Monterosso is the most northern village of the Cinque Terre and the only one with a sandy beach. The village is split in two parts by a high cliff, with a cloister on top of it. The oldest part of town lies behind the railway and has many small streets, shops and restaurants.
If you come by train, you'll arrive in the new town. There is a long sandy beach and an adjacent boulevard. There is also a car park that can be reached by car and that even has a few pitches for motorhomes, less than 10 meters from the sea. However, there seems to be no infrastructure for these campers.
The historic part of the town is located 500 meters to the south. It can be reached by a tunnel or by following the path along the coast.
Most attractions are located in the old part of the city. In the small streets, there are numerous shops and restaurants, a cosy place for a stroll. The boats to Levanto and Vernazza also leave in the old part of town.
Monterosso was also hit hard by the floods of October 25th 2011, but the town has recovered completely.
The Chiesa lies in the centre of the town. It dates from the 14th century. The façade is decorated with horizontal black and white stripes, with a picture of John the Baptist, baptising Jesus and the higly decorated rosas which can be found in may churches in the region. Inside, the church has the structure of a basilique, with three naves.
Next to the Chiesa di San Giovanni Batisto is the Church of the Brotherhood of Death and Prayer. (Mortis Orationis Confrernitas) also called the Oratorio dei Neri. This church was built to commemorate the many sailors that left their lives at sea.
On the hill that splits the old and the new part of Monterosso, is the abbey and church of San Francesco. Halfway the stairs to the church, you will pass a statue of San Francesco, with his dog.
The graveyard, on top of the hill - a bit further then the church - is worth a visit, offering a great view on the city.
The Sentiero Azzurro from Monterosso to Vernazza is one of the must-do trails. You need an 'entry ticket', but still you have to beware of the crowds.
Starting from Monterosso, the climb (almost stairs) is impressive. The reward (the views) compensates largely.
You can take the Sentiero 510 to the Punta Mesco, from where you have a great view on the coast of the Cinque Terre.
From Punta Mesco, you can continue to Levanto (and return by train) or to the Colle di Gritta (and go down by bus).
The Sentiero 509 will take you straight up to the monastery of the Madonna di Soviore. It's a steep one, you need a good condition.
From the Soviore, you can continue on the Sentiero N°1 to the Colle di Gritta, Punta Mesco and even Levanto.
More info on bus schedules in our e-book.
In the Cantina du Sciacchetra you will find the local products of Cinque Terre : Cinque Terre wines, Sciacchetra(say "Sjaketra" ), Limoncino, Grappa, salted anchovies, pesto, cheeses, …
The Cantina is located in the Via Roma, the main street of the historic center of Monterosso.
Address : Via Roma 7, Monterosso al Mare
In the hills behind Monterosso lies one of the 5 Sanctuaries of Cinque Terre : the Madonna di Soviore. This sanctuary from the 11th century is one of the oldest in the region.
You will find a church with a beautifuly decorated interior and the cloister buildings which have been restorated into guestrooms with a restaurant and snackbar. For hikers on the Sentiero N°1 and N°9 this is an excellent place to stop for a snack, a meal or just to have a rest.
The view on Monterosso and Punta Mesco is splendid. Who wants to unwind, will definitely find something to their liking.
The Madonna di Soviore can be reached in several ways.
The restaurant and guest rooms are open from Easter till the end of October. They are a low cost alternative for a stay in the villages, still providing a good price/quality ratio. Also for families with children and larger groups, they can turn out very convenient.