Volastra can be found above Manarola, on top of a hill. It looks like it stands on a green terrace with seaview. The houses were built in a semicircular form, in line with the surrounding cultivated terraces. In the old days, this construction method helped to protect the settlements; there are many similar villages in Liguria.
The name Volastra comes from the expression "Vicus Oleaster", which means "the village of the olive". Later it became Oleastra, then Volastra. The origin of the name is not surprising, as Volastra lies in the middle of beautiful olive groves. Most of the Cinque Terre olive oils come from this area.
Volastra has basically 2 streets, so you can quickly walk around it. The main attraction is the medieval Nostra Signora della Salute church, which was first mentioned in 1240. I just love these tiny village churches, they touch my soul more than a huge baroque basilica. It's a great place for some quiet moments.
The local festival takes place on August 5.
Volastra plays an important role in the history of the Cinque Terre, as Manarola was founded by the inhabitants of Volastra when they moved down to the sea from the hills.
Volastra is located by the wonderful Cinque Terre panorama road, so you can easily reach it by car. Parking is free. You can also take the small local bus from Manarola which runs several times during the day. But my suggestion is to arrive on foot, from Manarola or from Corniglia, as one of the most beautiful hiking trails of the Cinque Terre runs through Volastra.
You will find a couple of fountains here to refill your water bottle, also a small store and a restaurant. (Usually closed during siesta hours.)