Among the five villages of the Cinque Terre, Monterosso al Mare is certainly the most unusual for its conformation but also the most extensive. It is located in the middle of a small natural gulf and is protected to the west by the promontory of Punta Mesco that divides it from the city of Levanto. The fast train from Milan stops only in Monterosso, it is the first village if you come from West and the last if you come from East.
The village is divided into two parts. Fegina, the new part, where we find the train station, the large beach and the picturesque promenade called with the same name, and the real ancient village, the old part, that can be reached from the seafront of Fegina through a pedestrian tunnel. The two centers are divided by the Hill of San Cristoforo where stands the Convent of the Cappuccini and the Church of San Francesco.
In the Complex of the Capuccini was built a statue of Saint Francis where he extends his hand to a wolf. It is right here that you can enjoy a breathtaking view and admire the coast of the Cinque Terre in its entirety, with its enchanting shades, lush vegetation and rich in Mediterranean scents.
Let’s go back to the area of Fegina, towards the promontory of Punta Mesco, where we find the Statue of the Giant and Villa Montale.
The Statue of the Giant is an imposing and evocative reinforced concrete structure that represents the god of the sea Neptune. You can admire it in its grandeur, resting on a rock spur, in its function as guardian of the sea. Very suggestive!
Beyond the hill of San Cristoforo, eastwards, we walk towards the ancient village. So once out of the tunnel that divides Fegina from the old town, we will meet a nice square in front of the sea. To the right of the square you can continue walking and reach the small port and the Aurora Tower, otherwise you can move towards the center of the village through the characteristic Ligurian caruggi (narrow streets), where the bright and colorful colors of the houses will capture your eyes.
Among the picturesque streets of Monterosso you can browse the beautiful shops of local crafts, such as ceramics, jewelry, pottery or taste the typical kitchen full of undisputed specialties. Lemons of Monterosso, the anchovies, their white wine Sciacchetrà similar to sicialian passito.. will delight your palate 😋!
The village is definitely cute but, in my opinion, it is less characteristic compared to the others. Indeed it’s the only village with a sizable beach so enjoy your tan!
Must visit in Monterosso al mare:
• the Statue of the Giant, this massive statue emerging from the stone at the far end of the Fegina beach has become the symbol of Monterosso;
• the Aurora Tower with the bunker of the Second World War;
• the 17th century Convent of the Cappuccini;
• the Church of San Giovanni Battista recognizable by the striped marble facade.
Discover the other villages of Cinque Terre: