Monterosso is the only village in the Cinque Terre with its own large beach and a seafront promenade, which connects the traditional houses and alleyways (“carruggi”) in the historic part of town, to the new residential neighbourhood of Fegina.
The town traces its origins back to 629, when hilltop populations, fleeing the devastation left in the wake of the barbarian invader Rothari, settled by the sea on San Cristoforo hill, where the ruins of a fortress (now the town cemetery) bear witness to this early settlement.
Things to see
Torre Aurora (“the tower of dawn”, 16th century), the tallest watchtower that has survived in Monterosso, built by the Republic of Genoa to defend it from attack by Saracen pirates, looms over the medieval town′s harbour.
The Castello, an ancient fortress on a sheer cliff overhanging the sea, has left impressive ruins far above the historic part of town. It is now the town cemetery.
The Church of San Francesco, a Capuchin monastery built in the 17th century, houses noteworthy artwork, including a Crucifixion attributed to Van Dyck.
Villa Montale, built in the early 20th century, is where Eugenio Montale (who won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1975) wrote some of his greatest poems.