What to Do in Monterosso al Mare in July

Monterosso al Mare, the largest of the Cinque Terre villages, blossoms into a hub of cultural and recreational activities each July, offering a blend of sun, sea, and entertainment that captivates both locals and tourists. From serene beach days to vibrant cultural events, Monterosso in July is a must-visit destination. Here’s your guide to enjoying a perfect July in this picturesque Italian Riviera town.

Cultural Festivities and Events

July in Monterosso is packed with events catering to all tastes and ages, turning this charming village into a lively cultural arena. Here are some highlights:

  • Royal Academy Lyrical Concert: Begin your cultural journey on July 9 at the Molo dei Pescatori with a night of classical music under the stars.
  • Literary Encounters: As part of the “Un mare di libri” series, notable authors like Marco Buticchi and Lidia Ravera will present their latest works at the scenic Molo dei Pescatori, providing a perfect blend of literature and seaside ambiance.
  • Cinque Terre Art Festival: Don’t miss out on unique performances, including the intriguing “Interiezioni” by Pierpaolo Capovilla, which promises an evening of poetry and electronic music on July 27.
  • Craft Markets and Puppet Shows: For those looking for local crafts or family-friendly entertainment, the artisan market and puppet shows, including a delightful rendition of “Little Red Riding Hood,” offer a wonderful evening diversion.

Wine and Dine Experiences

  • Vinvagando: On July 15, indulge in a wine tasting event that meanders through Monterosso’s historic center, offering a taste of local vintages and culinary delights.
  • Night of Poetry and Panizza: Experience local culture with poetry readings and traditional Ligurian panizza tasting on July 27.

Music and Dance

  • Choral and Piano Concerts: The Church of San Giovanni Battista and Piazza Fegina will host several music nights featuring sacred choirs and lively piano bars.
  • Traditional Dances: Join the locals at Piazza Garibaldi on July 16 for an evening of liscio (traditional Italian ballroom dancing) and group dances.

Outdoor and Sports Activities

  • Water Sports and Beach Time: The clear waters of Monterosso beckon for swimming, kayaking, and diving. For those looking to venture further, boat tours provide an opportunity to fish or simply enjoy the breathtaking coastline.
  • Trekking and Cycling: Take advantage of cooler days to explore the scenic trails of the Cinque Terre. The Alta Via delle Cinque Terre offers shaded paths ideal for hiking or mountain biking.

Practical Tips for Visiting

  • Transportation: The 5 Terre Express train is the most efficient way to explore Monterosso and the surrounding villages, with frequent service allowing you to hop between towns effortlessly.
  • Accommodation: Booking in advance is highly recommended as Monterosso is a popular destination in July. Options range from charming bed and breakfasts to luxury hotels.

Special Events

  • Photography Exhibition: On July 29, immerse yourself in the culture and beauty of São Tomé and Príncipe through a photography exhibit and book presentation by Giorgio Pagano.
  • Festival Internazionale di Musica Cinque Terre: Conclude July with a grand symphonic concert by the Orchestra Sinfonica Scuola di Musica di Fiesole on July 29.

What to eat


When visiting Monterosso al Mare, be sure to indulge in the local cuisine, which beautifully showcases the flavors of the Ligurian coast. Begin with a plate of freshly caught anchovies, a regional delicacy, often served marinated or fried. For a hearty meal, try the trofie al pesto, a traditional pasta dish tossed with homemade pesto made from fresh basil, pine nuts, garlic, Parmesan cheese, and local olive oil. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to taste the panizza, a unique chickpea flour pancake that’s a cousin to the better-known farinata. Seafood lovers will relish the variety of dishes featuring the day’s catch, served in local trattorias along the waterfront. To satisfy your sweet tooth, end your meal with a slice of lemon cake, a zesty dessert that perfectly captures the essence of the Italian Riviera.

What To See Aoround Monterosso.

Monterosso al Mare, one of the five picturesque villages of Cinque Terre, is home to several notable historical buildings that add to the charm and allure of this coastal region. When visiting Monterosso, you can explore these captivating structures that echo the rich history of the area:

  1. Church of San Giovanni Battista: This beautiful church, situated in the heart of Monterosso’s old town, dates back to the 13th century. It features a striking façade of black and white marble stripes, typical of the Ligurian Gothic style, and houses important artworks including a crucifix attributed to the school of Van Dyck.
  2. The Oratorio dei Neri (Oratory of the Dead): Adjacent to the church of San Giovanni Battista, this oratory is known for its baroque interior and its role in the history of Monterosso’s religious brotherhoods. It serves as a fascinating glimpse into local religious practices and art.
  3. The Capuchin Monastery: Perched on the hill of San Cristoforo separating Monterosso’s old town from Fegina, the newer part of town, this monastery offers not only a spiritual retreat but also some of the best views of the Cinque Terre coastline. The monastery, which dates back to the 17th century, also houses works of art including a painting attributed to Anthony van Dyck.
  4. The Castle of Monterosso: This ancient fortress, which has origins dating back to the 16th century, overlooks the village and offers panoramic views of the surrounding area. Although much of the castle is now in ruins, its remains still demonstrate the historical military importance of Monterosso.
  5. The Tower Aurora (Torre Aurora): On the edge of the historic center, overlooking the sea, this defensive tower was part of the ancient system of fortifications intended to protect Monterosso from pirates. Today, it stands as a symbol of the village’s resilience and history.

These buildings not only provide a historical context to the picturesque landscapes of Monterosso but also offer a deeper understanding of the cultural heritage that shapes this unique part of Italy.

Monterosso in July offers a rich tapestry of experiences that combine the relaxed ambiance of seaside life with the vibrancy of Italian culture. Whether you’re sipping local wine, enjoying a concert by the sea, or diving into the crystalline waters, Monterosso al Mare in July is a celebration of life and culture not to be missed.

The Rebirth of Via dell’Amore: A Journey Through Italy’s Open-Air Museum

Italy, a country steeped in history and culture, is home to some of the world’s most breathtaking landscapes. Nestled within its heart is the Cinque Terre, a string of centuries-old seaside villages along the rugged Italian Riviera coastline. Among the many treasures of this region, the Via dell’Amore, or “Path of Love,” stands out as a symbol of romance and natural beauty. Closed for over a decade due to a landslide, this iconic path is set to partially reopen in May 2023, with a full reopening planned for 2024.

The Via dell’Amore, carved into the rock, offers a unique experience, giving the impression of walking suspended between sea and sky. This path, just over a kilometer long, connects two of the most picturesque pastel villages of the Eastern Liguria, Riomaggiore and Manarola, the heart of the Cinque Terre. The reopening of this path is eagerly anticipated by locals and tourists alike, promising a return to the romantic walks that have made it famous worldwide.

However, the reopening of the Via dell’Amore is not just about re-establishing a walking path. It’s about transforming this iconic route into an open-air museum, a living testament to the rich cultural and traditional heritage of the Cinque Terre. The Liguria Region, in agreement with the Cinque Terre National Park and the Municipality of Riomaggiore, is working on a cultural enhancement project that aims to offer insights related to the peculiar aspects of the landscape. This includes agro-forestry systems, urban nuclei, rural buildings, defensive and religious-devotional architectures, and the knowledge and trades linked to typical productions, all in function of sustainable tourism.

The local authorities, including the mayor of Riomaggiore, Fabrizia Pecunia, are developing strategies to manage the expected tourist flow and preserve the sustainability of the region. One of the ideas being considered is to make the path accessible only with the assistance of tour guides, to manage the visitor flow better and provide a more enriching experience. The goal is to allow visitors to truly get to know the Cinque Terre and its vast cultural heritage.

Over twenty million euros have been invested to secure the path, mostly using regional funds. The works of consolidation and hydrogeological recovery of the slopes will be carried out by the structure of the Extraordinary Commissioner of the Government against hydrogeological instability for the Liguria Region. This commitment to safety and preservation underscores the importance of the Via dell’Amore to the region and its people.

So, if you’re planning a trip to Italy, keep an eye out for the reopening of the Via dell’Amore. It promises to be more than just a scenic walk; it’s a journey through the heart and soul of the Cinque Terre. A walk along the Via dell’Amore is not just a walk; it’s an immersive experience into the rich cultural tapestry of the region. It’s a chance to step back in time and witness the timeless beauty of Italy’s stunning landscapes. It’s an opportunity to fall in love with Italy all over again.

Sources:

https://www.lanazione.it/economia/la-via-dellamore-riaprira-a-maggio-c7c0a5b1
https://programmazionestrategica.beniculturali.it/progetto/riomaggiore-via-dellamore/
https://siviaggia.it/notizie/riapre-passeggiata-piu-romantica-italia-museo-a-cielo-aperto/400028/

Discovering La Spezia: A Hidden Gem on the Italian Riviera

We’re taking you on a journey to explore the charming city of La Spezia, nestled along the Italian Riviera. Often overlooked in favor of the more famous Cinque Terre, La Spezia has a lot to offer for those who are willing to spend a few days getting to know this underrated destination. Here are the top reasons why you should consider visiting La Spezia on your next Italian adventure.

Stunning Gulf Views


Few cities can boast a more picturesque gulf than La Spezia, framed by the majestic Apuan Alps and the Apennines. Strolling along the waterfront promenade, you’ll be captivated by the striking contrast between the mountains and the sea. To fully appreciate the beauty of the area, consider taking a boat tour around the gulf.

La Spezia’s waterfront promenade, known as the “Passeggiata Morin,” has a fascinating history dating back to the 19th century. It was initially developed as part of the city’s expansion and modernization plan under the Kingdom of Sardinia. The promenade was designed to provide a relaxing and scenic space for residents and visitors to enjoy the stunning views of the Gulf of La Spezia. Over time, the promenade has undergone several transformations, including the construction of the famous statue of Giuseppe Garibaldi, a key figure in the unification of Italy. Today, the Passeggiata Morin is a vibrant and bustling area filled with shops, restaurants, and cafes, making it an essential stop for those exploring the rich history and culture of La Spezia.

Rich Cultural Offerings


La Spezia is home to numerous museums that cater to a variety of interests. Some must-visits include the Naval Museum (soon to be renovated), the Lia Museum, which houses illuminated manuscripts and artworks by Titian and Bellini, and the Diocesan Museum, showcasing sacred art from local churches. Other noteworthy cultural attractions are the Ethnographic Museum, the Seal Museum, the Archaeological Museum, the Transportation Museum, and the CAMEC Museum of Modern Art.

The CAMEC Museum of Modern Art in La Spezia is a cultural gem showcasing an impressive collection of contemporary art from the 20th and 21st centuries. Housed in a beautifully restored historic building, the museum provides an engaging space for art enthusiasts to explore the works of both established and emerging artists. The museum’s collection features a diverse range of mediums, including painting, sculpture, photography, and video art, highlighting the evolving landscape of modern artistic expression. Temporary exhibitions ensure that there is always something new to discover, making CAMEC an exciting and dynamic cultural destination for visitors to La Spezia.

Elegant Architecture


Wander around La Spezia’s historic center, and you’ll be enchanted by the well-preserved Art Nouveau buildings adorned with intricate sculptures, friezes, and grand doorways. Take an hour or two to explore these architectural gems by following a walking itinerary .

In La Spezia, several notable Art Nouveau buildings can be found, showcasing the city’s embrace of this elegant architectural style during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. One of the most prominent examples is Palazzo Maggiani, situated on Viale Aldo Ferrari. The building is adorned with exquisite details, including ornamental sculptures, intricate friezes, and impressive portals. The facade of this stunning edifice reflects the influence of the Liberty style, which is the Italian interpretation of Art Nouveau.

Another remarkable Art Nouveau building is Villa Marmori, located in the Morucciola district. This majestic villa was built for the Marmori family and showcases the characteristic curved lines, floral motifs, and sinuous forms typical of the Art Nouveau movement. These architectural masterpieces are a testament to La Spezia’s rich cultural heritage and are sure to captivate any visitor with an interest in art, history, or architecture.

UNESCO World Heritage Sites


Just a stone’s throw from La Spezia, you’ll find the UNESCO-listed Portovenere, Cinque Terre, and the islands of Palmaria, Tino, and Tinetto. These coastal areas boast unique landscapes, characterized by dramatic cliffs, terraced vineyards, and charming villages nestled between the sea and the hills.

For centuries, these awe-inspiring locations have captivated the hearts and minds of poets, writers, and artists, such as Lord Byron, Percy Bysshe Shelley, and Eugenio Montale, who sought inspiration in the stunning surroundings. The area’s undeniable charm and beauty have earned it a special place in the world of literature and art, making it an ideal destination for anyone looking to immerse themselves in a rich cultural and historical tapestry.

Aside from the poetic allure, the region also offers various outdoor activities, such as hiking and boat tours, allowing visitors to explore and appreciate the pristine landscapes and the azure waters of the Mediterranean Sea. Whether you’re searching for artistic inspiration, a romantic escape, or simply a memorable adventure, the magical allure of these coastal gems near La Spezia is sure to leave a lasting impression.

Charming Villages


La Spezia’s province is home to six of Italy’s most beautiful villages. Tellaro, perched on the sea, has long been a favorite of writers and poets. Montemarcello, Brugnato, Varese Ligure, Vernazza, and Framura all offer picturesque scenes and well-preserved historical centers.

Montemarcello, a picturesque village located in the province of La Spezia, has earned its reputation as one of Italy’s most beautiful “borghi” (small towns), thanks to its captivating charm and breathtaking vistas. This enchanting destination sits on a hilltop overlooking the Ligurian Sea and the Magra River, providing visitors with stunning panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. Montemarcello’s narrow, winding streets, colorful houses, and charming piazzas are quintessential examples of Italian allure, making it a must-see destination for travelers seeking an authentic Italian experience.

The village’s rich history, dating back to Roman times, is apparent in its well-preserved architecture, such as the Church of San Pietro, which boasts an exquisite Romanesque facade. Montemarcello’s exceptional beauty and timeless appeal make it a captivating destination for those exploring the wonders of Italy’s picturesque borghi.

Hiking Opportunities


La Spezia is a paradise for hiking enthusiasts, with numerous trails that connect the city to surrounding villages and hills. Some popular routes include Campiglia to Portovenere, Campiglia to Cinque Terre, and the trail from Sarbia to Montalbano. For more adventurous trekkers, the nearby Apuan Alps provide an array of challenging climbs and breathtaking vistas.

The ring trail MAROLA-CAMPIGLIA is a scenic loop that begins in Acquasanta and leads to Campiglia. It follows the AVG/AV5T trail towards Porto Venere, passing notable landmarks like a church, the Piccolo Blu, a mill, and a former sports field. The path continues along a ridge with breathtaking views of Campiglia, before descending to the picturesque village of Marola. After passing through Marola, the trail connects back to Acquasanta via Viale Fieschi. Along the way, hikers will experience varied landscapes, including forests, a Portoro quarry, and panoramic ridge staircases, offering a diverse and enjoyable hiking experience.

Beaches for Every Taste


La Spezia’s coastline offers an array of beaches to suit every preference, from sandy shores in Portovenere, Monterosso, Levanto, and Lerici, to pebbled beaches in Riomaggiore and Corniglia. Whether you prefer well-equipped beach resorts or secluded coves, you’ll find your ideal seaside escape here.

Lerici, a picturesque coastal town in the province of La Spezia, boasts a stunning array of beautiful beaches that cater to various preferences. Renowned for its charming harbor, historical castle, and vibrant waterfront, the area offers a diverse selection of shores that attract visitors and locals alike. The main beaches in Lerici include the sandy Lido di Lerici, the more secluded Fiascherino, and the picturesque San Terenzo, each with their own unique charm.

Lido di Lerici is a popular spot due to its convenient location near the town center, offering various amenities and water sports opportunities. Fiascherino, nestled between two cliffs, provides a more tranquil setting for those seeking a peaceful retreat. Here, visitors can enjoy crystal-clear waters and natural beauty, perfect for a relaxing day at the beach. San Terenzo, situated close to the historical San Terenzo Castle, boasts a wide stretch of fine sand, shallow waters, and a promenade lined with colorful Ligurian houses.

In addition to these main beaches, the Lerici coastline is dotted with numerous smaller coves and inlets, accessible via hiking trails or boat rides. This variety ensures that every beachgoer can find their ideal spot to soak up the sun and enjoy the stunning Italian Riviera.

In conclusion, La Spezia is an incredible destination that deserves to be explored beyond just being a gateway to Cinque Terre. The city’s stunning gulf views, rich cultural offerings, elegant architecture, charming villages, and abundant hiking opportunities make it a must-visit for any traveler seeking a unique and memorable Italian adventure.

Bologna to Cinque Terre: How to Get There and 5 Hidden Gems Along the Way That No Guide Will Tell You About

Embark on a journey of enchantment and discovery from Bologna to Cinque Terre, and uncover the hidden gems that this spectacular region of Italy has to offer. From charming medieval towns to breathtaking landscapes, this lesser-known route is a treasure trove for the adventurous traveler. With the in-depth expertise of Lonely Planet, we invite you to explore the wonders that await you between these two iconic destinations.

By train:


While there isn’t a direct train from Bologna to La Spezia, the most efficient option with only one transfer is to change trains in Parma. This route offers a convenient and relatively quick way to reach Cinque Terre from Bologna.

To embark on this journey, head to Bologna Centrale and board a Regionale (RE) train towards Parma. The ride to Parma will take approximately 58 minutes. Upon arrival in Parma, you will have a short transfer time of around 13 minutes. From Parma, board another Regionale train, which will take you directly to La Spezia Centrale in approximately 2 hours and 12 minutes. In total, this option has a travel time of about 3 hours and 23 minutes with only one change.

It is always a good idea to book your train tickets in advance to secure the best prices and seat availability. You can purchase tickets online through the Trenitalia website, or at the train station ticket counters or self-service machines.

Once you reach La Spezia Centrale, you can easily access the five villages of Cinque Terre—Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore—by boarding the Cinque Terre Express. This local train service runs frequently throughout the day, connecting all five villages in a scenic and convenient manner. Tickets for the Cinque Terre Express can be purchased at La Spezia Centrale, and it’s worth considering the Cinque Terre Card, which offers unlimited train travel between the villages and additional benefits such as access to hiking trails and Wi-Fi hotspots.

By Car:

Getting to Cinque Terre by car allows you the freedom to explore the picturesque countryside at your own pace. One of the most convenient routes to reach Cinque Terre from Bologna is via the Cisa Motorway (A15). Here’s a step-by-step guide to driving from Bologna to Cinque Terre using this route:

Start your journey by heading northwest on the A1/E35 motorway from Bologna.

After driving for about 60 km, take exit 8 towards A15/Cisa/Parma Ovest/La Spezia. This will lead you to the A15/Cisa Motorway.

Continue on the A15 for approximately 120 km, enjoying the scenic views of the Apennine Mountains as you drive through the region.

Take exit La Spezia/Santo Stefano di Magra to merge onto the SS1/Aurelia road. From here, follow the signs to La Spezia, which is the gateway to Cinque Terre.

Once you reach La Spezia, follow the road signs to Cinque Terre. Keep in mind that the villages of Cinque Terre have limited car access and parking facilities, so it is recommended to park your car in La Spezia or nearby Levanto and then use the local train service, Cinque Terre Express, to visit the individual villages.

Please note that driving in Italy requires a valid driver’s license, and it is essential to familiarize yourself with the local traffic rules and regulations. Additionally, some sections of the motorways are tolled, so make sure to have some cash or a credit card handy for the toll booths.

Remember that the roads in Cinque Terre can be narrow, steep, and winding, making driving conditions challenging, especially for those unfamiliar with the area. It’s essential to exercise caution and patience while navigating these roads. Also, consider checking the availability of parking spaces in advance to avoid any inconvenience.

Hidden gems along the route:

Hidden Gem 1: Varese Ligure Venture further off the beaten path to discover the enchanting village of Varese Ligure, nestled in the verdant Val di Vara. Known as the first “bio village” in Italy, Varese Ligure is committed to sustainable living and boasts a vibrant organic farming community. Wander through its charming streets, lined with pastel-colored houses and intricate trompe-l’oeil frescoes. While you’re there, don’t miss the unique circular layout of the town’s historic center, a striking testament to its medieval origins. Treat your taste buds to the locally produced organic delicacies, such as honey, cheese, and wine, which showcase the region’s commitment to sustainability and quality.

Hidden Gem 2: Fosdinovo
Journey onwards to the hilltop town of Fosdinovo, a place steeped in history and legends. This captivating village is dominated by the imposing Malaspina Castle, which offers panoramic views over the Apuan Alps and the Tuscan coastline. Let your imagination run wild as you uncover the mysteries and stories that surround this centuries-old fortress.

Hidden Gem 3: Pontremoli
Next, venture to Pontremoli, a charming medieval town nestled along the banks of the Magra River. This hidden gem is known for its vibrant cultural scene and rich culinary traditions. Be sure to visit the beautiful Romanesque-style Duomo and immerse yourself in the town’s history at the Museum of the Lunigiana Stele Statues.

Hidden Gem 4: Equi Terme
Escape to the picturesque village of Equi Terme, a haven of tranquility and natural beauty. Here, you’ll discover thermal springs that have been cherished since Roman times, offering the perfect respite for weary travelers. Indulge in the rejuvenating waters and explore the fascinating geological formations at the nearby caves.

Hidden Gem 5: Portovenere
Before reaching the dazzling shores of Cinque Terre, make a stop at the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Portovenere. This picturesque coastal village is renowned for its colorful houses, dramatic cliffs, and the enchanting Church of St. Peter. Take a leisurely stroll along the harbor and savor the delicious seafood dishes at a local trattoria.

Most Famous Eateries of Cinque Terre. A Foodie’s Paradise.

Welcome to the picturesque Cinque Terre, a UNESCO-protected national park located in the stunning coastal region of northwest Italy. The five pastel fishing villages nestled into the cliffs offer a feast for the senses, from the sparkling shades of aquamarine, turquoise, and emerald to the flavorful seafood and traditional Ligurian fare found in the local restaurants.

As you wander through the winding streets, you’ll discover a plethora of dining options. However, to help you narrow down your choices, we’ve curated a list of the top five must-visit restaurants in Cinque Terre that are guaranteed to delight your taste buds and leave you craving for more.

Gastronomia San Martino, located in the charming town of Monterosso al Mare, is an excellent choice for seafood lovers. The swordfish and seafood pasta are some of the most popular dishes, while the lasagna and sea bass are cooked to perfection. Enjoy the fresh, locally-sourced ingredients, which create a delightful harmony of flavors.

Il Pirata delle Cinque Terre, located in the heart of Vernazza, is a seafood lover’s paradise. Their excellent pasta dishes are complemented by the sensational pesto, and the ravioli is the perfect way to experience the classic Ligurian cuisine. The cheese and tomato salad is also a must-try.

Pippo a Vernazza – Tradizione & Street Food, is located in the colorful and vibrant village of Vernazza. Enjoy their famous focaccia and delicious seafood dishes, and bask in the warm and welcoming atmosphere. The pesto and the focaccia are out of this world, and a visit to this restaurant is not to be missed.

Kepris Pizzeria, located in the enchanting town of Riomaggiore, is the perfect spot to savor some of the best pizzas and tiramisu. The fantastic pizza is complemented by the authentic and flavorful Mediterranean flavors, and the friendly service only adds to the charming ambiance of the place.

La Cantina del Pescatore, situated in the seaside village of Monterosso al Mare, offers an array of delightful dishes to satisfy your cravings. From the tuna salad and focaccia sandwich to the locally sourced wine Sassarini, you’ll be transported to a culinary paradise with every bite.

In the words of Lord Byron, “There is pleasure in the pathless woods, there is rapture in the lonely shore, there is society where none intrudes, by the deep sea, and music in its roar.” The Cinque Terre offers a glimpse of this kind of pleasure and rapture. It is a place that ignites the senses and leaves one spellbound. As you venture through this stunning coastal paradise, be sure to indulge in the culinary delights of the region. Whether it’s savoring fresh seafood, indulging in classic pasta dishes or enjoying a slice of authentic Italian pizza, the restaurants of Cinque Terre offer something for everyone. So, as you explore this captivating destination, remember the words of the Italian poet Eugenio Montale, “Cinque Terre is a wild and uninhabited region where the sea is the protagonist and the mountains merge with the rocks. It is a place where every step is a discovery, and every discovery is a poem.”

5 Wineries That You can Visit Around Cinque Terre

Cinque Terre, or the “Five Lands”, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most popular tourist destinations in Italy. Situated in the northwest region of Liguria, this string of five picturesque villages along the dramatic coastline of the Italian Riviera is a must-see for any traveler to Italy.

While all of the villages in Cinque Terre are worth a visit, here are five of the best wineries to check out on your trip:

  1. Cantina Sociale Cinque Terre

This cooperative winery was founded in 1938 by a group of local wine growers and currently has over 300 members. Cantina Sociale Cinque Terre produces a wide variety of wines, including white, red, and rosé, all made from grapes grown in the Cinque Terre vineyards. Visitors can take a tour of the winery and vineyards, followed by a wine tasting.

  1. Enoteca Internazionale

This family-run winery is located in the village of Monterosso al Mare and specializes in producing top-quality white wines. The Enoteca Cinque Terre tasting room is located in an historic building in the heart of the village, and visitors can enjoy stunning views of the Mediterranean Sea while sampling the wines.

  1. Cantina Cheo

Located in the village of Vernazza, Cantina Cheo is a small, family-owned winery that produces a limited number of high-quality wines. The vineyards of Cantina Cheo are some of the steepest in Cinque Terre, and the wines produced here are some of the most acclaimed in the region. Visitors can take a tour of the winery and vineyards, followed by a tasting of the wines.

  1. La polenza

This small, family-run winery is located in the village of Corniglia and specializes in producing white wines. The La Cantina dei Ciliegi vineyards are located on a terrace high above the village, offering stunning views of the Mediterranean Sea. Visitors can take a tour of the winery and vineyards, followed by a tasting of the wines.

  1. Terra di Bargòn

Located in the village of Manarola, Terra di Bargòn is a family-run winery that specializes in producing red wines. The vineyards of Terra di Bargòn are located on a steep slope overlooking the town, offering breathtaking views of the Mediterranean Sea. Visitors can take a tour of the winery and vineyards, followed by a tasting of the wines.

What is the typical wine there?

Sciacchetrà is a dessert wine from the Italian region of Liguria. It is made from the grape variety Moscato Bianco and is typically very sweet and high in alcohol. The wine is often served as an aperitif or after a meal, and is also used in the preparation of some traditional Ligurian desserts.

Sciacchetrà is made using the passito method, whereby the grapes are dried on mats or racks for several weeks before being pressed. This concentrates the sugars in the grapes and results in a wine with a high level of sweetness. The fermentation process is then halted early, leaving residual sugar in the wine. Sciacchetrà typically has an alcohol content of around 15%.

The wine is usually golden in color, with a rich, honeyed flavor and aromas of apricot, peach and citrus. It is often served chilled and pairs well with desserts that are not too sweet.

Is Lerici Worth a Visit?

Actually you will be better off Vs Cinque Terre.

When tourists think about visiting the Italian Coast, their minds almost automatically wander to the Cinque Terre. While the towns in this national park definitely have a certain charm to them, the question arises whether other Italian places aren’t worth visiting as well. For example, what about Lerici? Is this picturesque coast-side village worth your time?

View of Lerici from the castle.

Well, the answer is a resounding yes! Even more so, Lerici has certain qualities that make it the better option in comparison to the Cinque Terre. If you’re not yet convinced, now follows a quick, concise overview of the most prominent reasons why you should absolutely visit Lerici if you have the time.

1. Better Location

First and foremost, Lerici has the better strategic location. It’s located near the south of La Spezia on the Ligurian coast. Lerici sometimes gets called “La Perla del Golfo”, which roughly translates into the pearl of the Golf. This reputation is due to Lerici’s breathtaking views and beauty. Additionally, even though Lerici isn’t significantly big, it’s still larger than towns of the Cinque Terre and most importantly, there’s more to do. Nowadays, Lerici is a very charming coast side village with a gorgeous harbor. The village has a lot to offer for culture lovers as well, such as the very impressive Lerici Castle. Besides that, there are relaxing beaches as well, not to mention the countless facilities for tourists, ranging from restaurants and cafés to beautiful piazzas.

2. Secluded, Yet Connected

Secondly, one of the greatest things about Lerici is that it isn’t too crowded with tourists yet. Hence, if you decide to pay this gorgeous town a village, you can just take your time to discover everything it has to offer at leisure. Nevertheless, even though it’s relatively remote, it’s still connected. That is to say, as of right now, Lerici doesn’t have a train station, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t other means of transport. Specifically, there are daily ferry boats that can take you to the Cinque Terre villages. Also, as regards reaching Lerici from La Spezia, you can simply take the bus or go by car.

Boats from and to Cinque Terre.

3. Great Culinary Experience for Fish Lovers

Another aspect where Lerici undoubtedly triumphs over the Cinque Terre is the food. More specifically, if you’re looking for great fish restaurants that can offer you an amazing price-quality ratio, Lerici positively is the place for you. That is, the villages in the Cinque Terre can offer great culinary experiences as well, but the restaurants there often are too crowded and this has a definite impact on the high prices there. Hence, this is a problem that you don’t have in Lerici. Now, if you’re looking for a very concrete tip, you should absolutely try out the food at “Ristorante Jeri“. You won’t regret it!

4. The Astounding Secluded Beaches

Last, but certainly not least, nothing beats the feeling of walking around a secluded beach where you can just immerse yourself in the wind and views at your own pace. Well, if you decide to pay Lerici a visit, you’ll find that you will have countless opportunities to experience this feeling. At first glance, you might think that you won’t find any decent sunbathing spots there because of the nature of the Ligurian coast. Namely, there’s actually not a lot of sand to be found on the entire Ligurian coast because the nature there predominantly consists of cliffs and rocks. However, if you do your research, you can definitely stumble upon some adorable, secluded beaches with enough sand to lie comfortably. While some of these beaches are free to access, you’ll have to keep in mind that other beaches can get quite expensive. Finally, if you’re looking for the ultimate beach experience, please don’t hesitate to consider Eco del Mare. This resort will provide you with everything that you need for a peaceful, satisfying day!

If you are looking for a beach day that is more wallet friendly you should try Baia Blu in Lerici.

Verdict: Lerici All the Way!

All in all, Lerici has many other advantages to offer besides the above-mentioned ones. However, these advantages hopefully have already given you a clear picture of Lerici’s charm and versatility. So, if you ever find yourself with the opportunity to travel and you’re interested in discovering the Italian Coast, please remember that Lerici is precisely what you need!

How to Reach and Hike to Riomaggiore (Cinque Terre).

Hiking around Cinque Terre is for sure THE major attraction in the area. Walking paths are literally everywhere but finding them it is not that straight forward as it might seem. In this case, you are reaching Riomaggiore by car there is an easy and nice walking track from the Strada Provinciale Cinque Terre. Simply park the car along the car park at coordinates 44.10210336570574, 9.743113807166992, just add them to google maps. Then keep walking another 100 meters direction Manarola. On the left you will find a paths that lead to Riomaggiore.

Reaching Riomaggiore by car and walking.

Stunning views of Riomaggiore
Riomaggiore Cinque Terre
Pastel colour houeses in Riomaggiore Waterfront.

Besides the stunning pastel color buildings, Riomaggiore offers its visitors a wide variety of hiking trails. Walking is the best way to get to know this vibrant village in Cinque Terre, and why not do so by taking one of the exciting hiking trails to explore the surroundings? In this concise but complete guide, we put together what you should know about the most stunning trails in Riomaggiore. So, are you ready to learn all about them and plan your visit accordingly?

Walkings of Riomaggiore: The Ring

The Ring is a circular trail (that starts and ends in Riomaggiore) that

won’t take too much effort but will be worth the time spent walking. The route only takes about 1 hour and a half for a distance of slightly over two miles. The path is mainly flat, meaning that you won’t have to worry about steep tracts and can instead focus on the view. The trail starts at the main parking lot of the village, from where all you have to do is follow the main road up. In less than one hour, you’ll get to the Sanctuary, the main attraction of the route. Inside this ancient (and rich in history) church, you can admire the frescos in the ceiling. About 10 minutes from the church, you’ll get to Montenero, which will offer your a breathtaking view of the coast. After taking your pictures and admiring the panorama, you’ll get to Riomaggiore in about 20 minutes. The descent is easy, but there are many steps: take it with patience, and don’t forget to look at the stunning views surrounding you!

Riomaggiore Trail to Monterosso al Mare

The track from Riomaggiore to Manarola (also called the Lover’s Lane, Via dell’Amore in Italian) is part of a longer trail that connects the village to Monterosso al Mare. This section is only about 1 mile long and will probably take you around 30 minutes to cover. However, both that and the trail connecting Manarola to Corniglia are currently closed due to a landslide and will reopen only in 2024.

The longer track takes about 5 hours in total without counting the time you’d spend exploring each town you reach. The views are spectacular and worth the effort of walking 7 miles. However, if you want to take it slow, don’t worry. You can divide the route into smaller parts and take one trail at a time.

To take part in this hike, you’ll have to purchase a ticket, which you can buy at the station or tourist points. If you plan to travel by train and hop on a hike wherever possible, we recommend purchasing the Cinque Terre Treno Card. Select the combination that suits you better to have a couple of days of trekking and unlimited train trips.

Since Via dell’ Amore is currently closed, you have two options to get to Manarola from Riomaggiore: you can either take the train or hike a more difficult path that includes stone stairs and steep climbs. Breathtaking views of the vineyards and the coastline will reward your efforts.

Riomaggiore to Portovenere: The Longest

If you like a good sweat with stunning views, you’ll fall in love with the trail connecting Riomaggiore to Portovenere. This route will let you explore villages without ever leaving sight of the sea. The beauty of the views you’ll get to admire during this trail will enchant you. However, you’ll have to be ready for a 6-hour walk to complete the eight-miles track. For the length of the route, we recommend you take it during the spring or autumn to avoid the hot temperatures of the summer months. The trail is not particularly difficult but is quite long. The good news is that you can take time to rest in the villages through which it passes.

The trail starts from Riomaggiore’s station and goes through the panoramic track of the Sanctuary. Passing through forests, villages, and vineyards, you’ll get to Campiglia, from which you’ll be able to admire a stunning view of the gulf and the Palmaria island. From there, the trail keeps unrolling through the mountains of the regions until reaching the Muzzerone, where you’ll get to see one of the most beautiful views of the coast. The trail ends at Portovenere, where you’ll be able to take a good rest or keep visiting the village (if you have enough energy left).

As you can see, there are trails for all difficulty levels and preferences around Riomaggiore. If you want to get a real sense of the village and get the chance to explore the surroundings on your own while enjoying stunning views, you recommend you choose the trail that best suits your time constraints or your expertise. Have fun!

A Day in Manarola Best Gelateria in Town and (almost) Vertical Wine Making.

Manarola is the second smallest of the Cinque Terre towns that attract visitors from all corners of the world. It’s famous for the pastel-hued buildings, calm aquamarine waters, and rugged vineyard cliffs. But one thing that makes this place somewhat heroic is winemaking. Here is everything you should know about this magical place.

The best way to get to Manarola is by train

Best Way to get to Manarola is by train.

Regardless of how long you plan to visit Manarola, the best way to get there is by train. On average, there are 15 trains a day from Florence to Manarola. But because the town is tiny, you won’t find direct trains. All trains to Manarola must pass through La Sprezia. Other trains have two changes – usually the first in Pisa, the next one is Campo di Marte and then La Spezia. And depending on the route you take, the trip can take up to 3.5 hours.

For instance, you can start from Genoa to Spezia and then towards your destination. You should note how many changes you need to make. As you transverse the five villages in Cinque Terre, you can also choose the express train. It runs every 20 minutes from March to November.

If you’re passing through La Spezia, you may want to sit on the left side of the train to explore the magical views. Keep in mind that the train service is offered a few times during the weekends and holidays. So, be sure to check the schedules in advance. Once you get to Manarola, you can use the eco-friendly buses on the walking paths.

More info about getting to Cinque Terra please see here.

Manarola walking down from the car park

Best Gelato in Manarola Gelateria Cinque Terre.

Best gelateria in Manarola

A tour to the wineries works up an appetite for gelato. But all Gelateria in Manarola is not equal. If you want to enjoy the ice cream joint, then the Gelateria 5Terre will exceed your expectations. This is the most famous Gelateria that makes amazing pastries and popsicles for the delight of locals and visitors alike.

The main characterisct of their gelato is that everything edible, It is served in a biscuit container with an edible spoon. The standout flavor here is Loveria. It consists of a mixture of chocolate, vanilla, and pistachio. If you have some dietary restrictions, you’ll find some lactose and gluten-free options. If you want to put your taste buds to the test, you can try the refreshing combination of lemon and licorice.

Gelateria 5Terre is a delight for people with food intolerances all their icecreams are gluten free. No wonder this place appears as an icon to many tourists’ pictures, especially those that come to Manarola. It also offers a real welcome break during those sweltering summer days.

Since Manarola is a small charming town, this is a must-stop on your next visit. You’ll love the great service and friendly staff. Most visitors find it a generous spot, and that’s why they give a good rating. While the Gelateria can be busy at times, it’s certainly worth the wait.

Please see here the reviews of this gelateria.

Sciachetrà and acrobaitc winemaking.

Manarola is known for making the signature Sciacchetrà wine. It comes from special grapes carefully chosen to bring out the unique taste. Plus, you can pair it with cheese and desserts.

Given the topography of the area, grapes are the only crop of choice. It’s primarily a white grape territory. Some of the varieties you’ll see are albarola, Bosco, and Vermentino – you’ve probably heard of the latter.

The Bosco variety accounts for 40% of the blend, while the other percentage contains other varieties permitted. To bring out the sweet taste, the grapes are not pressed and fermented immediately after harvest. After the grapes arrive at the winery, they are allowed to dry naturally until the sugar content reaches higher level, it can be considered a passito wine such as the tuscan vinsanto.

Sciacchetrà wines feature golden-yellow colors that turn to amber over the years. In addition, they offer aromas of white blossoms, honey, and hints of citrus. The secret with this unique wine is that it must be aged before commercial release.

One signature wine is the Sciacchetrà from Cantina Cinque Terre. It’s a white wine produced by a company that pays attention to the manufacturing process. It comes in a 37.5 cl bottle and is distinguished from the rest by the hint of apricot and honey.

Sciacchetrà wine can be the perfect accompaniment to substantial and spicy cheeses. Being a rare wine, it’s best served at 16 degrees centigrade in transparent crystal goblets. One feature that makes this wine unique is its excellent capacity to improve with age. If you preserve it well, it has an average conservation period of 25 years. To preserve the taste, the bottles should be placed horizontally in a cool, dry place.

For more info about the production area please see here.

More information about how sciachetrà is made please see here.

The lanscape of wines yard in Manarola

winemaking in Manarola the old way.

Manarola from far

Manarola is all about wine .

Cinque Terre: Is The Via dell’Amore Open?

cinque terre 039

Bad news first – no, the Sentiero dell’Amore is not currently open. And according to locals it doesn’t seem like a lot of effort is being put into securing the trail for public access.
But now that you know, let’s take a step back and see what we’re talking about and what alternatives you have.

First of all, if you found yourself looking for exciting and stunning trails and footpaths to walk down during your trip to Liguria, the Cinque Terre area is exactly what you need.
It is a portion of the coastal area of Liguria and it spans the Italian Riviera from just West of La Spezia and across five villages. The towns, coastline and surrounding hills are part of the Cinque Terre National Park and are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. However, the incredible landscape made of steep cliffs and terraced zones is subject to the elements and is affected by seasonal torrential rains and the consequent floods and mudslides. These events have caused several problems when it comes to the trails that line the Cinque Terre (the most notable example being the subject of this article, the Sentiero dell’Amore), so be careful to check weather alerts (“allerta meteo” in Italian) for dangerous weather conditions, and double check online or with local guides to make sure the trail and footpaths of your choice are currently safe and open to the public.
Of course, while you’re visiting the Cinque Terre, you can’t miss out on the other opportunities unique of this territory, such as local cuisine. You can enjoy great seafood dishes and wines made from locally sourced and produced grapes, and many other dishes and snacks. Try out authentic pesto pasta, focaccia and farinata!

To get back to the topic at hand, let’s see what options are available along the Cinque Terre as far as hiking goes. Don’t worry, there’s plenty to do and see for walkers and hikers both travelling solo, in groups, or with their significant other.

 

What Exactly Is The Sentiero dell’Amore?

The Sentiero has been closed off to the public ever since a landslide back in 2012. Before the rockfall hit, this particular trail was famous for being the most romantic hike one could possibly do in the Cinque Terre area.
The trail is more of a paved path, like a long terrace overlooking the sea, and easy access for the disabled was available to allow everyone to enjoy the Sentiero. The landslide made it impossible to gain access to the trail, save for a short section that can be reached from Manarola, so anyone looking to walk along the Cinque Terre will have to look for alternatives.

Is It Currently Open?

As mentioned, no. The Sentiero dell’Amore is closed off, and any access to the other trails and footpaths depends on weather conditions, due to the region’s periodic floods and landslides that can always block passage to walkers and tourists. The National Park and local authorities will block access and close paths (most often only for a few days) for safety reasons when heavy rains are expected.

The Problems The Trail Is Facing

Since the region has to face periodical heavy rains, due to the area’s climate and the peculiar shape of the territory, with cliffs and rocky formations, the authorities have to face several occurrences of accidents and damage to the paths along the Cinque Terre. The copious amount of tourists visiting the area and enjoying the activities and establishments in the villages along the area’s trails ensure a steady income that is used to maintain the structures and footpaths, but the severe damage caused in 2012 to the Sentiero dell’Amore still hasn’t been repaired.
One of the main problems in the area remains the landslide between Manarola and Corniglia, that has already caused the trail’s closure during the past year. Local accommodation and business owners maintain some of the trails, as volunteers.
You can easily by-pass the problematic section by enjoying a beautiful walk leading through the hamlet of Volastra.

Here Are Some Alternatives

There are plenty of beautiful, picturesque and romantic trails that you can walk for a fantastically immersive experience in the Cinque Terre, so be sure to check the Park’s official website for info. Some trails are recommended for expert hikers, as they can be quite steep and challenging, but if you’re being accompanied by a tour guide most of the alternative paths to the Sentiero dell’Amore will be completely manageable.
Before the inauguration of the Sentiero dell’Amore, directly coasting the sea with a paved path, locals had been walking the upper path from Riomaggiore to Manarola. This is a trekking trail with steep steps that can pose some challenge when wet because of recent rains, so caution is advised and proper gear is recommended.

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