Son stressed we should shun the coastal path from Vernazza to Monterosso and take the train. Another hike would be a hike too far he reasoned and then proceeded to make a serious case for some beach time. We didn’t argue. Train was boarded, we arrived in Monterosso and emerged in the conveniently located station right in the centre of the town.
Monterosso is the first and most northern town of the Cinque Terre – just one train hop from Levanto so handy for us too at the end of a long day. It is bigger than the rest, has a handful of hotels (not that evident elsewhere) and is the only one with what might be called a beach. That is where we were headed.
Son stripped into his swimming gear and hit the waves with a vengeance. A new canine friend added to the excitement and much fun was had by all.
We lounged on the beach and took in the views. I had read beforehand this was the least charming and most touristy of the Cinque Terre. Touristy is a word I would use to describe them all, this one is no more or less so than the rest. To say it is less charming, not sure I agree with that either. Views like this from the beach – definitely not lacking in charm or beauty.
We spent ages on the beach, Son had a great time and for that reason I would say this is probably the best suited Cinque Terre town for families.
The old town has lots of steep streets, we admired from afar but stuck to the new part – the beach was here and it was mainly flat. There was a great vibe along the seafront, lots of young people hanging out and no end of nice beach front restaurants.
Son had developed a ever increasing desire for pizza, pizza establishments here were proving difficult to locate. Eventually with the help of a friendly local we found one, just a street or two back from the seafront. What a find – La Baraccia – if you are ever in the area I highly recommend it. Reasonably priced, great atmosphere and the most delicious food. My seafood and rocket pizza was probably one of the more unusual pizzas I’ve consumed, probably also one of the most tasty. The restaurant flung in a few extras too – aperitif, amuse bouche and limoncello at the end. The extras always do it for me. With full stomachs and aching legs we wearily made our way to the train – good thing that station didn’t involve any hill climbing. Just the way to end a perfect day in the Cinque Terre.