Monterosso Cinque Terre

The tale of two cities


Monterosso Cinque Terre is the largest of all of the Cinque Terre villages and is considered the cultural and historical centre of the region. Its origins date back to
1201 and it has ancient and rich history.

During its medieval years, a great number of fortifications were built in order to protect the village from pirate attacks, and these made the most efficient defence system in the Cinque Terre at the time. The remains of these fortifications can be marvelled even today in the old part of town where three of the 13 defence towers still stand.


Monterosso Al Mare in the Cinque Terre



Nowadays, Monterosso Cinque Terre perhaps resembles a small seaside touristic resort the most of all of the Cinque Terre towns, with its two beaches and dare I even say it - some nightlife.


Monterosso Al Mare - Fegina


As with all of the villages in the Cinque Terre, town of Monterosso al Mare was developed on the rocky face of the hills that surround it among olive groves and vine terraces. The town is separated into two parts marked by the medieval tower of Aurora.

 


The old part of town ‘Monterosso Vecchio’ lies on the hill of San Cristoforo and is characterized by the typical narrow alleyways carruggi and the brightly coloured tower-houses that you'd also find in the other small fishing villages of the Cinque Terre like Manarola or Riomaggiore.


The charm of the alleyways in the old town


The landscape of the old town is dominated by the remains of the medieval fortifications - the walls of the ancient fortress, the remains of the Obertengo Castle, and the Aurora Tower.

 

Castle of Monterosso al Mare


Here you can visit the beautiful Church of San Giovanni Battista with its striking façade made of white and green marble and the rosette window created by masters Matteo and Pietro da Campiglio.


The Church of San Giovanni Battista

Inside the Church


Its square tower was originally a watchtower built by the Genoese in 1276, until it was integrated into the church and used as a bell tower.


The square tower of the Church


Also near the church you can visit the Baroque Oratory of St. Maria del Porto Salvo and its ruins, which are enclosed in the modern structure of the Loggia of the Podestà. Nearby is also the 17th century Oratory of St. Croce

Another must-see is the church of Capuchin Father "San Francesco", where you can admire valuable artworks such as the paintings by Luca Cambiaso and Bernardo Castello as well as a Crucifixion attributed to Van Dyck. This spot also
offers a stunning panorama of the village below and the promontories that enclose the Cinque Terre. 

On the hill behind the village, along the carriage road between Levanto and Pignone, you can visit the sanctuary of Nostra Signora di Soviore, founded, according to the tradition, at the time of the Longobard invasion and is the most ancient Marian sanctuary in Liguria.

 

Monterosso Cinque Terre Railway Stattion


The modern part of Monterosso Cinque Terre stretches along the seaside in the
small bay of Fegina which gives the name of the area. In this part of town you will find the railway station and the Monterosso's beach. It is the largest and the best sand beach in the Cinque Terre, very popular with tourists and locals alike.


Monterosso al Mare Beach in Fegina


One thing you cannot miss in Fegina is the dominant statue of the Giant, built beside the terrace of a local villa. This statue was created in 1910 by Levacher and Minerbi, an architect and a sculptor, and represents Neptune, the god of the sea.


Monterosso Al Mare - The Giant


The new part of town is characterised by wider spaces, newer housing developments and buzzing life and gives a very different feel from the rest of the Cinque Terre. 


Monterosso Al Mare - New part of town


Monterosso offers lots of great restaurants where you can taste the famous
Monterosso anchovies and other local delicatessens, as well as the largest number of hotels and renting accommodation of the Cinque Terre.



National Park of Cinque Terre Limoncino National Park of Cinque Terre, Limoncino


Along the seafront, there are lots of artisan shops to explore where you can purchase local products and handicrafts as well as wine cellars to taste the rare dessert wine “Sciacchetrà” produced in the Cinque Terre area.


Monterosso Cinque Terre in fact is one of the best places to buy local Cinque Terre produce such as the lemon flavoured honey, lemon Grappa called Limoncino and other lemon based delicacies favoured in the region.

National Park of Cinque Terre Lemon Marmalade National Park of Cinque Terre, Lemon Marmalade

The main tourist information centre for the Cinque Terre is also based in Monterosso. All this creates for a buzzing atmosphere, complementing perfectly the quietness of Manarola or Corniglia...



Monterosso al Mare


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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