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Manarola, Italy: A Beautiful Village On The Mediterranean

Updated on September 18, 2014

Manarola: A Charming Village In the Italian Riviera

Manarola, Italy is one of five tiny towns in a section of the Italian Riviera known as Cinque Terre. Although Cinque Terre translates to "five lands," it actually refers to five villages that are all connected by a walking path: Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore.

My family had the honor of being able to visit Manarola in June of 2008. It was an experience we'll never forget.

Would you like to hear about our trip to Manarola and view some of our photos?

Cinque Terre on the Mediterranean in Italy - Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore

This is a map that shows the five villages in Cinque Terre: Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore. Each of the five villages has it's own unique personality. We would have loved to have explored them all, but did want to see some of the rest of Europe too!

Map of Cinque Terre in Italy
Map of Cinque Terre in Italy | Source

Cinque Terre is located along the Mediterranean in Northern Italy. Cinque Terre can be found at the chocolate brown area on this map. Venice,on the other hand, can be found in Northern Italy on the other side of the "leg" that makes up Italy. Draw a line straight across the top of the "boot" from Cinque Terre, and that's Venice!

Manarola, Italy - on the Italian Riviera - These are some photos we took of Manarola while on our trip. (Click the smaller photos to enlarge them.)

Click thumbnail to view full-size

How Interesting and Unique the Colorful Buildings in Manarola Are! - Some of the buildings in Manarola are built right into the cliff!

Manarola - A village built on a cliff by the sea
Manarola - A village built on a cliff by the sea

One of the things that fascinates me about Manarola, Italy is the colorful buildings built on the side of the cliff! Look at how they are almost stacked on top of each other! They are called "Tower Houses." Notice how the pink building in the lower right hand side of the photo is build right into the cliff!

A Street In Manarola

The main street in Manarola
The main street in Manarola

There are plenty of boats, yes. But notice anything missing? Where are the cars?

How do you get to Manarola?

Not likely by car!

One of the things that makes Cinque Terre unique is it's absence of cars. For our entire stay in Manarola, the only vehicle we saw on the roads was a shuttle bus that carried people from the parking area to the center of the village.

There is a train that connects the five villages, and that's how we got to Manarola. After getting there, we walked every where we went. The hills are steep, but it's so wonderful to have that freedom from cars! No traffic lights. No horns going beep! No screeching of tires or car accidents or traffic violations.

Yes, you can drive there if you'd like, but you must park your car outside Manarola and either use the shuttle bus or walk into the village on foot. Apparently those few residents who have a car park it somewhere (although we never saw any of their cars), but unless you are a resident, you must have a load/unload permit to bring a car into the village.

Other options for getting there include by foot or ferry boat.

The Walking Trails of Cinque Terre - These trails connect the five villages

The trail that connects the 5 villages in Cinque Terre
The trail that connects the 5 villages in Cinque Terre | Source

A walking trail connects the five villages. The trail runs along the coastline of the Mediterranean Sea. Do you see it above? It runs across the middle of the photo.

Tthe trail from Manarola to Riomaggiore
Tthe trail from Manarola to Riomaggiore | Source

My family walked the trail from Manarola to Riomaggiore (that part of the trail is called Via dell'Amore, which means Love's Trail, or Love's Way or Lover's Lane) as well as part of the trail between Manarola and Corniglia. The views are absolutely incredible!

There is a small charge for walking the trail between some of the villages, but not between others.

Riomaggiore, - another town in Cinque Terre
Riomaggiore, - another town in Cinque Terre | Source

We took this photo of Riomaggiore, a neighboring village in Cinque Terre, as we walked along the trail.

Be sure and check out the photo gallery below for some more of the photos we took along the trail!

Scenes from the trail - We took these photos as we walked along the trail between Manarola and neighboring villages.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
This is a garden on the side of the hill in Manarola.Couples often connect a lock here, as a sign of their 'locked together forever" love.
This is a garden on the side of the hill in Manarola.
This is a garden on the side of the hill in Manarola. | Source
Couples often connect a lock here, as a sign of their 'locked together forever" love.
Couples often connect a lock here, as a sign of their 'locked together forever" love. | Source

Where to Stay in Manarola, Italy

Manarola has a youth hostel, as well as other options for accommodations

We stayed in a youth hostel on the top of the hill at Manarola. It was a hike up there, as you're climbing almost constantly on the way up. And the hostel isn't exactly a Hilton Hotel once you get there, yet it certainly met our needs and was clean and inexpensive! We enjoyed our stay there very much and do recommend it! If staying in a hostel every now and then allows your stay in Europe to be longer, go for it!! There's no pool, but hey, you've got the Mediterranean Sea to swim in!! Who needs a pool!!

There were five of us along, so we reserved a room that had six bunks in it. No one else stayed in that room except us (unlike when we were sound asleep on a night train between Venice and Munich - as sound asleep as you can get on a little tiny bunk bed on a moving train, that is - and someone came into our very small train cabin and climbed into the one empty bed around 2 in the morning!). Our Hostel room had it's own (clean) bathroom and shower for which you use shower coins. Lockers were provided in the room for storing your belongings. Although the lockers might not be necessary if you've reserved the whole room just for your party, they are certainly nice to have if you're sharing a room with others you don't know!

In addition to the six bunk rooms, they also have twin and quad rooms available, also with a private bathroom and shower.

Hostel Cinque Terre

Other places to stay in Manarola:

Alla Porta Rossa

Places To Stay In Manarola

Where to eat in Manarola, Italy!

A small restaurant, Pasta pesto & Co. Restaurant, is available in the hostel for breakfast and dinner, but the hostel is closed during the day so you'll have to eat elsewhere for lunch.

Not to worry! There are some great restaurants in Manarola! Most of the ones we found are down near the waterfront.

More About Manarola

Manarola is the oldest, yet the second smallest, of the villages in Cinque Terre. The church, San Lorenzo, dates back to 1338!

The local dialect is Manarolese.

Romantic Weekends in Europe - This book has a section on Cinque Terre.

In addition to a section on Cinque Terre, it also features Salzburg, Austria; Zermatt, Switzerland; Porto-Vecchio, Corsica; Paris, France; Venice, Italy; Amsterdam, Netherlands; London, England; Copenhagen, Denmark; Geneva, Switzerland; Madrid, Spain; Galway, Ireland; Bruges, Belgium; Lucerne, Switzerland; and Vienna, Austria.

Romantic Weekends in Europe
Romantic Weekends in Europe

For each European location, recommended hotels and restaurants are suggested. Also provided are ideas for romantic activities and experiences, such as exploring the tulip fields of Amsterdam by bike, taking a boat ride on the Danube, and visiting some ancient ruins in Budapest at night.


The Mediterranean Sea - The Italian Riviera

The water is sooo cold!
The water is sooo cold! | Source

Speaking of swimming in the Mediterranean Sea - oh man! What an experience!

A ladder is provided, but the water's so cold, most of our family found it easier to just jump right in. You go numb within just a minute or two and then don't have to worry about the cold!

Manarola's swimming area in the Mediterranean
Manarola's swimming area in the Mediterranean | Source

The swimming area is nestled in this little cove, although it certainly seems bigger when you're in it than it appears in this photo!

Manarola's swimming area in the Mediterranean
Manarola's swimming area in the Mediterranean | Source
The swimming area at Manarola
The swimming area at Manarola | Source

Visiting Manarola is like visiting paradise.... - It is soooo beautiful! And without the cars, everything is calm, peaceful, quiet, and relaxing.

Do you agree? After viewing the photos above, do you feel visiting Manarola would be like visiting paradise? Would you like to visit Manarola?

See results

Guide Books On Italy - They're worth the expense!

If you're making a trip to Italy, I highly recommend you purchase a guidebook. They are well worth the expense, in my opinion, and come with valuable tips and insights that can help make your trip more enjoyable (as well as less expensive too, at times!)

Rick Steves' Italy 2014
Rick Steves' Italy 2014

Prior to, as well as during, our vacation in Europe, our personal favorite travel guide was the Rick Steve's series of guide books, although we used several others as well and they all had something to offer! We found that Rick Steve never steered us wrong. We found his advice and recommendations to be helpful and always very accurate.

Frommer's Italy 2013 (Frommer's Color Complete)
Frommer's Italy 2013 (Frommer's Color Complete)

This one has lots of color photographs too! It also contains a little Italian history, so the places you go will be more meaningful to you!

Fodor's Italy 2014 (Full-color Travel Guide)
Fodor's Italy 2014 (Full-color Travel Guide)

As the title suggests, this one is full of color photographs as well!


Have You Ever Been To Italy?

If not, would you like to go?

See results

100 Places in Italy Every Woman Should Go - This is not your typical travel guide book!

This book covers the not-to-be-missed churches, temples and other holy locations of Italy, gardens, beaches, great shopping opportunities, spas, restaurants, activities (hiking, skiing, biking, boating, yoga), cooking classes, arts and crafts (leathercraft, jewelry making, maskmaking, landscape painting, mosaics, ceramics), opera, classical music, jazz, puppet shows, child-friendly locations, and more!

100 Places in Italy Every Woman Should Go
100 Places in Italy Every Woman Should Go

This book covers the "off-the-beaten-path" places to visit while on your trip to Italy! These are the places you might never have heard of, but will love experiencing! This book pairs well with one of Rick Steve's travel guides.


Want to See Some Of the Other Towns in Cinque Terre? - Are you trying to decide which village in Cinque Terre you'd like to visit?

Don't miss the beautiful photos that can be found on these sites!!

Manarola, Italy Jigsaw puzzle - Bring a little of Manarola right into your living room!

Manarola 500 Piece Jigsaw Puzzle
Manarola 500 Piece Jigsaw Puzzle

This Cinque Terre puzzle was made in Italy. It has 500 pieces and measures 19 1/3" x 14 1/5"


Have You Ever Been To Manarola?

Have You Ever Been To Manarola?

See results

Manarola Art Print Poster - on your choice of cotton paper, photo paper, or canvas

I love this piece of art! It's both charming and romantic, just like Manarola!

Manarola, Italy
Manarola, Italy | Source


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    • Iammattdoran profile image

      Matt Doran 13 months ago from Manchester, UK

      It's quite timely that I come across this hub. I'm travelling to Italy next month and we're planning to visit Cinque Terre. We wanted to stay in Manarola or Riomaggiore but prices are too high for what little accommodation there is so we're staying in La Spezia and visiting Manarola by train.

    • Adventuretravels profile image

      Giovanna Sanguinetti 3 years ago from London UK

      I am from Italy - Genova. But I have a flat in La Spezia now. I was in Manarola this Easter -but unfortunately the walks were all closed because heavy rain during the winter made them unsafe -shame but it is such a beautiful place.

    • profile image

      zubaer_ahammed 3 years ago

      great village with amazing beauty.. wish to visit it.

    • ForGoodPeople profile image

      Pinar Unlu 4 years ago from Mugla Turkey

      I had a weekend there, could not spend as much as time as I wish to, thanks for reminding, I will plan to go there again, this time with my husband :)

    • Raymond Eagar profile image

      Raymond Eagar 4 years ago

      Italy was a great visit but we only saw a bit of it

    • winter aconite profile image

      winter aconite 4 years ago

      Love your lens. I actually come from La Spezia, main town in the province. Love all of 5 terre and go there on holiday every year (I live in England now). Great pictures that brought back great memories! Well done!!!!!

    • profile image

      Arc4life 4 years ago

      great squidoo lens...would love to visit Italy..

    • profile image

      laurenrich 4 years ago

      Geautiful lens. Beautiful pictures. This lens is very informative. Thanks

    • takkhisa profile image

      Takkhis 4 years ago

      Beautiful place to travel!

    • ESLinsider LM profile image

      ESLinsider LM 4 years ago

      Oh yeah, been there. I hiked between all of those towns and swam in the ocean very awesome.

    • askformore lm profile image

      askformore lm 4 years ago

      Manarola is now (after reading your lens) on my list of places to go to!

    • reserve123 profile image

      reserve123 4 years ago

      I am planning a trip, and appreciate the information on this lens. Thank you.

    • savateuse profile image

      savateuse 4 years ago

      very nice lens - blessed

    • profile image

      GarminApproachGPS 5 years ago

      Beautiful in one word, I'll surely try to visit this place once in my life.

    • Trixiesmom2u profile image

      Trixiesmom2u 5 years ago

      I saw a travelogue on tv about this area and always thought I'd like to live there for a couple of months. It just seems so peaceful and friendly. I really enjoyed this lens.

    • HomeschooledKid1 profile image

      HomeschooledKid1 5 years ago

      Looks neat! I'd love to go! Nice lens!

    • mueedahmad profile image

      mueedahmad 5 years ago

      After visiting this lens Manarola has been added in my bucket list for tour.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      looks idylic

    • Charmcrazey profile image

      Wanda Fitzgerald 5 years ago from Central Florida

      Could any place on earth be more lovely? I don't just want to visit, I want to live there. Beautiful photos.

    • Joan Haines profile image

      Joan Haines 5 years ago

      I say we all have a meet up in Cinque Terre! "Squid Angel blessed."

    • kislanyk profile image

      Marika 5 years ago from Cyprus

      This sounds like an awesome place!

    • profile image

      marsha32 5 years ago

      It does look like a great place to be able to visit.

    • profile image

      golfspice 5 years ago

      Italy is a good country to visit with lots of exciting things to see and do. Manarola looks great - I shall add it to my bucket list.

    • srsddn lm profile image

      srsddn lm 5 years ago

      Manarola is really wonderful, nicely depicted in your lens.

    • biggking lm profile image

      biggking lm 5 years ago

      nice village

    • SheilaMilne profile image

      SheilaMilne 5 years ago from Kent, UK

      I've always passed by, unfortunately. My sons live in the south of France nd from there I go to Italy, usually one of the larger cities.

    • UKGhostwriter profile image

      UKGhostwriter 5 years ago

      Breath taking!

    • profile image

      iwrite4cash 5 years ago

      Wow, Italy has some absolutely breath-taking scenery! Fantastic and well put together lens! I hope I get a chance to visit one day!

    • menskincaretips profile image

      menskincaretips 5 years ago

      Amazing, I hope to visit Italy soon too!

    • RobynHanisch LM profile image

      RobynHanisch LM 5 years ago

      I love this lens!! Manarola is definitely on my bucket list!

    • profile image

      katieross 5 years ago

      Absolutely beautiful!

    • profile image

      entertainmentev 5 years ago

      Beautiful lens! I think I'll have to add this to my travels next time I visit Italy.

    • profile image

      DiscoverCarcass 5 years ago

      I have heard about "Cinque Terre" from friends that they have visited, but i haven't ever imagine that is so beautiful! Thanks for this Lens!

    • SusannaDuffy profile image

      Susanna Duffy 5 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      I would love to visit Cinque Terra, but the cost is prohibitive. Sigh. I was also taken by the title of a book you feature here 'Romantic Weekends in Europe' - golly, it takes a weekend on a plane for me to even get to Europe :-)

    • profile image

      changename 5 years ago

      Absolutely love Italy and the images brought back some great memories of my time in Alba...if i only had enough money to retire...this would be my ideal retirement location...superb

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Keep up the great work, would love to visit Manarola :)

    • jayceehaynes profile image

      jayceehaynes 5 years ago

      looks like a beautiful place. I would love to visit there... nice lens :)

    • SMW1962 LM profile image

      SMW1962 LM 5 years ago

      Ohhhh, I love Italy! This lens make me want to go back there!

    • jptanabe profile image

      Jennifer P Tanabe 5 years ago from Red Hook, NY

      Wow - I just want to visit ASAP! My daughter is planning another Europe trip soon, so I'll tell her to check this out - she'd love it. Angel blessed

    • ceejaycmarshall profile image

      ceejaycmarshall 5 years ago

      BEAUTIFUL! When can I leave here for there? Lol. Oh, and I especially love the vegetarian recipes!

    • flycatcherrr profile image

      flycatcherrr 5 years ago

      I love the way the building look like they've grown out of the cliff. What a beautiful place!

    • clouda9 lm profile image

      clouda9 lm 5 years ago

      Oh I so wanna go to Manarola, Italy too. TY for the virtual view from here at my desk in SW Washington.

    • Bill Armstrong profile image

      Bill Armstrong 5 years ago from Valencia, California

      Nice, will need ask my Italian friends at work if they live close to here, that way when I visit them I can visit here ;)

    • profile image

      grannysage 5 years ago

      I love these virtual tour lenses. Now I don't feel left out by not being able to see the world. It sounds like swimming in the Mediterranean is a lot like swimming in Lake Superior! Beautiful photos of a beautiful area.

    • profile image

      stephenes 5 years ago

      Very nice lens.

      Shared with my friend in FB too :)

    • Winter52 LM profile image

      Winter52 LM 5 years ago

      What a beautiful city to visit! It is going on my list!!

    • profile image

      Ruthi 5 years ago

      Manarola, Italy is fascinating! Your photos of your trip give such a gorgeous view of the city and neighboring area. I add my blessings and a bit o' sunshine to beautiful Manarola.

    • WorldVisionary3 profile image

      WorldVisionary3 5 years ago

      Manarola looks absolutely divine! I would love to visit someday. Thumbs up on a beautiful lens. :)

    • RaintreeAnnie profile image

      RaintreeAnnie 5 years ago from UK

      What a beautiful place! Thank you for sharing your experience of your visit.

    • northwestarkansas profile image

      northwestarkansas 5 years ago

      I haven't been to the Italian Riviera, however this lens makes it very enticing.

    • TonyPayne profile image

      Tony Payne 5 years ago from Southampton, UK

      This looks like an amazing place to visit, and you did it proud with this splendid lens. Great job, blessed and congratulations on your Purple Star award.

    • Zlatniratbeach profile image

      Zlatniratbeach 5 years ago

      beautiful lens, amazing town!!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Beautiful town, nice pictures

    • profile image

      sherioz 5 years ago

      Thanks for introducing such an enchanting and beautiful place!

    • nyclittleitaly profile image

      nyclittleitaly 5 years ago

      What a great lens about one of the most beautiful parts of the world. You did a fantastic job!

    • wormwood80 profile image

      wormwood80 5 years ago

      Loved the pictures...they definitely got me in the mood for all the recipes you posted!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I was just here in January but wanted to stop by and congratulate you on front page honors for your beautiful presentation of Manarola, Italy...a trip of dreams come true and many smiles!

    • profile image

      im1337mi 5 years ago

      Beautiful place! Thanks for sharing it!

    • mommafox profile image

      mommafox 5 years ago

      Italy is the top of my list in my dream vacations. Beautiful lens. Thank you for sharing!

    • iWriteaLot profile image

      iWriteaLot 5 years ago

      What an incredible lens!

    • dwnovacek profile image

      dwnovacek 5 years ago

      Absolutely gorgeous! You've created a beautiful lens here and I thank you for sharing your experience. Angel Blessed!

    • Tradeshowhobo profile image

      Tradeshowhobo 5 years ago

      Great pictures. Thanks for posting.

    • SayGuddaycom profile image

      SayGuddaycom 5 years ago

      Absolutely stunning. This has just made the list of my places to go.

    • intermarks profile image

      intermarks 5 years ago

      I shall include Manarola in my travel list, from the photos, I can feel that it is really natural and I like it when there are no vehicles on the road, the air should be really fresh. Thank you for sharing.

    • esvoytko lm profile image

      esvoytko lm 5 years ago

      Gorgeous photos! The Mediterranean really has some of the most beautiful towns and cities in the world, doesn't it?

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      ptnjust007 5 years ago

      great lens

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      PecjakJN 5 years ago

      beautifuly village and leans.

    • captainj88 profile image

      Leah J. Hileman 5 years ago from East Berlin, PA, USA

      Terrific! What a neat place. I love the idea of NO CARS!!!

    • sockii profile image

      Nicole Pellegrini 5 years ago from New Jersey

      Lovely...I just adore Italy and every part of it is magical in its own way...

    • navalava lm profile image

      navalava lm 5 years ago

      I enjoyed your lens! The place is beautiful. I love those old towns.

    • imlifestyle profile image

      imlifestyle 5 years ago

      Been to Venice, but would love to see more of what Italy has to offer. Thanks..

    • profile image

      MBcandy 5 years ago

      Words can not describe its beauty, what a wonderful land!

    • dahlia369 profile image

      dahlia369 5 years ago

      I most enjoy places like that, especially the Mediterranean ones. Beautiful lens!! :)

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      What a beautiful place, I'd love to visit it, here's a *angel blessing* for the great article.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Looks like a great place to visit, relatively close to where i live too, will have to visit Manarola sometime soon!

    • Herman IV profile image

      Herman IV 5 years ago

      Great lens! Loved Italy! Such a beautiful country.

    • MelonyVaughan profile image

      MelonyVaughan 5 years ago

      What a stunning place! Love the photos!

    • profile image

      JZinoBodyArt 5 years ago

      Thank you for sharing this little slice of paradise!

    • SPhilbrick profile image

      SPhilbrick 5 years ago

      This is like a world of it's very own. Very unique. Thank you for sharing your experience!

    • profile image

      fullofshoes 5 years ago

      I have always wanted to visit Italy but knew nothing about this wonderful place that you write about. Great lens :)

    • LisaDH profile image

      LisaDH 5 years ago

      Looks like a wonderful place to visit!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Returning to enjoy your delightful trip to Manarola once again, what a treat!

    • Brite-Ideas profile image

      Barbara Tremblay Cipak 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      This is a fantastic looking place..just beautiful. You really gave it justice with this lens.

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 5 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      Manarola, Italy looks so beautiful. I enjoyed visiting through this page.

    • Linda BookLady profile image

      Linda Jo Martin 5 years ago from Post Falls, Idaho, USA

      So beautiful! I would love to visit and swim there!

    • BusyMOM LM profile image

      BusyMOM LM 5 years ago

      One of my favorite places in the world....

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Have been trying to decide if this is somewhere my family would enjoying visiting in Italy. You help me decide YES!!!! THX!

    • profile image

      Lindrus 5 years ago

      Beautiful lens with awesome photos! I so want to go now!

    • profile image

      agent009 5 years ago

      Beautiful! I sure hope those walking trails have rails!

    • lizards1 profile image

      lizards1 5 years ago

      Great lens! I really liked the photos!

    • zimbali2011 profile image

      zimbali2011 6 years ago

      Nice photos :)

    • SaintFrantic profile image

      SaintFrantic 6 years ago

      Bit rocky these beaches but love place to visit.Thanks for the great lens

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      kimmanleyort 6 years ago

      Beautiful photography and great tips. I have hiked in other places in Italy but would love to do so in Cinque Terre. Blessed.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I love the small towns in the area where fishermen still bring their catch in.

    • sockii profile image

      Nicole Pellegrini 6 years ago from New Jersey

      Beautiful lens - I loved the photographs and the details about this unique destination in Italy!

    • MaxwellScott LM profile image

      MaxwellScott LM 6 years ago

      Some beautiful photography here - bella!

      Makes me dream of going back to Italy!

    • LouisaDembul profile image

      LouisaDembul 6 years ago

      I have not been to this part of Italy- yet! It looks so nice and peaceful. Lensrolled it to my lenses on The other side of Rome!

    • TeacherSerenia profile image

      TeacherSerenia 6 years ago

      Wonderful lens, Fantastic photos. While I had heard of Cinque Terre, I never really know anything about them. So thank you for a very informative and interesting lens. Blessed by the western europe angel.

    • ZenandChic profile image

      Patricia 6 years ago

      Wow! I want to go to Italy! That swimming hole is cool but sounds cold! Brrr! Love your pictures!

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      everythingsbaby 6 years ago

      great lens!beautiful pictures..i could only afford to dream the places..