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Levanto in Liguria - Visit the Hidden Gem of Italian Riviera!

Levanto is called the Hidden Gem of the Italian Riviera, and considered as the doorway into the Cinque Terre. Levanto (Map of Levanto) is a municipality or commune in the La Spezia province in the Liguria region of Italy. Major cities in its proximity include Genoa, 60 km away and La Spezia, 20 km away. The distance from Monterosso is 11,5 km (20 mins with car and 4 mins with train).

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The town of Levanto is located beautifully along a coastal line across the end of an amazingly striking valley wooded thick with pine and olive trees. Both sides of the valley have ridges jutting out into the sea in the form of small peninsulas of Levanto and Mesco. Some part of the municipality of Levanto falls in the coastal district of Comunita Montana della Riviera Spezzina and some in the famous Cinque Terre National Park.

History

During the period of the Roman empire, the settlement of Ceula was located in the hills surrounding Levanto. It was a crucial nodal point, thanks to its unique location. During the 9th century, the Chiesa di San Siro, the bell tower of the current church was the watchtower. However, by the 13th century, Levanto expanded by the sea and became more important compared to Ceula. Since then, it has continued to be an important center for local business and visitors.

Attractions and Things to do in Levanto

  • The Beach

levanto-port-liguriaLevanto has an attractive walkway along its seaside. The town has an unusually long and beautiful long beach, which is a strange feature for the geography of the area. Visitors find the beach to be the perfect place for spending their day relaxing in the leisure and comfortable atmosphere, stretching out in the sun.

You can enjoy a stroll across the beach enjoying local delicacies. There are a number of tiny beach-side restaurants sprinkled across the sandy beach, where you can quench your thirst or have a great meal.

The beach has umbrellas and sunbeds to make it easier for visitors to enjoy sunbathing. There are lots of fun activities for kids of all ages. Step into the pristine blue warm waters. Taking a walk along the beach at dusk can become one of the most memorable experiences.

  • Places to See in Town

There is a lot to explore in the beautiful town of Levanto. The diverse history of the town gives visitors a wider opportunity for enjoying some interesting sightseeing. There are two districts in the town, differentiated by their historical importance. The Borgo Antico is influenced by the 13th century and it is located around Sant’Andrea, the parish church. The Borgo Nuovo was formed during the 15th century over the plains of the River Ghiararo or Via Garibaldi. This is where you can find some of the most beautiful buildings and Italian villas, making it a must visit place.

  • Oratory of San Giacomo Maggiore

Move from the Chiesa di San Rocco towards Borgo Antico and you will find the famous Oratory of San Giacomo Maggiore that has its origins in 500 AD. It is the symbol of the oldest fraternity in this calm and pristine town. Enter this sacred building and you’ll notice minimalism, which is characteristic of the churches built during that time. The church has an admirable bas-relief, preserved from the 15th century.

  • The Church of Sant’Andrea

When in Levanto, make sure to visit the Church of Sant’Andrea. It is located between the piazza del Popolo and via D. Toso, and has its origins in the 13th century. The church features Ligurian Gothic style, horizontal stripes, green serpentine stone, white marble, and a glorious rose window on top of the main entrance.

Things to do in Levanto

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If you are a nature lover, Levanto is one place where you are never going to sit idle. It has a major marina where fishing charters are available. You can also charter boats for spending an entire day out in the open blue waters.

  • Scuba Diving

If you love scuba diving, there are unlimited opportunities in the pristine blue waters of Levanto’s coast. There are plenty of hidden surprises hidden in the depths of the sea around Levanto. You can check many ship wrecks, especially those from the WWII period.

  • Snorkeling

Levanto’s seas also offer great spots for snorkeling enthusiasts. It is not essential to bring your diving gear along, as there are a number of shops and centers close to the beach. You can rent the equipment for the entire family and take the help of experienced guides.

  • Surfing

Sail boarding, bodyboarding and surfing are also popular activities for visitors and locals alike. This part of the coastline enjoys regular winds, making it the perfect area for all these activities. In other terms, there is hardly any other area that can offer you all these water activities in the same place.

  • Hiking

Once you have enjoyed all the water activities, Levanto has a number of other fun things to offer on the land. There is around 70 km of hiking trails on offer around the town. Hike along the coastal areas enjoying magnificent views that lead you to the Cinque Terre villages. There is a huge network of trails connecting more than 18 villages along the hillside.

You’ll not find any difficulty with regard to exploring the hiking trails on your own. Signs are posted all along the area and you’ll find both families and individual hikers. Local maps are easily available, but if you have Google Maps on your handset, there is nothing to worry.

  • Cycling

Cycling lovers can rent bikes and go mountain biking or ride through the streets of this beautiful town. Mountain biking trails take you through and around the National Park.

The Cinque Terre is the perfect place for going on excursions amidst nature, enjoying some spectacular views over the sea. There are different cycling routes with different difficulty levels.

When it is lunchtime, you can stop at one of the several tiny villages and have a great meal comprising of local food. There is hardly anything else that can beat this experience. Levanto offers unparalleled outdoor experiences and you can feel it only once you visit the place.

In a short distance there are three beautiful places you should especially go to: Framura, Deiva Marina and Moneglia!

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