Levanto, quintessential Italy

There is no better place than Levanto to get to know the La Spezia section of the Ligurian Riviera di Levante. Central like her, there is none. Practice like her, still none. Turn your gaze to the left, and just behind Punta Mesco there are Monterosso and the Cinque Terre. On the other hand, there are those little touristic places that few know and which are the real gems of the area, the ones that only lovers and lovers of the most secret sea in Liguria go there: Bonassola,Framura,Moneglia.


Here, in the midst of all this, there is Levanto with its wide and soft sand and gravel beach, quality hotels and b & bs, the sea party and the station where direct trains stop from the main cities of Italy: ready to welcome us in all its Mediterranean beauty.

Levanto has a long tourist history: it has been loved since the dawn. Indeed, it housed a casino and it was not uncommon to be visited by VIPs and celebrities in the period between the two wars. It is not difficult to understand why, the sooner you arrive here. The Levanto valley is one of the most beautiful that we have ever come across in Liguria. A magical expanse of olive trees, pines and vineyards, covered with hamlets scattered here and there like splashes of color that seem to say“hey what are you doing in the city, how good is life here .. nowhere else ". And in fact it is true, because the quality of life in these parts is very high and the municipality of Levanto has obtained the ISO 14001 certification for its environmental management.green here is a way of life long before the environmental crisis reminded us. And not by chance, behind Levanto, connected to it since the dawn of time, is the Val di Vara, the organic valley par excellence in Liguria. On a holiday in Levanto, a trip to Varese Ligure, and beyond up to the Cento Croci pass to see the cows grazing, is a must!

Levanto is a town to be experienced by bicycle . A bit like Chiavari or Sestri Levante, always to stay on this side of the Riviera. It is especially so for its wonderful Maremonti cycle path, the jewel in the crown of the locality. Built in 2005 in place of the old disused railway site, it connects Levanto to Bonassola and Framura for about 6km in length within the old train tunnels. Soon, with works already approved, it will be extended on the opposite side going to reach Monterosso, and therefore directly connecting Levanto with the Cinque Terre on two wheels. But getting around by bicycle in Levanto is pleasant not only along this cycle path but also for the small daily trips in the village, to go and buy bread, go down to the bar for a coffee or cappuccino, to shop for the evening salad.

Hotel Levanto: where to sleep

Our task at This is Liguria is to guide you in choosing the best hotel in Levanto , and find out where to sleep to get the maximum satisfaction from your holiday! As we have said, the town has always been considered the gateway to the Cinque Terre and this means that there are really excellent opportunities for support. The choice, therefore, is truly vast. It starts from classic hotels in the city center, to stylish and charming b & bs on the first hill or in the side streets of the town. The holiday homes in Levanto that we have selected are perfect for couples as well as families. The beauty of where to sleep in Levanto, then, is that there is no shortage of camping, which has always been a popular option for staying in these parts. There are even four, all also equipped with bungalows.w.

Levanto beaches

The Levanto beaches , we can say without fear of denial, they are certainly the main attraction of the place. The sea of Levanto is a fairy tale both as regards the cleanliness of the sea, yourspalette of transparency, both for the convenience of the beach, the scenography that makes up the landscape of the bay in which the town is set.

Levanto beach

There free beach of Levanto it is located right in the center of the town, behind the embankment that makes up the town's main car park, close to the canal, also very convenient for parking. It extends for the entire gulf, bordered on one side by the pier where boats leave and arrive for the Cinque Terre, up to the side called Vallesanta (towards Bonassola to be clear). There is also a section with rocks suitable for diving into the sea, and which will be loved by all teenagers. Obviously there is no lack of free showers.e.

Famous, and then appreciated is immediately after the marina, the Vallesanta beach , where the Bernardone rock makes a beautiful presence and is protected by the dam. The latter means that in the Vallesanta area the free beach of Levanto has a nice shallow seabed, as always a mixture of sand and small gravel, perfect for playing with children and for diving and snorkelling.

The Levanto's dog beaches they are mainly to be found along the Maremonti cycle path, after the first tunnel of the old train line. From here you can access small coves of gravel and pebbles.

Finally, for those who cannot give up the classic sunbed and umbrella combo, the bathing establishments in the part of equipped beach of Levanto they are the best you can ask for from a day at the beach in these parts. All are well organized and some also have pedal boat and kayak rental services available, and are always equipped with facilities for the disabled. How many establishments are there In Levanto we find the following bathrooms, as we call them here in Liguria:ia:

  • Neptune baths
  • Sirena baths
  • Blue Marlin
  • Levanto Casino
  • The gritta
  • Minetti bathrooms
  • Free Equipped Beach
  • Vallesanta

Levanto what to see

Let's start immediately to discover what to see in Levanto! The biggest attraction is definitely the Maremonti cycle path , 6 km of pure entertainment. You can visit it either on foot, strolling through the galleries, and feel the darkness and humidity on your skin, or by bike, they are not with that brought with you but with those rented on site, at both ends. The cycle path begins at the end of the promenade, passes behind the sailing club and begins to unravel for the first 2.6 km until it ends in sight of the town of Bonassola, and its fantastic beach. From here, continue for another 2.4 km until you reach the Framura train station, precisely above its marina.

Levanto ciclabile

Once you have parked your bike, you can then begin to get to know Levanto and its delicious Old Town , which began to assume importance and power in about 1200, when under the banner of Genoa it assumed the role of a small commercial hub on the Riviera di Levante, with direct communication for example for the Via Francigena. The center of Levanto has numerous churches of breathtaking beauty, such as the parish church of Sant’Andrea apostolo , classically Gothic and perfectly adorned with strips of white marble and black serpentine, with its beautiful grassy churchyard.

Spectacular is the Town square , with a beautiful black and white flooring and made super characteristic by the presence of the old monastery of the Poor Clares, dated 1600 and still harmoniously inserted in the architectural balance of the square, with its delightful arcade.

Behind it, always within the ancient walls of the Levanto village, it is always worthwhile to visit Garibaldi Street , which, like the name itself, is one of the main towns in the country. This is where we like to come and shop for a car, a trip to the butcher, a step to the baker, a chat about the last game in La Spezia with the bartender from that accent that is no longer unequivocally Genoese.

Entering these alleys and streets is a pleasure that is a perfect example of what anyone should do to understand what to see in Levanto. And so they will find out ancient murals of medieval origin, boundaries of ancient walls, practically unique in Liguria, delicate pastel-colored oratories such as the oratory of San Giacomo , but above all the beautiful medieval loggia , which still refers us to other places and other times, making us imagine walking through the streets of Crete, in the Venetian loggia of Heraklion.

Famous, among the things to see in Levanto is undoubtedly the Clock tower , still erected and with the perfectly preserved walls that depart from it.

Interesting is also  Villa Agnelli , with magnificent gardens, in an area of Levanto called the stone, right at the end of the town on the Monterosso side. We therefore discover that what to see in Levanto cannot be summed up in a few words. For example, one could not fail to mention thel Levanto Castle , the main defensive infrastructure of the city, already present to guard at the beginning of the 1100s. For photos it is perfect thanks to its perfectly preserved walkway but above all by the iconic Ghibelline battlements. However, it is not possible to visit it inside because it is private property.

Finally, the things to see in Levanto deserve a quick mention, not really in the town but slightly outside, but still within walking distance. Among these, there is certainly thel hermit of Sant'Antonio del Mesco , and the churches of the various hamlets, to be reached with a splendid day walk on those spring Sundays that already make us enjoy the sea and the summer to come.

Levanto Liguria

What to do in Levanto

The beauty of Levanto is that if there are many things to see and visit, there is even more to do! As in the Cinque Terre, if not more, in Levanto it will be possible to try a thousand experiences and try your hand at a thousand activities , alone, or in the company of young and dynamic local guides.

Among the activities we have chosen, just like the accommodations, there are in fact not only the experiences that we would like to do (and have done) ourselves, but also those lived with the right people, those with which you start to do something together but you end up to quickly become friends.

Levanto trekking

Meanwhile, Levanto is synonymous with trekking and hiking . The network of trails is immense and allows you to vary on any side, in any season. The most famous paths are those that lead to Monterosso, there are numerous. The most traveled is part of the green-blue path (SVA) that runs alongside Punta Mesco, cuts the characteristic coast of the traffic light in two and arrives in Monterosso in about two hours of walking. Path that on the opposite side leads to Bonassola, and which can be covered in stages of several days, up to Deiva Marina and beyond. But it will also be wonderful to wander around the hamlets, first of all Pastine, Le ghiare, Gallona, Legnaro .. and maybe rediscover these Ligurian "atavisms" that remind us that village life, in the hamlet, is as much human as we can hope for in the future. of forced digitization like what awaits us.

What to do in Levanto by bike

Among the things to do in Levanto there is also everything that refers to the world of two wheels. Bike and e-bike rental, both flat on its fantastic cycle and pedestrian path, and on the bricchi and on the paths, towards the Bracco Pass and towards the Cinque Terre, to be reached both by road and by path for those who love enduro.

Marine experiences

But then, turn it around, we always get there: Levanto is the sea, the splendid sea of Liguria! And here they love to decline it in many ways, but one in particular that maybe not everyone knows. Levanto is one of the capitals of the Ligurian east as far as the surf ! Its waves have gained a certain notoriety, and the good temperatures of the water, combined with a seabed that allows a lot, and the availability of waves that can even exceed 4 meters, have created the ideal conditions to have fun properly on the table. .

The bathing establishments of Levanto, then, allow the rental of kayaks, canoes, SUP , and for those who do not want to miss anything, there are all the boat tours that will allow you to get to know this stretch of coast from the most beautiful possible observation point.

In fact, there are among the things to do in Levanto boat tour at sunset, but also when we feel like it, that in the end we are here on vacation and we can't always stay with the watch in hand, and that we go not only to the nearby Cinque Terre but also up to Portovenere and the islands of Tino, Tinetto and Palmaria.

Finally, but certainly not in order of importance, there is the local gastronomy. We are Italian and food is our passion! So, below with cooking experiences , from aperitifs with Genoese pesto to the mortar, tastings of olive oil and homemade pesto, always well watered to good Sciacchetrà wine. And by the way, a nice one  visit to the vineyards it is undoubtedly one of the most conciliatory things to do in Levanto to put the heart at peace with the spirit.

How to get to Levanto

Getting to Levanto it's not complicated, for once even in machine . Even if, in this case, we will face the "treatment" that Austostrade for Italy has reserved for us Ligurians in recent years .. but this is another matter. Levanto has its own dedicated motorway exit on the A12, called Carrodano / Levanto, and which is located about 6 km from the town center, to be traveled through the splendid villages of Casella and Montale. From the toll booth of Milan on the A7 at the Levanto exit it is not even 200 km. Two and a half hours are almost always enough. However, it is longer to reach it from Turin , about 240 km and over 3 hours of travel. To get to Levanto from Genoa by car, however, 80 km are enough. And La Spezia? You can almost reach it first via the state road, passing through Riccò del Golfo and the hills of Monterosso, for 35 km. Also in this case, the train is certainly more comfortable.

The train is another great way to get to Levanto. There are direct intercity trips to Milan that take 2 hours and 49 minutes, not bad. For Turin, a change in Genoa will be required. While for La Spezia, there are so many races since Levanto is the terminus of the Cinque Terre Express, the subway of these unforgettable seaside villages, which, depending on the time and season, also runs every 15 minutes, thus allowing you to move without not even planning the move that much.

In the summer season, it is always possible reach Levanto by ferry , with the races that then continue to Monterosso, Vernazza, Manarola and Riomaggiore, as well as Portovenere. All borne by the Gulf of Poets shipping company.

Finally, a nod to the plane. Levanto is practically equidistant from the airports of Genoa and Pisa . The latter is much more connected with foreign countries, even if our Colombo (as the Genoa airport is called) is working hard to recover the lost positions.

Levanto parking

After having frequented the Cinque Terre, and having craved a parking space like water in the desert, it is refreshing to know that there are many different solutions for where to park in Levanto. Of course, in the high season there will be a little bit of struggle, but the situation is not as dramatic as we are used to elsewhere in Liguria. The obvious solution is the parking on the seafront, even free in the low season from October to March. But in addition to this, there are another 26 municipal stalls that will suit us. There are convenient ones in the train station, but also behind the Vallesanta beach. Prices per hour can also be very low, starting at 0.60 per hour, then rising up to 3pm daily and beyond for stops of 24 or 48 hours or more.e.

Levanto Weather

LEVANTO forecasts 7 days

The views of Andrea and Katerina

Levanto. A name a guarantee! We make no secret that we are slightly biased: we consider this small stretch of the province of La Spezia as theour place between the land and the sea of Liguria. Everything we encounter from Moneglia to the Cinque Terre is for us a magical, delicate ravine,luxurious. But beware, luxury not from the economic side, but in the sense that the Ligurian land around Levanto pampers our hearts and puts our senses back on track. So much so that it seems mother earth has been far too generous with this part of Liguria, that we know how much elsewhere she can be stepmother.

Levanto is properly the center of this beauty, both from a landscape and a philosophical point of view. And many have noticed it, even abroad. Levanto is loved in Germany, Switzerland, Holland. The plates you meet show it immediately, like the campers, like the languages you hear spoken in the village. They give you continuous confirmation that if here and now the world has decided to meet right in Levanto, there will be a reason.