Monterosso Vecchio, Monterosso al Mare
Monterosso Vecchio is the old town area of the village, located through the tunnel from the train station.
It is made up of mainly pedestrianised cobbled streets, with narrow crooked lanes lined with shops and restaurants.
Makes a great contrast to the beach and the new part of town.
Head inland from the two churches in the old town, Monterosso Vecchio, and you will find a number of winding streets that repay exploration. Whether you want to shop, eat, drink, take photographs, or all four, the old streets of Monterosso have something to offer you.
These streets felt rather different from those of the other Cinque Terre villages – a little wider, a lot less steep, rather more affluent (with elegant shops and the occasional smart hotel or pension). But they are no less worth exploring for all that. In particular, photographers will find lots of interesting details to capture with their lens. I liked the local style of painting stones onto the walls of the old houses, and of framing the doors and windows in different colours (see main photo and photo 2 for examples). When we were there in July the bougainvillea was especially beautiful and made a stunning frame for some of our shots, as you can see. At one point a whole tree was growing out of the side of a building!
The old part of Monterosso is so much different from Fegina (the new part of town). Here in the old part you can find the typical narrow streets, interesting architecture, lovely little shops and here and there places to sit down and relax!
Monterosso Vecchio (the old part of the town) is very charming inside with its network of short and winding streets of irregular shape. The old town is made of mainly pedestrian cobblestone streets with narrow crooke lanes lined with shops, wine cellars and restaurants and the brightly coloured houses.
This small village, with houses clining to the rocks, was declared the World Heritage by UNESCO in 1997 and is protected by Parco Nazionale Cinque Terre.
It is advisable to take a walk around the narrow streets of the old town. In the wine cellars of "carrugi" (alleyways) you can drink a glass of "Sciacchetra", typical wine of this area which has become the symbol of 5Terre, also mentioned by Petrarca ans Dante. Sciacchetra is sweet wine, rare, ontained from grapes Bosco, Vermentino and Albarola. The gapes are harvested a little before fully ripe and let dry in the sun.
I will never cease to marvel the beauty of nature and always will ask myself one and the same question, who is behind all this wonderful creations? Nature in its designs never adds or substracts too much, everything is aligned in the right proportions and endless harmony.
If this islet is a slightly larger or if that rocks emerge from the water at least two feet more over the sea level, this scene would irretrievably lost its magic. Where does come from such an inspiration to create beautiful?
Push aside the glitz of Monterosso's New Town, and explore its more rustic charms. Head over to the local Co-Op and buy some fruit, find a bench, and watch locals go about their daily routine. Peruse its small collection of interesting shops sell anything from seashell jewelry to carved wooden cats. Wander along its back streets, stopping to admire an interesting decoration on one of the old pastel houses. You will discover that Monterosso's true soul exists in the subtle charms and stark beauty of its Old Town.
Narrow and winding streets, colorfully-painted buildings, unique shops, people at work and play - similar to most Italian towns. Somehow, though, it just never gets old. I could wander about places like this forever.
Some of Vecchio Monterosso's highlights are the Church of St John the Baptist / Chiesa de San Giovanni Batisto, the Oratory of the Dead, and the Piazza Garibaldi. I have posted separate tips for these sights.