With beautiful beaches, rugged cliffs, and crystal clear water, the coastal village of Monterosso Al Mare is a wonderful place to visit.
Even with a population of just 1,800 this tiny Italian village still has much to offer.
One of five villages that make up the Cinque Terre, there’s something special and timeless about this particular Italian village. From drinking wine overlooking the twinkling lights of the town below, to hiking the hills and terraces at sunrise; here’s why you have to see Monterosso Al Mare on your Italian vacation.
The Cinque Terre sit amongst some of the most stunning landscapes you’ll see on an Italy trip. The rugged coastal scenery provides an enchanting backdrop to these unique fishing villages. Since 1997, the entire area has been designated a UNESCO world heritage site, and with good reason. The five villages are surrounded by steep terraced hills, and accessible via a 19thcentury railway that snakes between the villages. Collectively, the villages have plenty to offer including castles and churches dating back to the late Middle Ages.
Getting there is easier than it used to be. Located in the Italian Riviera, and accessed via a series of narrow roads, it’s advisable to park your car in La Spezia, and take the train. Or you can arrive by sea, travelling from a nearby port such as Genoa, Portofino, or Porto Venere.
Monterosso Al Mare is the oldest of the five villages and when walking amongst its quaint streets you’d be forgiven for thinking you’d travelled back in time. Although Monterosso Al Mare may not be as secluded as it once was, there’s still the feeling of being cut off from the rest of the world.
Its colourful buildings cling to the impossibly steep cliffs and terraces, and they provide plenty of nooks and crannies to explore. Monterosso Al Mare is the only one of the five villages to have a beach, and it’s well known for its lemon trees and anchovies. This is the easiest of the five villages to reach, and you can get here by car.
After taking in the sun and relaxing on the beach, make sure you spend some time exploring Monterosso Al Mare too. Look out for the Aurora Tower; a 16th century tower built on the headland, jutting out to sea, to defend the village. If you get the opportunity, climb to the top of this tower and drink in the views of the beach and the town below.
The Monterosso Vecchio is the old town, an area of quaint narrow streets, colourful buildings, and a number of small shops and eateries. It’s worth exploring the Church of Saint John the Baptist; a Roman styled building with a large basilica. There are plenty of hiking trails too, and you can trek over the steep cliff tops and visit the other villages of the Cinque Terre. On your return to Monterosso Al Mare, rest up in the Piazza Garibaldi, the town’s central square.
This part of Italy is a time capsule, a snapshot of an era that’s long gone. Of course, there are modern touches, but for the most part, the Cinque Terre lets you see an Italy that has all but disappeared. From the top of the Aurora Tower, take a deep breath, and let the beauty of this wonderful part of Italy wash over you. Sometimes it’s the quietest moments that speak the loudest.
Make sure you see the most of this enchanting part of Italy. Book one of the many escorted tours of the Cinque Terre on offer.