Monterosso - Cinque Terre, Italy
Monterosso, also known as Monterosso al Mare has the largest beach of the five Cinque Terre (5 Lands) villages. As soon you arrive you are hit by the most beautiful beach with crystal clear waters. The medieval tower of Aurora and tunnel below separate the modern town from the ancient. Turning left from the train station a short walk along the sea front, through the tunnel and you enter the historic old town which dates back to 1400.
Old Monterosso is dominated by the ruins of the castle and characterized by typical tower-houses crossed by the "carruggi", narrow medieval streets. Along almost every street you will find places to stay and superb restaurants offering local cuisine. The risotto-pescatora "fish risotto" is an absolute must, you will not find better!
Exploring Cinque Terre
When you are ready to explore Cinque Terre we suggest you put on your walking shoes. Monterosso is probably not the ideal place to start your very first hike. If you need to ease yourself into the walking process we would suggest you try Corniglia to Manarola. If you decide to set off from Monterosso the two most popular routes are to Vernazza which takes about an hour and half or to Levanto which can take about two and half hours. Both routes, as with all the walks are clearly marked and offer some stunning views along the way. The walk to Levanto is free throughout the year but when walking to Vernazza there is a small charge during peak season as you are walking through the Cinque Terre National Park.
If you intend to do lots of walking we would suggest you buy a weekly ticket which can also include train travel for your return journey. With the exception of walking from Vernazza to Corniglia there is nowhere to stop en route to buy refreshments so we recommend taking bottles of water, especially during the hot summer months.