Monterosso al Mare, Liguria
Monterosso al Mare is biggest of all five Cingue terre places. There is also only sand beach in Park.
I arrived to town by train and its train station is located on northern part of town. From there you could see large car park and nice beaches.
In north part of town there is also a very interesting sculpture on rock - Il Gigante (meaning Giant).
It depict Neptune who holding the waves at. Originally dates back to 1910 and it was work of Arrigo Minerbi. It is 14 meter high and it is part of private property (The Villa Pastine is connected with it). Before its destroying top of the monument was stage during festivals days. Now is arm less and damage but still one of most photographic object within Park. I didn't close enough to take a good photos of sculpture.
Old town is historical part of town and there you could find narrow streets, wide square and all religious buildings including Church of S. Giovanni Battista and Oratories and there no fees for visitors. This town is also and oldest in Park. It is registered 1056.
Both parts of town are connected with short tunnel. Between them is towns train station.
It is best to explore both part of town by foot and only appropriate way. I find information that this town/village covers only 11.25 km2 (or 4.34 sq mi) and it is largest then others villages. It have population about 2000 inhabitants.
Many shops, restaurants and hotels are here, more then in others villages within Cinque terre park.
Monterosso al Mare is the ONLY of the villages in Cinque terre with a sandy beach...
...a bit less romantic than the other 4 villages of Cinque terre !
But it is a lovely place anyway with great old houses and a wonderful, rather wide beach-boulevard .
And it offers a big parking directely on the beach , in case that you would like to go there with your own car .
Monterosso is the very first of the 5 villages that you get to , when arriving by train .
It certainly makes sense to start your walk through 5terre in Monterosso walking to Vernazza and all the other villages and you will emerge deeper and deeper , step by step into the different world of these remote villages.
You may click here in order to see where to find Monterosso al Mare on the map :
www.multimap.com - Monterosso al Mare
For more infos and pics about Monterosso al Mare - please click on the link below !
We had spent the previous day hiking from Riomaggiore up to Vernazza, but ran out of daylight to make it to Monterosso. So the next morning, we hopped on the train again and got off at Monterosso to start our hike south. We'd been charmed by Vernazza the day before and wanted to end up there for lunch. Monterosso was not what I expected and it's not like the other Cinque Terre towns. It's a resort town and you'll actually see motor vehicles driving around. It was cool and cloudy and not many people were around. In the summer the beach must be packed, though it's not the nicest beach I've ever seen. The most memorable feature is the figure of a giant man carved into the rock.
Here's a tip for the ladies: There is a WC at the train station, but apparently they don't want you to use it. The doors to the stalls were removed and the outside door to the room was also removed, so you are completely exposed when using it! The men's room had stalls with doors, but all doors were locked, but not being used. There was no other bathroom nearby that I could find. Wait until the crowd from the train dissipates and have your travel companion stand guard outside the WC door at the station. Best to bring your own tissue too!
To hike south from Monterosso, follow the red and white trail markers along the sea wall. They'll lead you up some steps and up a cliff. The view is magnificent when climbing out of Monterosso! I think this leg of the Cinque Terre hike is the most challenging of all. Lots of steps up, up, up. Just when we thought the trail would level off, another flight of steps would appear! The trail leads under lemon and olive trees and past some vineyards. It's definitely the most scenic leg of the trail. A woman who was working to harvest some lemons happily tossed some lemons up to some hikers on the trail. She said she had plenty to spare!
On our second-day visit to the Cinque Terre, we took the train from Levante. We found that these tiny towns remain self-contained because of the cliffs, which are quite steep.
Monterosso al Mare was one of our favorites.
In the picture on the left is the village of Monterosso al Mare. This village, like the other four, has its own particular personality. It lies on the northwest edge of Cinque Terre and is said to be the largest of the five (that's relative because it is quite small and so quaint).
We had an opportunity to spend some time here rroaming the back lanes to see how the locals live...we found that it is a tranquil place.
The picture on the right is Allan and I along the walking trail. It just so happens that a tourist from Germany asked us if we wanted our picture taken TOGETHER, since we were each taking photographs of the other. How kind of him. But, we found kindness to be the rule in Italy, whether other tourist or the locals.
But here in Cinque Terre with this lovely environment, it seems to make people even more hospitable, more mellow.