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Discover the most beautiful beaches in Italy from isolated and paradisiacal bays, accessible only by sea, to fine-sand beach resorts

7,600 kilometres of coastline and a sea that shines in every shade of blue. Treat yourself to a unique holiday: the sea in Italy is calm and warm and the beaches are safe harbours where you can find peace and silence. But also endless places to have fun, do sports and taste special dishes; in a word: unforgettable.
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Monterosso al Mare

Monterosso al Mare

Monterosso al-fare/natura/mare Mare: holiday in luxurious nature Monterosso al Mare is the first stop to the Cinque Terre tour, this stretch of the Ligurian Riviera is included in the list of World Heritage sites by Unesco thanks to the respectful human interactions with its landscape, honouring it and its sublime beauty. Monterosso village is the biggest of the 5 that make up the Cinque Terre. It is the only one to boast large and beautiful beaches that are easy to access. Ideal for a family holiday enjoying the beauty of nature. Fegina beach, a stunning beauty The allure of the Cinque Terre is largely due to its rugged territory. In Monterosso, nature is uncontested. However, amongst the 5 villages of the coast, it is the only one to boast a wide, comfortable sandy beach, Fegina. Fegina beach is defined by Forbes magazine as “one of the 25 sexiest beaches in the world”. Starting from the train station, it’s quite convenient to access, you just go down a few steps and find your spot in the sun. You can choose the free section or areas serviced by bathing establishments. In the maritime area of the Parco delle Cinque Terre the water is breathtakingly blue, as it is in a protected zone. The coast is made up of sand mixed with pebbles. Children are at ease here so parents can relax on loungers. At the edge of the Fegina seafront you can also stop at the cliff by the Aurora tower. Slightly further on there is the small beach, Spiaggia della Stazione, at the end of the promenade, which points towards Levante. You’ll see the giants’ beach, Spiaggia del Gigante: recognisable by the large 14 metre statue depicting the god Neptune that dominates it. Immediately after the sailing club, it’s just a short wander to reach Portiglione beach. In the footsteps of a great poet: Eugenio Montale The poetry in I limoni e Punta del Mesco, (the lemon tree and the Cape of Mesco) from the Ossi di Seppia (cuttlefish bones) collection by the noted Italian poet and literary Nobel Prize winner Eugenio Montale, from Genoa is definitely worth a read. reading the verses you will invisage all the wonder of Monterosso al Mare. Its sounds and scents, the lyrical landscape denoted in his wording will captivate your senses. Montale spent his childhood holidays in the Liberty style family residence here. Named Villa delle Due Palme, although he recalls it as Pagoda Giallognola. It stands on the first slopes of Mesco, along he Fegina coast. The Eugenio Montale Literary Park was inspired by it. The house is now a private residence which offers accommodation in one section of it. You can admire it from the outside and also avail of one of the walks organised by the Literary Park Institution. The colourful houses in the village, the monuments and the vegetation combine to offer views of a tantalising mixture of culture and nature. Strolling in the village It is a pleasure wandering down the carruggi, the small streets of the Ligurian towns. You’ll enjoy the stairways and squares in the old village, speciality food shops, focaccerie, bars and restaurants. Take some time to visit the Church of San Giovanni Battista, its facade decorated with black and white stripes. The San Francesco Church with adjoining Capuchin Convent has precious paintings inside to view. From the outside you’ll find a magnificent view over the entire Cinque Terre coastline. 5 ideas for an unforgettable stay in Monterosso al Mare Monterosso is the perfect starting point, or finishing point when visiting Cinque Terre. The first recommendation would be to leave the car at Monterosso al Mare and get the train that follows the coastline. Comfortable, price efficient, eco friendly and you get to enjoy the fabulous views. Alternatively you could walk along the marked pathways. A visit to the Santuario di Nostra Signora di Soviore in the hills would be highly recommended. You can stay there overnight and book a table in the restaurant. For those who would like to get there on foot, there is a lovely path leading there from the village. Staying in a farmhouse in the hills, immersed in silence and greenery would also be an excellent choice. Lastly you could go to the pier and plan a boat trip to enjoy the wonders of the Gulf of Poets.


Vernazza, a small village of great wonders A rocky spur reaching out towards the sea, backed by high cliffs and covered with green hills, home to a village of houses and monuments next to the marina. Introducing Vernazza, among the most authentic villages in the Cinque Terre. The small, colourful houses and moored boats, the prickly pears and cultivated terraces create an enchanting landscape. Venture into one of the most beautiful villages in Italy, for an immersive experience in the pristine Mediterranean landscape. Alleyways and stairways In Vernazza, everything centres around the small harbour and the small square behind it, where the locals rent apartments to tourists. The “carruggi”, the narrow alleyways of Ligurian villages, all branch off from here. We highly recommend taking a stroll among the colourful, towering houses, through courtyards, under porticos and loggias (the perfect spot for a cup of coffee), and along Via Roma, an ancient underground river. An unmissable site in this ancient village, which dates back to the year 1000 and was once used by the Romans as a strategic port, is the Church of Santa Maria d'Antiochia: dedicated to the village’s patron saint, it has mullioned windows overlooking the sea and presents a blend of Romanesque, Baroque and Gothic styles. While the Belforte tower acts as a lookout next to the small port, dominating the town from above is Doria Castle, on a dramatic cliff. Be sure to try the local speciality, Tian di Vernazza: baked potatoes and anchovies flavoured with Mediterranean herbs and lemon zest - the land and sea come together in one unique dish. At a slow pace to contemplate the landscape The entire UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Cinque Terre is dominated by rock and sea, small bays and inlets, and flourishing vegetation. Nature reigns supreme, so the Cinque Terre National Park ask that you explore respectfully, ideally on foot or by train. It’s well worth spreading out a beach towel on the cliffs to the right of the pier or near the harbour. Then, after enjoying a cool dip, it’s time to put on your hiking shoes. You are sure to enjoy the spectacular trek from Monterosso al Mare or Corniglia, two other villages in the Cinque Terre, located either side of Vernazza. The best route is the famous Sentiero Azzurro (Blue Path), which narrows in some places as it enters the woods, while opening up elsewhere to offer breathtaking glimpses of the sea and towering coastline. This circular trekking route climbs up to the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Reggio, with its beautiful Romanesque façade. The forecourt is lined with holm oaks, cedars and horse chestnuts, and providing shade is the oldest cypress tree in Liguria, which has thrived for 800 years and counting. The route continues towards San Bernardino before descending back down to the village, past cultivated fields and vineyards, dry stone walls, fragrant Mediterranean scrubland, streams and springs, well-worn ancient mule tracks shrouded in silence, and crisscrossing houses lost in the wilderness. You will find yourself outside civilisation, inside a natural space that regenerates the body and mind.


Manarola, like a colourful painting in the heart of the Cinque Terre The yellow to warm orange houses proudly stand out from the dark cliffs, in a wonderfully bold contrast of colours. Here, perched on top of a high, sheer rock that juts out over the sea, is the peaceful and romantic town of Manarola. The mighty nature of the Cinque Terre National Park is furrowed by paths that mark the perfect routes to admire the vineyards and olive groves on the traditional terraces. In the scenic village At 70 metres above sea level, you can explore the maze of steep, narrow streets enveloped in salty air that branch off from the little square by the sea. The age-old village dates back to the year 1000, when it was chosen for its strategic position as a lookout and defence against Saracen pirate raids. After appreciating the most beautiful churches, including the Gothic church of San Lorenzo, we recommend heading towards the beautiful Belvedere: a scenic lookout over the water that offers breathtaking panoramic views. Be sure not to miss out on the chance to admire the unique Genoese-style “tower houses”, on several floors and leaning against each other. There is no real beach here, but you can go down to the water from the rocks in the marina area. The paths connecting the Cinque Terre Manarola is the hamlet of another village in the Cinque Terre, Riomaggiore, which it is connected to by a beautiful, one-and-a-half-kilometre footpath up the hill that separates the two villages. Another scenic route starts directly from the village and connects Manarola to Corniglia. Here, you will find yourself in the typical “cultural landscape” of the Cinque Terre, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You are sure to be fascinated by the terraces built using an ancient Roman technique to cultivate the inaccessible mountain slopes. Olive groves, orchards and vineyards stretch out across the terraces, forming a charming backdrop. Bold cuisine, combining land and sea Manarola's agricultural and seafaring soul is expressed through simple but extraordinary cuisine, where land and sea combine to create fantastic flavours, enhanced by excellent wines. Despite being a small village, it has become a mecca for lovers of good food, thanks to the wealth and quality of its restaurants. The local extra virgin olive oil is superb: delicious on bruschetta or accompanying grilled fish and vegetables, perfectly paired with the Cinque Terre DOC white wines. Ligurian focaccia is recognised as among the best on the coast. You will find countless fantastic restaurants, so take your pick! You can dine in a hillside restaurant, sat among the lemon trees as you admire the scenery from up high, or you can book a table in the village, at one of the delightful stone restaurants among the alleyways or overlooking the sea, towards the harbour. Anchovies, octopus and squid are among the most common seafood delicacies, best preceded by pesto and tomato bruschetta, also a delectable aperitif. Vegetables and herbs fill the Torta Salata Pasqualina Italian Easter pie, and we highly recommend tucking in to some stuffed and fried courgette flowers! A touch of class comes with dessert, accompanied by a glass of well-chilled Sciacchetrà: an age-old precious passito wine from grapes cultivated among terraced vineyards, listed among the Slow Food Presidia. 5 tips for travellers We recommend travelling to Manarola by train and then walking from then on. The Cinque Terre National Park has a complicated road system and there are no large car parks. In the village, make sure to take part in wine tastings and cooking classes: this unique experience will not only be a delight for your taste buds, but also rich in culture. The Cinque Terre Card gives you access to various services, including guided tours among the vineyards of the Manarola Foundation. Be sure to head to the pier where the boats for the Cinque Terre depart. From Manarola, you can explore an enchanting stretch of coastline by sea, taking in all the details of the rugged coastline, including cliffs, caves and coves.

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