I'm Portuguese, live in Lisbon and I'm a travel addict!
I've been traveling since I was a teenager and I've been around the World a few times already.
This is my attempt to share with you my experiences and the knowledge I've collected after more than 20 years of non-stop traveling. Hope you like it!
You can read more about me here.
Monterosso al Mare is not the most scenic village of Cinque Terre but I have to say it’s my favorite one!
Being the largest of five towns, Monterosso al Mare is usually the one people choose for accommodation when they are spending more than one day in Cinque Terre since it has the biggest choice of hotels.
I hate crowds. I get a little claustrophobic when I’m surrounded by hundreds of people, so I like to visit Cinque Terre during the low season.
In the early October the weather is usually still nice enough to hike and enjoy the sea but the tourists and day trippers are a little less in numbers. Cinque Terre is always crowded – the only difference between high season and low season is that in the low season you can take two steps without stepping on someone’s foot!
Don’t get me wrong, I think the villages are always worth a visit no matter the circumstances but if you stay overnight you’ll get to explore them at your own pace and without being rushed by a tour guide. Most importantly, you’ll get to see the sunset/sunrise without the annoyance of the day trippers.
When they are gone you can have the beach all to yourself! This is the main reason why Monterosso is my favorite town of the 5. I like to wake up early in the morning and go to the South side of the village. To the end of the beach of Fegina, and sit on the sand, next to the Gigante di Monterosso (Monterosso’s Giant).
It’s just heaven on Earth to sit there listening to the soothing sound of waves while you watch the sun slowly go up in the sky…
The Giant is a 1910 sculpture by Arrigo Minerbi of Ferrara that represents Neptune.
It used to decorate a beach villa (Villa Pastine) that was bombarded during World War II. The bombing caused the destruction of a shell shaped terrace that was part of the sculpture. Today the statue has no arms, trident and a leg, but it’s still an impressive work of art and engineering!
Monterosso Al Mare Basics:
- There are several options for getting to Monterosso Al Mare (as with all the Cinque Terre villages). You can take the ferry from Riomaggiore, you can come by train or you can walk, following the path from Vernazza. This path is the longest and most demanding stretch of the Cinque Terre cliff walk, but well worth doing if you have enough time. Please note that sometimes parts of the trail are closed due to bad weather so please check before you go.
- Pack some suitable shoes if you plan on walking/hiking along the cliffs between the towns of Cinque Terre.
- In the Summer bring a lightweight, fast-drying sarong that can be used in a variety of ways: you can use it to lay on the beach, to dry off after a swim, or to cover up.
- You should also bring shorts, Summer dresses, t- shirts and a sunscreen.
- In the Winter bring pullovers (the weather gets chilly but never too cold) and a raincoat (sometimes they get heavy rains).