tourist season, a scheduled boat service connects Manarola with the other villages of the Cinque Terre, with the exception of Corniglia which has no landing place. From the Cinque Terre also boats leave for Porto Venere, in turn connected with La Spezia and Lerici.
Manarola can be reached through two main paths, both marked by the La Spezia section of the CAI.
The first is the ridge path number 1, known as the Alta via delle Cinque Terre. This ancient mule track runs along the watershed that separates the Cinque Terre coast from the Val di Vara and forms a secondary branch of the Alta Via dei Monti Liguri, to which it connects at Mount Zatta. To reach the village from the ridge path it is necessary to take one of the following cross paths: path 6 at Monte Marvede, path 6 / a at Monte Capri or path 02 at Monte Galera.
The second main route is the coastal path number 2, part of a wider itinerary that crosses the entire Ligurian Riviera. Known as the Blue Trail, the route crosses all the Cinque Terre from Monterosso to Riomaggiore, taking on the famous name of Via dell’Amore in the stretch between the latter and Manarola. This infrastructure, which gives Manarola as much fame as the typical Sciachetrà wine, was dug into the rock, overlooking the sea, between 1926 and 1928 as a service route during the construction of the railway. Closed for a long time in the nineties, the promenade was reopened in recent years after careful restoration work and closed again in 2012 following a landslide. Unlike that of the ridge, this path is subject to the payment of an entrance ticket imposed by the Cinque Terre National Park.