A hike from Levanto to Monterosso
by Claudia Moreschi
Overlooking the sea and lying in a green valley covered with olive trees, vines and a lush Mediterranean maquis, Levanto is a fantastic place for those who love the sea, good food but also and above all for those who love hiking and walking in the nature.
There are plenty of activities to do in the area; but the special one is the hike from Levanto to Monterosso, the westernmost village of the beautiful Cinque Terre, inside the Cinque Terre National Park.
If you are planning a holiday or a weekend in Levanto … well, you can afford to forget everything, but you can’t forget to bring comfortable shoes for you to enjoy this beautiful hiking excursion.
The trail from Levanto to Monterosso
The trail from Levanto to Monterosso covers a distance of about 7 km, which can be reached in about two and a half hours (for the most trained even less). The altitude is limited, the route easy, so it is well suited for everyone, even for families with children.
The best time to catch it is spring or autumn, but also winter (from here the climate is very mild even in the grayest months); For those who want to face it during the summer season: always carry water supplies (there are no springs or fountains during the route), sun hat and sunscreen to protect you from the sun.
Getting to the beginning of the trail is easy: from the waterfront just go east to the castle, until you reach the portico of a villa with blue stores. From here starts the indications – always clear and precise – and a ladder climbing beside the castle and the ancient city walls. At this point you take the cobbled road that rises slightly uphill to the woods which after a little becomes a trail.
The trail continues gently passing by the houses and offering beautiful views from the top of Levanto. For a short stretch, the trail leads to the paved road, after which you take a steep path on the right which goes down to the sea and goes forward in the bush: here comes the beauty.
Almost no houses around here – the few present have an enviable position – and the path is pleasant and easy. The sea is just below that it peeps between sea pines and broom.
Going through the trail in the spring means stepping in the proliferation of a lush and wild vegetation, between the smells of the spot and the flowers of each color. Choosing this period with limited tourists density will also give you the chance to walk with plenty of chances in solitude, tasting the sea views and the noise of the woods.
Breaks along the trail are a must: for refreshing, but just for taking pictures or stopping for a moment to contemplate the wonderful place where you are immersed.
I recommend a break at the Podere Case Lovara, an ancient rural farmhouse overlooking the sea with 45 hectares of recently restored land, managed by the FAI, which you can visit.
From Case Lovara you quickly reach Punta Mesco, where the stop is a must for the beauty of the panorama: just a small deviation of a few minutes from the path to reach the Hermitage of Sant’Antonio del Mesco, of which there are some ruins and extraordinary panoramic views over all the Cinque Terre (on a clear day, you distinctly distinguish all five villages).
The bulk of the effort was made: shortly after Punta Mesco begins the descent that reaches first the village of Fegina and then the historic center of Monterosso. The road to the village is on a steep slope: this is also why it is always preferable to take the path from Levanto towards Monterosso and not vice versa.
At this point, after reaching Monterosso, the hike is over and there is nothing left to enjoy the village and its sea. It is very convenient to get back by train (the station is located in Fegina, right in front of the sea), which in just 7 minutes brings you back to Levanto.