The Holy Monastery of Varlaam is the second biggest monastery in Meteora. It is located opposite of the Great Meteoron Monastery and it was founded in the mid-14th century by the exercitant Hosios Varlaam.
The elegant monastery Katholikon (main church) was built in the honour of Agioi Pantes in 1541-42, by two brothers from Ioannina, the priest-monks Hosioi Theophanes and Nectarios the Apsarades. The main church was decorated in 1548. Based on stylistic criteria, this magnificent wall-painting is attributed to the famous hagiographer from Thebes, Frago Catelano.
The old refectory is used as a museum while north of the church is the side chapel of the Three Bishops, built in 1627 and decorated in 1637.
A very large and impressive 16th century oak barrel for water storage is also not to be missed. The old refectory has been turned into a museum, where visitors can admire the excellence of religious painted icons – mostly contemporary to the Renaissance period – and precious holy vestments of the priests. Other old buildings in the Monastery are the kitchen and the hospital. The bibliographic workshop and the workshop of gold-embroidery of the Monastery were excellent.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.