Apollonia, known in the Early Islamic period as Arsuf and in the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem as Arsur, was an ancient city on the Mediterranean coast of today's Israel. Founded by the Phoenicians during the Persian period in the late sixth century BCE, it was inhabited continuously until the Crusader period, through the Hellenistic, Roman, and Byzantine periods, during the latter being renamed to Sozusa. It was situated on a sandy area ending towards the sea with a cliff.
It fell to the Muslims in 640, was fortified against Byzantine attacks and became known as Arsuf. In 1101 it was conquered by the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem, and was a strategically important stronghold in the Third Crusade, during which the Battle of Arsuf (1191) was fought nearby. The fortified city and the castle fell to the Mamluks in 1265, when both were completely destroyed.
The site of Apollonia–Arsuf was excavated in the 1990s and opened for visitors as Apollonia National Park in 2002. The above-ground remains before the excavations included the medieval city wall and moat, enclosing an area of about 90 dunam, a Crusader castle with a double-wall system with an area of about 4 dunam, a port with built jetties and a sheltered anchorage, protected by a sandstone reef.
Large amounts of pottery were recovered in the area surrounding the city, mostly of the Byzantine and early Islamic period, indicating that the city extended significantly beyond its old walls in the 7th century. A large Roman-era villa maritima was uncovered to the south of the site.References:
Manarola is a small town, a frazione of the comune of Riomaggiore. It is the second-smallest of the famous Cinque Terre towns frequented by tourists, with a population of 353.
Manarola may be the oldest of the towns in the Cinque Terre, with the cornerstone of the church, San Lorenzo, dating from 1338. The local dialect is Manarolese, which is marginally different from the dialects in the nearby area. The name 'Manarola' is probably a dialectical evolution of the Latin, 'magna rota'. In the Manarolese dialect this was changed to 'magna roea' which means 'large wheel', in reference to the mill wheel in the town.
Manarola's primary industries have traditionally been fishing and wine-making. The local wine, called Sciacchetrà, is especially renowned; references from Roman writings mention the high quality of the wine produced in the region.