We spent another beautiful stay, 4 days, at La Spiaggia, our ninth consecutive yearly visit. Monterosso al Mare is, of course, one of the best places in the world to relax, and this hotel has the best location in town, but the real star, as usual, is the owner, Andrea Poggi. He is always helpful, always cordial, and is, in addition, probably the most knowledgeable person in the world on local history and lore, as well as being extremely well versed in Italian history, world history and culture, restaurants all throughout Italy, food in general, and many other topics - I always make it a point to converse with him for at least an hour a day when I am here, and I always learn quite a biy from those interactions. Be sure to follow his restaurant recommendations - they are always good - and his recommendations as to what to order at these places. His daughter, Maria, who does a great deal of the day-to-day management of the hotel is extremely helpful and friendly, as is Francesca, who frequently staffs the front desk. Breakfast, included, is very good, and there always seems to be a free glass of cool white wine waiting for arriving guests.
Cinque Terre is certainly one of the best places to visit in Italy. The hikes between the 5 towns are well known and sometimes very crowded, but we have learned from the staff of several hikes or walks that are not at all well known and are, consequently, pretty empty. Included in these are the hike over the ridge north of town to the next city, Levanto, from which one can catch a train back and the trail to which is highlighted by a little side trip at the summit to an abandoned monastary, and intersecting (also empty) trails to many other destinations in the Cinque Terre area, These are enough to keep an avid hiker or walker bust for several days, and one can usually get boat and/or train transportation back from most destinations. Worth special mention is the little known walk from Levanto to Framura, north of Levanto by two towns and about 7 kilometers. This walk takes the course of an abandoned railroad roadbed which has been paved and is restricted to pedestrians and bicycles, passing along the beautiful seashore inside and between multiple short tunnels (well lighted and nice and cool during hot days). One can take the hike both ways, or take the train from Monterosso to one end and train back from the other end. This walk is excellent for elderly or handicapped visitors since it is perfectly flat and well paved.
At any event, I cant recommend a stay more highly!
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- Also Known As:
- Hotel La Spiaggia Monterosso Al Mare, Cinque Terre, Italy