Apricale is a picturesque small village to the north-east of Dolceacqua in western Liguria and surrounded by forested hills, included on the list of the most beautiful villages in Italy.
The Lucertola Castle next to the square towards the top of the village dates from the 12th century and you can still see two towers and parts of the walls. The two churches also both contain interesting historical artefacts such as a medieval mosaic in the Church of the Purification of the Virgin Mary* and the 16th century altarpiece in the Oratory of Saint Bartholomew.
As well as the main square it is also the tiny alleyways, arched passageways and ancient houses and staircases that give Apricale its unique charm so allow time to explore the most obscure corners of the village!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.