Monterosso al Mare
|Monterosso al Mare|
|Comune di Monterosso al Mare|
|Province||La Spezia (SP)|
|• Mayor||Angelo Maria Betta|
|• Total||11.25 km2 (4.34 sq mi)|
|Elevation||12 m (39 ft)|
|Population (30 September 2009)|
|• Density||140/km2 (350/sq mi)|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|• Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
The town is divided into two distinct parts: the old town and the new town. The two areas are divided by a single tunnel that caters to pedestrians and the very few cars in the town.
The beach at Monterosso runs along most of the coast line and is well used by tourists and locals. The beach is the only extensive sand beach in the Cinque Terre. Monterosso is a small town that in the summer months is overrun by tourists.
The village was briefly excluded from the Cinque Terre trail in 1948, but was re-introduced in mid-1949. This is because Italian officials considered the village too large to be considered part of the historic trail.
The area is famous for its many lemon trees that can be seen throughout Monterosso. It is also renowned for its white wines, grapes, and olives.
In 1870, the Italian government built a railroad line into the city, which opened it up to the outside world. It is the main way in which people enter the city.
- The Castle, partially ruined, built by the Genoese.
- The parish church of St. John the Baptist (1282-1307). Its façade features four small marble columns and a main portal surmounted by a fresco portraying the baptism of Christ. The building is of a basilica-type plan that includes a nave and two aisles. The square medieval bell tower is crowned by merlons.
- The beach
- Monterosso Giant
Historically, many of the villages on the Mediterranean were walled to protect against attacks from the sea. This area of the coast was often attacked by pirates.
Originally, the village was only accessible by sea or by mule paths that connected the villages of the Cinque Terre and to Via Roma, the main road that connected all of Italy to Rome. These mule paths have been maintained and used over the centuries and now provide hikers with a more intimate view of the sea-swept Cinque Terre. The area was recently designated as part of the national park system and is considered a protected area, to the effect of limited development and resource usage. The Cinque Terre hiking trails have been taken over by the national park system and there is now a fee to hike on all portions of the trail.
Today, the best way to go to Monterosso is to take local trains from La Spezia or Genoa or Intercity trains from Milan, Rome, Turin, and Tuscany. The village is connected to the E80 highway via a narrow, steep and winding 20 km long road. Using the train is definitely the best option to get there. The train network reaches the other villages of Cinque Terre as well, while the road network is absolutely not practical.
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