We’re already thinking about the summer, the scent of the Mediterranean Sea and its unique scenery…so, here is an advice for an unforgettable trip!
An excursion from Levanto to Lerici (Liguria Italy) outstanding and intact scenery of Cinque Terre is a truly unique experience.
A bathe in the charming of old colorful towns in a dazzling location as this particular seafront, overlooking hills, steep terrain where the vineyards triumph.
We are in the beautiful location of Cinque Terre National Park, declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco.
The trip starts from Levanto, whose historical center shelters genuine architectural treasures, such as the Gothic church of St. Andrew or the Municipal Loggia of the 13th century. Along a rocky coastline, which descends steeply into the sea, with tight vineyards that arise between the rocks, punctuated by small villages where agriculture and maritime blend with rich colors, simplicity and charm.
First authentic stage of the Cinque Terre: Monterosso al Mare, acclaimed tourist resort, adorned with polished villas and a nice beach . In the old-fashioned village center, where the narrow streets climb up the hill, you can admire the Gothic parish church of St. John the Baptist and the baroque Church of San Francesco, close to the Capuchins convent. Here you will come up, among other beautiful things, with the literary park named after the the poet Eugenio Montale, chorister of these lands.
Then you arrive to Vernazza, with its awesome marina, around which develops the medieval town, with its distinctive square, you can admire the imposing watchtowers of Genoa and the bewitching Gothic church dedicated to Saint Margaret of Antioch.
A hundred feet above the sea there is Corniglia, perched on the crest of the hill and connected to the beach by a staircase of 365 steps; you can enjoy a splendid view from here.
Will certainly have a strong impact the huge black rock overlooking the sea on which Manarola stands, known for olive oil and wine production, with its colorful houses that give the impression to arise from the steep rock.
The last (but not least!) village in the Cinque Terre, and also the heart of the homonymous National park, is Riomaggiore; a picturesque fishing village, with high and narrow houses coloured in typical pastel colors, among these narrow alleyways you can enjoy a continous alternation of light and darkness.
Leaving the protected area, is definitely worth making a detour to Porto Venere.
This popular resort of Liguria region is a perfect illustration of the blend of nature and architecture: from the marina promenade that frames the infinite palette of its narrow houses, the steep stairways and narrow alleys end on the promontory of the Mouths where stands the Church of St.Peter, from the early Christian era completed in the Gothic style.
Also worth seeing is the Sanctuary of the Madonna Bianca, formerly the parish church of San Lorenzo, built in the 12th century in Romanesque style it was later restored and enlarged, and the Doria Castle, a majestic military fortress.
In front of Porto Venere we can find the three islands of Palmaria (where you can visit the beautiful Blue Grotto), Tino and Tinetto, all part of the Regional Park of Portovenere.
Then we go straight to La Spezia, where one must visit the abbey church of Santa Maria Assunta, which has an interesting artistic heritage inside; and also worth a visit the Museums of the Italian Navy.
The last stage of this beautiful trip, is Lerici, the so-called Gulf of Poets (the Gulf of La Spezia, chosen by Byron and Shelley for their holidays). The resort is marked by a lots of stair and steps and alleyways and by the imposing military Castle. Not to be missed a stroll along the promenade and a visit to the oratory of San Rocco, with its 14th century bell tower and the church of San Francesco for the valuable works of art stored there.
With closed eyes I can already smell the scent of the blue sea..