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Monterosso al Mare, Cinque Terre in Italy: where to sleep, what to do ? - Blog voyage Découvrir Ensemble

Monterosso al Mare, Cinque Terre in Italy: where to sleep, what to do ?

Last update : 25 February 2024

We’d been dreaming of discovering the little village of Monterosso al Mare for a long time. What in particular made us want to? The photos of Monterosso’s sandy beach and harbor, with all those little umbrellas and private deckchairs, particularly photogenic.
During our little road trip in Italy, we set off to discover Naples, the Cinque Terre and finally Florence. Our first stop in the Cinque Terre was the little village of Monterosso al Mare, and we weren’t disappointed!
In this article, discover our good addresses for sleeping and where to eat in Monterosso al Mare, things to do as well as information on hiking between Monterosso al Mare and Vernazza.

Visiting Monterosso al Mare, where to stay

Monterosso Rooms

If you’re looking for a good place to stay in Monterosso, we recommend you take a look at this apartment. Ideally located in Monterosso, the apartment is a 5-minute walk from the station and the beach. The balcony offers a magnificent view of the sea and the beach at Monterosso al Mare. You’ll even see the beach’s famous orange parasols!” 

hotel monterosso al mare

What to do in Monterosso al Mare

As we’ve made clear in all our articles on the Cinque Terre, it’s important to bear in mind that the villages are particularly small and you’ll have circumnavigated them for around 2 hours. Despite this, it’s a real pleasure to discover them, and you’ll need a few good addresses to enrich your day spent there!

1. Downtown Monterosso al Mare

It’s important to know that the village of Monterosso al Mare is split into two distinct parts, separated by a rocky area, which juts out towards the sea. It’s important to know this, otherwise you’ll miss a whole part of the town!
When you arrive at Monterosso al Mare, you may be a little disappointed, as it doesn’t really resemble the villages of the Cinque Terre. It’s not built on high ground at all, on an elevated rocky base, and doesn’t give the impression of colorful facades you’d expect. It’s a bit of an exception among the 5 villages of the Cinque Terre.

However, in the heart of the Cinque Terre’s oldest village, you’ll find a charm rooted in the old and the traditional. We loved the atmosphere of the cobbled streets, the town center and the Fégina district.
In the heart of the town center, you’ll find a small market run by locals, small stores both touristy and more traditional, as well as numerous small restaurants.

monterosso al mare monterosso al mare monterosso al mare

2.The beach at Monterosso al Mare

The large sandy beach at Monterosso al Mare is the only one in the Cinque Terre where you can swim peacefully and relax on the beach. In fact, in the other Cinque Terre villages, you can only take a dip in the harbor.⛱

The surprise on our arrival was to discover that almost the entire beach is privatized. So you’ll have to pay between €15 and €30 to reserve a space on the beach for the day, umbrellas and deckchairs included. That’s the price of tranquility on Italian beaches… There’s still a small “public” area where you can sneak in for a swim, but it’s pretty crowded with tourists who don’t want to pay (like us).

The positive point, however, is a pleasant view of the beach from above, with its colorful, open umbrellas as far as the eye can see. A harmony of colors with the ultra-photogenic turquoise-blue water.

monterosso al mare monterosso al mare

3. San Giovanni Battista church in Monterosso al Mare

Built in the 1300s this Gothic-style parish church is particularly beautiful with its facade between white and black stones. It’s part of Monterosso’s history and well worth a visit. In 2011, the village was hit by massive flooding, which claimed the lives of several locals. Many buildings were affected, including the church of San Giovanni Battista. It is therefore regularly undergoing reconstruction to restore it to its former beauty.

4. Hiking between Monterosso al Mare and Vernazza

There are numerous hikes linking the Cinque Terre villages. A very simple color code represents the Cinque Terre hikes, and it’s not for their difficulty but for their gratuity.

Red sign = you’re on a 100% free hike.
Blue sign = you’re on a paid hike, unless you’ve already purchased the Cinque Terre Treno Card (the card for the train), which includes the hikes.

The hike between the two villages is therefore chargeable, but included in the train card. It’s well worth the effort, taking around 2 hours from one end to the other. You’ll discover some superb viewpoints! Small piece of advice, logical but important: do it outside the hot hours, rather in the morning. The hike has very little shade and is quite strenuous.

And then big advice! Do this hike in the direction Vernazza > Monterosso, and not the other way around.
We quickly realized that we’d set off in the “wrong” direction of the hike, as we passed other hikers in the opposite direction, all fresh and dapper.
In the direction we took it (Monterosso > Vernazza), it’s constantly uphill, with “natural” steps that are not at all straight… Clémence, who’s afraid of heights, wasn’t exactly serene. 🤭 Something to cheer you up on the Monterosso > Vernazza hike: a Cinque Terre resident has been selling pressed orange juice for €2 right in the middle of the hike for almost 20 years. This little grandpa, 100% purebred, will cheer you up before you set off again!


Visiting Monterosso al Mare, where to eat?

Slurp! Gelateria Artigianale

Taste a little gelato in Cinque Terre : Visit Gelateria Slurp! As the name suggests, you’re in for a treat! Ideal for an affordable sweet break, count €2.5 for a cone of 2 scoops of gelatooooo.

Il Frantoio

A lovely, affordable address that lets you take away or eat in. As the restaurant is right next to the square, it’s perfect for a sunny picnic! You’ll find everything you need for a quick bite: focaccia, pizzas, etc., all paid for by weight! Count on less than 10€ per person, very affordable for a lunch in Cinque Terre.


Visit the other Cinque Terre villages

Riomaggiore – Manarola  – Corniglia – VernazzaMonterosso Al Mare


Thank you for reading!

We hope the tips and good addresses on our travel blog will help you visit
Monterosso al Mare

You can also follow our daily adventures on Instagram 🙂
Clem & Alex

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