Welcome back to Ask a Local, a series of posts in which I interview locals all over the world about what to see, where to go, what to eat, and how to fit in in their city or town. The following interview was originally published in my Italy guide.
Today I’m happy to introduce you to Andrea Capellini, a B&B and holiday apartment owner and winemaker here to tell us all about Volastra – a tiny town located in the Cinque Terre national park.
First, tell us about you.
My name is Andrea and I run the Il Vigneto B&B in Volastra, along with my wife Patrizia. We’re two kilometers from Manarola and three kilometers from Riomaggiore. Our B&B is a small 6-room place with a wide terrace (where we serve breakfast in the morning) and an amazing sea view. We also have holiday apartments here. The house has been in my family for a very long time and we rebuilt and started the B&B in 2003.
The name “Il Vigneto” means vineyard, because my family has cultivated vineyards and produced white wine for many years. We have a very nice, small cellar with a very old mill where we produce our wine and where my clients can taste it.
If someone is visiting the Cinque Terre for the first time, what do you recommend they see or do?
From Volastra, the best thing to do is walk with path n. 6d to Corniglia (it should take about one hour and 15 minutes) or path n. 6 to Manarola (about 30 minutes). Taking these walks, you can appreciate the magnificent sea views and terraces with vineyards held up by dry stone walls.
From there, visit the rest of the villages by boat, path, or train.
What neighborhoods or parts of town are best to stay in?
Volastra is our favorite because is very natural and true. It only has two hotels and two B&Bs, all very well managed, new, and with amazing sea views.
Let’s talk about day trips…what nearby places should everyone make sure to visit?
You cannot lose with Manarola and Vernazza.
Tell us about the local dishes. What should people try here?
Pasta al pesto, acciughe salate e fritte (friend anchovy salad), frittura mista di paranza (mixed fried fish), spaghetti allo scoglio (seafood spaghetti), lasagne al pesto, pesce al forno con patate (fish and potatoes), vino doc Cinque Terre (local dry white wine), and Sciacchetrà (local dessert wine).
What are your top three favorite bars and restaurants?
Trattoria L’Arcobaleno in Volastra (located at Via Montello 270), Trattoria dal Billy in Manarola (located at Via Aldo Rollandi 122), and Ristorante Cappun Magru in Groppo (located at Via Volastra 19).
What is the best way to meet locals and make friends?
Go to Cantina dello Zio Bramante in Manarola (located at Via Renato Birolli 110).
Why should people make sure to visit the Cinque Terre?
Because the landscape is unique and unforgettable and from May to September you can swim in the warm sea.
What is the best place to go take beautiful photos of the area?
Path n. 6d from Volastra to Corniglia.
Find Andrea at www.ilvigneto5terre.com.