La Spezia and Cinque Terre, Liguria, Italy

 

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We stayed at an Affittacamere (Room for Rent) in La Spezia, a quick walk from La Spezia Centrale train station. The owner was very helpful, providing us with maps and local information. There are a couple streets in La Spezia that leads to the marina, lined with cute shops. It’s a nice place to walk at the time of the evening stroll, with many dining and gelato options to choose from.

 

Levanto to Monterosso Hike

Cinque Terre - Along Levanto to Monterosso TrailNorth of Cinque Terre - Along Levanto to Monterosso Trail 

 

This hike was the highlight of our Cinque Terre stop. We are somewhat averted to big crowds, so the quiet nature of this hike made it an easy highlight for us. Start early. We started at the train station, walked through town towards the beach, with our cell GPS as our guide. We arrived at the start of our approximately 4 mile hike around 11:30am. Not as early as we had originally planned. We made it to Monterosso 3.5 hours later, in the approximately 50% shaded trail that boasted beautiful coastal views that ran alongside vineyards and backyards. The start of the uncrowded trail in Levanto sent us up some stairs, then passed an old castle before leading into an area with beautiful views of Levanto. About 3/4 ways into the hike, don’t miss the beautiful view of Monterosso and the other colorful Cinque Terre villages from the Punta Mesco overlook. The trail itself, I would rate as moderate in difficulty, with some parts a little rougher than others (lose rocks). All in all, the trail was in sufficiently decent shape for a family with 3 young kids to have a fun challenge on a hot and humid summer day of 37C (98F).

Cinque Terre Clint and boys along trail

Along coastal trail of Levanto to Monterosso 

 Cinque Terre - Shaded stairs along Levanto Trail

Shaded stairs along Levanto Trail

 

We picked up some foccacia, a Lingurian specialty bread, along the way to fill up along the beach before the hike. The beach itself, both in Levanto and Monterosso, was nothing to write home about. Mostly covered by for-rent-umbrellas, there is little space for bring-your-own-beach-towels. We found an open bench overlooking the crowded beach to devour our focaccia. Bring lots of water, as we did not find any potable water on the trail itself. It may be a good idea to bring snacks too, in case the stairs and the heat get the best of you.

 

If only we had more time… and patience…

As I mentioned before, we have a strong aversion to big crowds. So the beach scene in Monterosso and the very crowded train ride from Monterosso, reduced our desire to explore further, much to our loss, I imagine. If we were more inclined, it would have been nice to explore the other villages. I hear a pasta called trofie was a local specialty, as is limoncello, a lemon-based alcoholic beverage. Limoncello, I will attest, is a very flavorful beverage. Unfortunately while we were there, most of the Sentiero Azure (Blue Trail along the coast linking the 5 villages) was closed. Catching a sunset along this trail would definitely have been a memory to cherish.

 

Warning: The safety of these adventures are dependent on a variety of factors including but not limited to: terrain, weather, wildlife, hiker skill level, human error, and other foreseen and unforeseen circumstances. Although care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information provided at the time of publication, we do not assume any liability for the accuracy and completeness of the information provided.  As such, we will not be held responsible for any harm, injury, and/or loss that may result. Your personal judgement on the safety of each adventure is required at all times. Please use your own discretion and be safe.

 

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