Alix, Dom, Wendy, Josh and I set out to start our hike at 7-30 In the morning from the very steep pathway right next to our house for a long hike to the next village, this one being a Cinque Terre Village and the closest to us; Monterosso.
We first see the fortress and right next to it, the pathway starts. It reminds me of the Inca trail minus the altitude and minus the many tourists!
We pretty much walk together for most of the trail up to the town of Mesco.
We encounter an enchanting inn, with a beautiful spa outside overlooking the view.
The tin roof is weighted down by tiny animal shaped ciment objects scattered around the surface. From that area we look down upon Levanto.
We can’t figure out how tourists actually get there, since we don’t see any roads!
There is even a beautiful sculpture on the trail letting us know not to drink the water ” Acqua non Potabile” which flows down through crevasses in the mountain.
As we gain elevation we pass through the town of Mesco, I don’t know how they call that a town; the town is also the dividing line between what is the Cinque Terre and Levanto. there are a few houses and an Inn at the top, which looks like the road stops here. And that’s about all!
At this point Wendy decides to put her earbuds, listen to her music, descends the steps towards the trail
which is indicated by a RED and WHITE marker and we shall see her in the next town as she races past all of us. Not bad for someone who did not train to master these types of hikes!
The four of us continue, we suddenly walked through this enchanting forest with very tall trees, giving us some shade we surely welcome.
Then the kids starts playing with these rock sculptures and add a few of their own to the existing collection.
We continue strolling along and a steep hillside vineyard comes into our view. We see a barricaded low rise hotel property with a great view and an advertising board, indicating it’s being refurbished; it seems to be part of Italy’s plan to give away historical building in off the beaten path location for FREE with the caveat that investors must restore it and make it accessible to the public. I would say in this case, it’s definitely a great dedication of time,
We finally get to the top and now have a perfect view of the newer section of Monterosso al Mare, where the beach hotels are located, that town has the largest beach of all Cinque Terre towns. We take it all in at the top, Josh takes in the view on top of some old tower. Alix and Dom take photos of each other.
After looking at the sign, we have a half a kilometer to walk to the newer part of Monterosso and one kilometer to walk to the older part.
Wendy is sitting on top of steps to descend to the town. We finally get to the town, at this point the temperature becomes unbearably hot and I need a hat!
As you get to the beach area, these huge 1900 sculpture of Neptune holding waves at bay is the symbol of this Monterosso al Mare, as you look beyond, the huge point protruding into the ocean is point Mesco which separate the Cinque Terre. It is also for us a great satisfaction in knowing that we climbed it and descended gradually from it.
We took the opportunity to sit at a beach cafe, have some snacks and drinks, relaxed a bit and watched the beach goers. This is also where I Bought a large rim hat, I will surely need it for these hikes.
Now that our energy is replenished, we continue to the old section through the tunnel. The old town is simply just charming. We walked the streets, see the eautiful church of San Francisco built in the 16th Century and It has great works of art but we missed it because we did not walk in, so we absolutely must go back!!
We went in and out of shops, most shops were built inside very small enclosures of high ceilings and hand built stone walls.
We now decided that we were really hungry, so we picked the newest restaurant in town called “TORRE AURORA”. It literally opened 2 days ago, the city made this spot available for a restaurant, it was a museum fortress before. There is no better view and the food is not bad but the service could be improved, but it’s only 2 days! We were lucky because the views cannot be beaten.
It is the only place that you can have spectacular views of the old and the new Monterosso Al Mare, the last 2 photos are of the newer Monterosso al Mare.
After a light lunch, we walked slowly to the newer section to catch the train back to Levanto.
We took the train back, rested a bit and decided to have dinner at Moresco, only Wendy and Josh joined me; Alix and Dom went to the corner restaurant near the bridge, I ordered the trofie with pesto; there was too much sauce. Wendy ordered something with scampi, she only liked the pasta and sauce part. Josh’s meal was some kind of game meat he did not like.. Oh well you can’t win them all.
It was an amazing day, we covered an awful lot of territory, from the very difficult hike in the heat to visiting Monterosso, we logged in almost 11 miles.
We got a text from the girls, Deborah and Kay, and they will join us late tonight. so I stayed up. They arrived from Malaga due to not getting on several flights, and to top it all Kat’s luggage never made it in the plane. They seemed to make the best of it for a couple of days.
So they finally arrived around 11.30 at the house. We toasted their arrival with some Santa Marguerita wine. Now our group is complete!