Monterosso Italy .. and what a sea!
Monterosso to the sea, for everyone simply Monterosso, is the classic gateway to the Cinque Terre. Probably the best base for a stay around here, especially for those interested in the sea and beach life. The one where most of the trains stop, and the one that in many ways has the pulse of the small capital of a truly unique territory in the world.
Monterosso has a particularity, it is divided in two. Two districts, two souls, both touristic in their own way. The first ancient, fascinating, sophisticated, able to satisfy our neo-medieval, artistic taste,bohemian. The second is rational, practical, modern, seaside. The beauty of Monterosso is that these souls are not schizophrenic, on the contrary, they coexist very well in a subtle harmony. So much so that only a small pedestrian tunnel, just a hundred meters long, is enough to separate them. Yet, the cut between the two Monterossos can be equally clear and radical. The interest increases.
The historic center of Monterosso is the most typically "Cinque Terre", the one that, if it were a wine, would guarantee it by itself the D.O.C. There is the classic pedestrian street that goes down to the sea, a beautiful sandy beach, albeit a small one, shops, alleys, taverns and everything you are looking for from a Ligurian seaside village. In many ways, we can even unbalance ourselves and say that even though Monterosso is not as "incredible" as it is Manarola or Riomaggiore, has an almost superior pleasantness.
We like to walk under the bell tower in Monterosso, take the children to play in its playgrounds, hear the La Spezia accent spoken and what should not be underestimated, we like to arrive in Monterosso by car, go down that magical road and look straight at the island of Capraia , right on the horizon, which can be seen very well from here. Probably, together with Riomaggiore, Monterosso is that of the Cinque Terre that is preferable to reach by car, and precisely for landscape reasons!
Precisely because, among the Cinque Terre, it has the best beach, Monterosso is of course also the best place to stop and sleep . This is because after an excursion, a walk, a train or boat ride to other lands, it will be a moment to go back and end the day in style with a fabulous swim in the sea at sunset. And again for this reason, there are hotels in Monterosso for all types of travelers, pockets and wallets. Couples like families, holiday homes like apartments, b & bs like farmhouses.
Our mission at This is Liguria is to make you book the best, which we constantly select by traveling regularly among our facilities. Because the aim is to create new friendships, and not just to find a bed to sleep in.
Monterosso, lucky you, has more beaches, and of all kinds. Free, equipped, for dogs, private, in establishments with umbrellas. Let's get to know them all, luckily it will also be possible to try them all on the same day or almost, given how close they are to each other. Let's get to know them divided area by area.
The most famous of Monterosso's beaches, the one that usually appears in the photos, is called Fegina beach , from the neighborhood of the same name. It is located just beyond the pedestrian tunnel, just below the train station. It is a beach equipped with various bathing establishments, rows of umbrellas and deck chairs and very clean water, as well as sandy. And for this very reason, we have included it in our personal ranking of 10 most beautiful sandy beaches of Liguria.
Fegina di Monterosso beach is also important because it is the only one in the Cinque Terre to have bathing establishments , to be precise five, divided more or less equally by the main car park which is located right in the middle of the town.
- On the one hand, coming from the historic center we find the following establishments: Bagno Stella Marina, Bagno La Pineta, Bagno Gabbiano Rosso, Bagno Padre Semeria and Bagno Eden. Beyond the parking lot, with the gaze already projected at Punta Mesco, we find Bagni Fegina and Bagni Gigante.
Towards the end of the Fegina district, therefore looking at the sea towards Levanto, there are two, the following:
- Gigante free beach
- Free Portiglione beach.
Beyond the parking lot, however, we find:
- Free beach of Fegina
- Free beach of the station
Historic center area
The historic center of Monterosso is intimate, and it is not where most tourists choose to stop for a swim in Monterosso al mare. Yet, he knows how to give us satisfaction! The beach is located right at the end of the promenade, just under the portico over which the railway passes. The trains passing through here will keep us company at very frequent intervals!
Here we find the following beaches:
- A very small part of the free beach, also occupied by the boats of local fishermen.
- The bathing establishment of Bagni Alga, which in addition to having deck chairs and umbrellas also deals with the rental of pedal boats, kayaks, and paddle surf.
- The free beach of Tragagià, on the Vernazza side, very pleasant and with the convenience of being right in the village, a stone's throw from the alleys and alleys of the center.
Our highlightWhat is the unmissable spot for swimming in Monterosso The most iconic point among the beaches of Monterosso is right next to the tunnel that leads to the historic center, looking at the sea, going to the left of the station. A point that the locals call Colle di San Cristoforo, where the water is incredibly clean and coincidentally there is the most beautiful rock, the one that alone makes the whole panorama of the Monterosso beach. How not to love a dip at the foot of a shore with light pebble sandhe
Monterosso what to see
It looks small, but how many things to see there are in Monterosso al mare! Among churches, sanctuaries, delightful and colorful terracotta alleys, statues carved in the rock, you can do anything but be bored. Fortunately, the compactness of the territory will also make it possible to concentrate each visit in a short time and not too many steps. Usually the first knowledge of the country is acquired by leaving the station, and in this case there are no monuments in front of us except those that nature has wanted to give us.
There are the beach of Fegina and the famous rock of Monterosso. To see something historical, you must instead go through the tunnel, as always in the Cinque Terre it is adorned with paintings and photographs that show us the beauty of these villages from above, and get to know the ancient part of the country. Here we find:
- the main church, la Church of San Giovanni Battista , which immediately reminds us that here in Liguria the facades of the churches were made with horizontal black and white stripes, in this case in the Gothic style, well represented by the fantastic central rose window. And immediately, the imagination takes us back to the Middle Ages, and to the splendor of Italian living in those centuries. It was in fact initially built around 1250.
- Virtually next to it, the Oratory of the Confraternity of the Blacks it is absolutely essential on what to see in Monterosso. The history of the congregation is very interesting, and little known. Especially active around 1600, it mainly dealt with giving burial to the poor, in a historical period during which wars, assaults and misery left behind them lonely dead and forgotten by all. Skulls and skeletons appear almost everywhere in this oratory, including the inscription that appears right above the entrance door. Another oratory is famous, again in our Liguria, this time on the opposite coast, in Ventimiglia!
- In contrast to the darkness, among the things to see in Monterosso we find the Oratory of the Whites , contemporary with the previous ones, which mainly took care of the living of the sick, so much so that they managed the town hospital, for a synergy that had been regulating the Monterossians for life. It too has a beautiful facade with black and white horizontal features, and is less considered, and increasingly more peaceful, than the other two churches we have just mentioned.
- Outside the center, and a destination for an excursion, is the Sanctuary of Soviore , with Lombard roots. It is therefore an ancient place of worship, which sends us back in time even to 600, even if what we see today dates back to around 1300.
- The other churches that deserve a look, and a prayer, are the convent of the Capuchins and the church of San Francesco. It is located on the hill that divides the historic center from the Fegina beach, and it is a truly interesting place, because it allows a truly extensive view over the entire Gulf of the Cinque Terre, and from here you can perfectly see both Vernazza that Corniglia that Manarola. Also, we are right in front of the Aurora Tower, which we will talk about right below!
- There Aurora Tower it is one of the things to see in Monterosso that you never think about, also because half of it has been transformed into a bar, the other into a private home. However, it is important because it is part of the ancient defense system put in place to protect the town from dangerous Saracen attacks!
- There Montale's villa : Monterosso, still today is inextricably linked to the life of one of the greatest Italian poets, Eugenio Montale, who spent his youth here and almost all the summers of adulthood, in a villa almost attached to the slopes of Punta Mesco, on the stretch of mountain leading to Levanto. It cannot be visited, because it has been tried, but nothing prevents us, on the contrary, from dreaming of its experience and reliving its emotions in these landscapes, despite everything still unchanged.
- There giant statue finally, it is certainly one of the most particular attractions of Monterosso. History is one of many of its kind that we have seen in Italy. A monterossino who emigrated to Argentina, who after making a fortune, wanted to go home and let everyone know the splendor of his own economic situation. And he had an incredible villa built, embellished with a copy of the statue of liberty and with a giant supporting a huge shell. It immediately attracted a lot of criticism, including those of Montale. Today the original villa no longer exists, rebuilt on the same location by Montale's own cousin, the shell disappeared after a bombing during the Second World War but the giant is still there, an icon of Monterosso and able to give the name to the beach free below!
How to get to Monterosso
Getting to Monterosso is easy , although obviously it shares the same typical problems for reaching all the Cinque Terre, being far from the motorway and very little space to park in the first place. This means that the ideal way to get to Monterosso is to do it with a collective vehicle, which can alternatively be the train or the boat.
- For get to Monterosso by train , just get off at his station. There are absolutely frequent trips between Levanto and La Spezia with the Cinque Terre Express, which stops at all stations and runs every 15/30 minutes depending on the time of day and the season. Furthermore, compared to Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore, Monterosso is the only one of the Cinque Terre to have direct Intercity connections with Milan , in exactly 3 hours. An absolutely competitive time compared to the machine!
From Turin Instead, a change in Genoa is almost always required, and a slightly longer journey time depending on the connection, but let's say that it will almost always be around 3 and a half hours.
Then there are numerous direct runs for Genoa , although often to do first it might be better to travel with change by taking an arrow up to Sestri Levante and here change for the last section up to Monterosso. Riviera di Levante side, Monterosso has direct connections to La Spezia and sometimes Pisa , while you always have to change trains to reach Florence And Rome .
- We said of the ferry , which is actually a great solution to get to Monterosso in a fast and fun way. The navigation company of the gulf of poets takes care of it, usually the navigation starts in the period April / June. Compared to the train, it also offers an interesting opportunity to reach the town directly from the beautiful Portovenere. Then there are also races for Tuscany, Marina di Carrara, Massa and Viareggio. The Cinque Terre boat line never stops in Corniglia, let's remember, because the latter has no port!
- You can then choose to get to Monterosso by car , and for those who love to drive, and are not afraid of curves, we can guarantee that it is truly a beautiful route. Especially the last stretch, with the sinuous descent to the historic center, is wonderful and offers fantastic views. Among other things, it allows you to cross and get to know one of our favorite villages in the Ligurian hinterland of La Spezia, Pignone. A real delightful corner that seems to be increasingly appreciated as a base for visiting all the Cinque Terre, and going up in the evening to sleep in a Ligurian village that seems to have crystallized time. To reach Monterosso by motorway, you can freely choose the exits on the A12 of Brugnato or Carrodano / Levanto, and get ready to turn the wheel on a thousand curves.
Arriving in Monterosso by car (or motorbike!) Pushes us to open an unavoidable chapter for any trip to Liguria with your own vehicle, that of the parking lot.
Where to park in Monterosso
Among all the Cinque Terre, that of parking in Monterosso is the most possible task. Not easy, but not that impossible either. This is above all thanks to the large car park in Fegina, with over 300 parking spaces. A third instead are the parking spaces in the car park in the historic center (attention, they do not share the same access road! By car in Monterosso you cannot move between the historic center and Fegina area, but a crossroads in the hills about 2 km from the town will make us choose which direction to take. Buses also arrive here, so it is always a good solution to leave the car at the top, and then walk downhill for the last stretch to the actual village).
The parking costs are not exaggerated, identical to those we find in the center of Genoa, 2.50 per hour. Be careful that the fractions of an hour are not counted, so if you take the car for example at 3:03 pm ... You will go to pay for the whole hour. In any case, except in winter, to access these car parks it will always be necessary to budget for some time waiting in the queue..
What to do in Monterosso
Monterosso lends itself perfectly to a thousand activities. There are obviously two undisputed queens, the hiking and trekking, and beach life . As for the walkers, i trails of Monterosso are an authentic paradise, which allows you to explore a magnificent area, among Mediterranean plants, the ubiquitous lemons and prickly pears, and glimpses of the sea and villages. And the most important of these walks is obviously the one that leads from Monterosso to Vernazza. About 3.5 km long, it takes about 1 hour and a half, equipped with benches for rest and of no particular difficulty, even if it could make the most dizzying of us anxious. We recommend traveling in this direction, because in the last stretch, the view over the town of Vernazza and its marina is truly incredible and exciting. We remind you that the path, in high season, is bound to the possession of the Cinque Terre card , which can be obtained at the entrance check point. Free, however, but always very nice, is the path on the opposite side, towards Punta Mesco and Levanto.
As for the other activities to do in Monterosso, you will be spoiled for choice. In particular we recommend i boat tour , customized, and those al sunset , to take advantage of the magical golden hour. And then there are the Cinque Terre tours inn kayak , in ebike , or for the more adventurous, doing paragliding .
Then in the evening, there will be a thousand opportunities to make up for the energy spent, with courses of Wine tasting , dinners on farms clubs, and much more!
The views of Andrea and Katerina
There is satisfaction after visiting Monterosso. There is that taste of completeness in having visited a place that is still alive, and that feels like the small capital of the Cinque Terre. We come to Monterosso because we know that it prepares us for all the beauties that we will see as we continue beyond station after station. But then we stop here because there is the sea, because you can swim in one of the most spectacular sandy beaches in Liguria, because we are greedy and here they prepare the Monterossina cake like nowhere else, and because of all the colorful main streets of the Cinque Terre, that of the historic center of Monterosso is the one that has been able to enter our heart the most.