The Breno castle rises on a hill overlooking the town: the building was erected in the 12th century, then turned into a military stronghold at the time of the Venetian Republic (1400-1500) and finally, after being abandoned in 1598, it was reused as a stone quarry.
The castle however rises on a much more ancient site: probably the place where in the 10th-9th century BCE a prehistoric community settled.
You can reach the castle with a short walk (about 15 minutes) from the centre of Breno: the perimeter is closed by a battlemented boundary wall and by two towers. Inside you can admire the remains of the St. Michele church, of Longobard origin, then enlarged in the Romanesque period. The other buildings, the only remains of which are mostly the outside walls and the cellars with barrel vaults, were added during the Venetian reign.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.