Those who have already visited all Cinque Terre villages, but still don’t have enough to discover Liguria seaside, may love to stop this time at the train station before Levanto going to east, somehow teased by the sound that makes this little town name: Bonassola.
Driving the car along A12, any direction you come from, you’ll take the Carrodano-Levanto exit, then drive a few kilometers back to west. After climbing several curves, at the top of the hill you’ll be welcome by one of the most wide open panorama, and also by a notice: “Le cinque terre sono 5, Bonassola è 1 sola” (“Cinque Terre are five, Bonassola is the only 1”), painted by anonymous and still not deleted.
Before taking the car, please consider that parking in Bonassola isn’t so easy, part of car parks are residents’ only (less than 1.000 people live here) and all the remnants cost per hour/day. Even better: let’s have a walk and dive in the old fascinating atmosphere of Bonassola, seeing what’s on the menu.
Cinque Terre tour: Food and Drink
I’ve been quite lucky, spending some summer in a wonderful house in front of the sea in Bonassola. I loved to wake up early in the morning, breathing the sea breeze and enjoying the peace of the empty streets. First mission: buy as much focaccia as possible, moreover if it comes from the bakery called. This is not the only good one, but certainly to me one of the best in town. Use your time in the cue making a list, if focaccia is already over when your turn, you may wait more, or choose something else to dip in your cappuccino: the marmalade and chocolate croissants or even the onions focaccia. Here also you can book vegetable salad cakes for lunch and dinner. The same family owns a pizzeria in the main street, where to eat under the gazebo or taking it away to the beach.
Nearby, the Caffè delle Rose, quite famous for its wonderful ice creams, always made with local seasonal fruits and flowers: roses, violets, oranges, figs and so on. Or, maybe you’ll prefer to try the fried anchovies that are served fried and hot in the same Apecar you see going around. I’ve eaten in more than one restaurant here, and all are good to taste the local fresh fish, meet and vegetables. In Bonassola there is more to eat than to drink, actually there’s not so much nightlife, but at cocktail hour any bar will serve you appetizers. If you want to enjoy the best view at sunset, just go to the bar before the Levanto tunnel starts. Once that was the train railway tunnel, now moved at the interior, where to get through by walking or bike.
Nature in Liguria
The bay of Bonassola has been studied a lot because of its position in the Mediterraneo sea, that make the waves taller than normal, if you’re interested you’ll find lots of historical photos and graphics in the main street, where also you’ll find the tourist office.
Even if everything is so tight, from the town you can reach the “Madonnetta” little church, or walking for about forty minutes to west, or take a shorter way that runs along the east coast. Also you can walk to reach Montaretto, crossing a wonderful forest for about two hours, where you’ll see also a old mill. Montaretto represents one of symbols of Italian second war resistance, and hosts the annual “Critical Wine”, generally on the 25th of april, indeed a good occasion to find the authentic spirit of these remote lands.