Exploring the Cinque Terre Riviera

Our Levanto Travel Guide, is here to help you find :

What is the attraction of the town ?

Levanto is a small municipality approximately 60km from Genoa. This wonderful small town is just north of Punta Mesco and the Cinque Terre in the Province of La Spezia and sits on a stunning coastline with breathtaking views. Levanto carries the air of a relaxed, pleasant seaside resort making it a popular vacation destination for Italians and foreigners alike.

Levanto, The Cinque Terre Riviera There is a lovely promenade running along the seaside

The town is blessed with a beautiful and relatively long beach which is rather uncommon for this area. The beach is an ideal place to spend the day relaxing in the comfortable, unhurried atmosphere while basking in the sun.

Levanto, The Cinque Terre Riviera The town is blessed with a wide sandy beach

Later you can take a stroll along the beach while enjoying an Italian ice cream or choose from a variety of small beach side restaurants to satisfy your hunger. This is a relaxation at its best.

Levanto Beach, The Cinque Terre RivieraThe beach is well equipped with sunbeds, umbrellas etc.

In the late afternoon, you can enjoy sitting on the deck of one of the many beach side cafes enjoying a cappuccino or your favorite Italian wine. It is a wonderful vacation spot for families too. The beach has fun activities for children of all ages. The water is pristine and warm. For those who enjoy walking on the beach at dusk, it is an experience to remember.

Levanto Beach, The Cinque Terre Riviera

You can make your vacation here as relaxing or as active as you want. There are tons of activities to choose from – from diving and surfing to hiking and cycling.

Levanto Tourists Stroll, The Cinque Terre Riviera

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Levanto is in a great location too. You can easily make day-trips to the surrounding areas by car or by train. The train station is conveniently located, and you can get almost anywhere.

Manarola Panorama , The Cinque Terre RivieraThe village of Manarola in the Cinque Terre

Levanto is a short distance from the famous Cinque Terre villages and their National Park. The Cinque Terre boasts rugged cliffs overlooking the crystal blue coastline and is considered one of Italy's most popular gems making it a favorite vacation destination for tourists. Since the Cinque Terre villages can get overcrowded with tourists during the summer months, staying in the beautiful town of Levanto is a great alternative to choose as a base while exploring this wonderful area of Liguria.

Levanto Beach, The Cinque Terre Riviera

Once you return to Levanto in the evening, you can experience the delectable local food specialities of this unique region. The aromas of fine food permeate the air and will tantalize your taste buds. Enjoy your meals at quaint outdoor restaurants while taking in the amazing views of the sea. After a delicious meal, you can enjoy cocktails or Italian coffee at many of the street side cafes. Just relax and enjoy watching people stroll by as you contemplate your plans for your next day in this cosy Italian town.

Levanto Streets, The Cinque Terre Riviera

Believe it or not, Levanto actually has a lively night life too. There are many dance clubs, local bars and you can even get in some gambling.

Levanto Shopping Street, The Cinque Terre RivieraOne of the shopping streets in town

If you forget to pack important personal items, there are several convenient local shops that cater to tourists. You will find everything you need in these shops. Levanto is a tourist friendly town committed to making your stay as comfortable as possible. The town has approximately 6,000 inhabitants, and they enjoy visitors making it a great place to experience the Italian way of life. Whether you are searching for a wonderful family vacation or romantic getaway put Levanto at the top of your list.

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Things to Visit in Town

The town has diverse history which makes for an interesting sightseeing experience. During the centuries Levanto experienced two main periods of development which has led to the division of the historical centre into two districts - the 13th century ’Borgo Antico’ which is formed around the parish church of Sant'Andrea, when the village benefited from maritime and became a centre of commercial activity; and the Renaissance ’Borgo Nuovo’ which developed in the 15th century on the plain of the River Ghiararo (now Via Garibaldi) and is characterised by beautiful villas and buildings.

Levanto Palazzo Vannoni, The Cinque Terre RivieraPalazzo Vannoni in Borgo Nuovo

Levanto Palazzo Vannoni, The Cinque Terre RivieraPalazzo Vannoni in Borgo Nuovo

The town has undergone further urban development during the beginning of 19th and 20th centuries with the opening of two main roads - the present Corso Italia and Corso Roma. From 1950, the town grew further culminating during the 1970s in the present town landscape.

Levanto Waterfront Promenade, The Cinque Terre RivieraThe town's waterfront promenade

Starting from ‘Borgo Nuovo’, you cannot miss the main square in town - Piazza Cavour which historically was the inner courtyard of the Monastero delle Ordine di Santa Chiara (Monastery of the Order of St Claire). Nowadays, however it hosts the town hall, the public library and other municipal offices.

Just around the corner is the Chiesa di San Rocco ( Church of San Rocco) . Continuing down towards ‘Borgo Antico’ you will come across the Oratory of San Giacomo Maggiore which dates back to the end of 500 AD and was home to the oldest fraternity in Levanto. The interior of the sacred building is characterised by its simplicity, typical of the churches built by the orders at the time and you can admire a preserved bas-relief dating from the 15th century.

Levanto, The Cinque Terre RivieraThe charming alleyways of the historical town

From here you can head towards Piazza del Popolo, where you find the 13th century Medieval Loggia. The Loggia was recognised by UNESCO in 2007 and plays a central role during the Festa di San Giacomo and Festa del Mare held on 24-25th of July .

Chiesa di Sant’Andrea Levanto, The Cinque Terre Rivieravia D. Toso leading to Church of Sant’Andrea

Chiesa di Sant’Andrea Levanto, The Cinque Terre RivieraChurch of Sant’Andrea and its churchyard

Just across from the piazza del Popolo is via D. Toso which leads to the Church of Sant’Andrea which dates back to the 1232. It was built in a typical Ligurian Gothic style with its striking façade decorated in horizontal stripes using white marble from Carrara and local green serpentine stone, and a magnificent rose window above the main entrance.

Chiesa di Sant’Andrea Levanto, The Cinque Terre RivieraChurch of Sant’Andrea

Chiesa di Sant’Andrea Levanto, The Cinque Terre RivieraThe beautiful rose window above the main entrace of the church

It has a lovely churchyard that can be a great refuge to just sit, take a breather from your sightseeing and enjoy the quiet of the day.

Chiesa di Sant’Andrea Levanto, The Cinque Terre RivieraThe inside of the church

Chiesa di Sant’Andrea Levanto, The Cinque Terre Riviera

There is a tiny path at the bottom of the churchyard which leads you to Medieval castle. It dates back to 1165 when was the property of Malaspina and was built to defend the village. Interestingly it has had widely diverse purposes during the centuries. During the Genoese Republic in 1637 it was used as the residence of the ‘Captain of the Republic’ , then it became a prison till 1797 and finally used as a private house.

Levanto Castle bas-relief slate, The Cinque Terre RivieraOne of the slate bas-reliefs in the Castle

The castle has a rather simple architecture, consisting of a round tower surrounded by four walls. The castle today is closed for visitors as it is a private property but there are two preserved bas-reliefs etched from slate from the Genoese school – one dating from the 15th century, depicting the Annunciation and the other from the 16th centery of depicting the battle of St. George and the dragon. There is also a legend that the castle has two underground passages - one reaching the beach and the other passing through the village all the way to the Chiesa Della S. Annunziata.

Levanto Castle Panorama, The Cinque Terre RivieraYou can enjoy great panoramic view over the Gulf near the Castle

From here you can take the path leading you down towards the seafront promande and the beach or turn up and walk the ancient city walls. The walls were erected in 1265 by the Republic of Genoa after Levanto suffered several attacks by Pisans. The documents show that the walls were rebuilt beginning in 1565.

Levanto City Walls Walk, The Cinque Terre RivieraWalking along the city walls

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Levanto City Walls Walk, The Cinque Terre RivieraThe Bell Tower of Church of Sant'Andrea as seen from the city walls walk

On your walk you will come across what remains of the ancient city gates - Fossato and dell'Acqua – as well as the unmissable Clock Tower. The tower dates dates from the 9th century when it served as a watchtower, and today is the bell tower of the Chiesa di San Siro.

Levanto City Walls Walk, The Cinque Terre RivieraThe waterfront promenade in town

Levanto City Walls Walk, The Cinque Terre RivieraThere are beautiful villas to admire

There is a lovely waterfront promenade which was built in March 2010 and goes along the whole length of Levanto seafront . From here you can take a leasurely strall taking in the beauty of the gulf, the charming seafront villas and the bustle of the beaches.

Levanto villa promenade, The Cinque Terre RivieraThe villas along the waterfront...

Levanto villa promenade, The Cinque Terre Riviera

Here you can visit Villa Agnelli and its gardens which were landscaped at the beginning of the 20th century. Along the promenade also runs a cycling path connecting the town with Bonassola.

Levanto promenade, The Cinque Terre Riviera

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The Must Taste Local Specialities

The food in the area does not disappoint either. The town is part of the “Città Slow”, an award given by the “Slow Food” association that recognises the quality of local wines, traditional cuisine and the general quality of life.

There are two gastronomic specialties that the area is famous for. One is called gattafin which can be best described as a deeply fried savory pastry purse stuffed with chard and sautéed minced onions.

Gattafin Levanto , The Cinque Terre RivieraThe local speciality Gattafin
Image courtesy of : sacapoche.blogspot.com

The other is torciglione , a sweet pastry made with strands of sugary dough and shortbread dough twisted together to form a loose knot with chocolate powder, raisins and sugar mixed in.

In addition, you can expect to enjoy delicious homemade ice cream, some excellent pesto and wash it all down with good local wines direct from the co-op makers.

As with most Italian towns, there is a weekly street food market held Wednesday mornings from 8am -1pm in Strada del Mercato, which is half way between the sea and the train station; the covered market is also found here, and is open weekday and Saturday mornings.

There are many great places to eat in town. For seafood lovers, there are two long-established fish restaurants to try – La Loggia and Osteria Tumelin. Both are located on Piazza del Popolo.

If you are after a sophisticated seafood experience then you might go to the very chic and rather expensive L’Oasi restaurant on the main square, Piazza Cavour.

For some authentic food head to the old-fashioned, century-old Trattoria Cavour near Piazza Cavour. The things to try here are the Octopus with potatoes and the mixed grilled fish. And for dessert do not miss the lemon sorbet ( made with local lemons) and semifreddo with torroncino.

Antica Trattoria Centro Levanto , The Cinque Terre RivieraAntica Trattoria Centro

Another great place is Antica Trattoria Centro on Corsa Italia which is one street in from the seaside road, near Piazzetta della Marina and has a covered terrace. Here you can enjoy great appetizers – mixed seafood and anchovies marinated in lemon juice, savory vegetable tarts, minestrone alla Genovese and the only-in-Levanto speciality gattafin, plus house-made pasta ranging from ravioli to pansotti and tagliolini.

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What is the Weather Like ?

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Interactive Map of the Area

View Liguria in a larger map

Using the Map ...

  • The arrows move you up, down, left and right (or grab the screen and pull in any direction)

  • The + and - to zoom you in and out

  • The "Map" button shows the village in map illustration form

  • The "Satellite" button shows Levanto in satellite images (zoom in for detail!)

  • The "Terrain" button shows an artistic rendering of the terrain that covers the village  (zoom out to use this feature)

You can zoom in and out, finding the best scale and then print it to .pdf and bring it along on vacation! You definitely won't find a more detailed, up to date map online or on vacation.


Thank you for visiting our guide… we look forward to welcoming you to Liguria and hope you will love it as much as we do !

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