The MareMonti cycle and pedestrian path is located not far from the Cinque Terre, it starts in Levanto and connects the villages of Bonassola and Framura. A total of almost 6 km flat for walking, running and walking on the ancient railway track that ran along the coast. A marvelous example of reconversion for tourism purposes, the MareMonti cycle and pedestrian path offers a path that runs entirely along the coast , taking advantage of the former single-track railway line abandoned in 1970, when a new modern line was built more upstream. The distance is almost always covered by tunnels, 9 for the precision, which allows you to play sports or simply take a walk even on rainy days, or, when the heat strikes hard, the cool rocks of the tunnels grant refreshment and relief. The Maremonti cycle and pedestrian path is suitable for everyone, but for everyone. Despite the presence of galleries, don't be fooled. When these end, wonderful views of the sea open up, where getting lost with the look and stopping to breathe the brackish is a moment, getting excited between these panoramic flower heads as well. Small terraces, benches and viewpoints await you to enjoy the extraordinary seascape, closed between the coast and the mountains, in an area that boasts natural beauties that attract tourists but in a more slow and peaceful way. Already after the first steps or pedaling you are enveloped by a muffled silence, far from the voices of the beaches.
The MareMonti cycle and pedestrian path has two routes, one for pedestrians and the other for bicycles. Even if you choose the bicycle, go slowly so as not to miss the views that open up between one tunnel and another, the gashes in the rock that plunges into the sea, identify the small paths that go down to little beaches and hidden and little-used coves. You can start from Levanto , from the Vespucci seafront in the Vallesanta area and after a short stretch, mostly open and broader, the galleries begin that in about 2 km will take you to Bonassola . It is in this stretch that we meet the crystal-clear water beaches: the first takes the name of "Le Spggette", the second is a "bau beach" where dog owners can go to make their four-legged friends do bathroom refrigerants. After a disused railway exit and a belvedere, we arrive at Bonassola. If you want to make an interesting detour, as soon as the tunnel is finished, on your left you will find the beginning of the path that takes you to the spectacular Punta del Carlino , passing among maritime pines on the sea.
After walking along the peaceful Bonassola promenade, take the galleries back past the underlying Church of Santa Caterina di Alessandria. Even in this small stretch of road you will immediately notice how the atmosphere changes with respect to the noisier seafront: silence, no car, tranquility . Up to Framura the path of the MareMonti track takes place almost entirely in the tunnel, but there are also openings and windows where you can look out to admire the blue sea and views of the coast, as well as the possibility of reaching some coves by foot. like that of Porto Pidocchio , just before arriving in Framura. Here the Maremonti cycle path ends parallel to the new railway line and a convenient lift can take you to the marina and the sea below. The track is paved, it can be walked all year round, safely as the tunnels are lit.
As we said, the Maremonti slope connects Levanto, Bonassola and Framura. Among the three, Levanto is the largest center with services, a well-known location tourist - seaside starting as early as the eighteenth century. Despite the possibility of finding more accommodation facilities to stay and services, Levanto does not has lost the atmosphere of the village and its typical features. Its history has gone through various phases that can be found in the urban planning that goes from the medieval core, which is located around the municipal Loggia, via Guani and the church of Sant'Andrea, to the Renaissance and nineteenth-century streets with their stately buildings and, finally , to the most recent and modern part of the Vallesanta. But the main attraction of Levanto is the beach, located in the middle of a wide gulf that goes from Punta Mesco to Vallesanta. The beach is sandy, alternates with equipped bathing establishments and free portions, up to the Stone where there are also the beautiful liberty villas that recall how Levanto was chosen over the centuries as a summer residence for rich gentlemen.
HOW TO GET THERE : regional trains and Intercity trains stop on the Genoa-La Spezia railway line and Cinque Terre Express trains can be used with the 5 Terre Card Trains . By car, A12 Levanto - Carrodano motorway exit, then following the signs you will arrive in the village after about fifteen km.
Bonassola is a quiet seaside resort, where time passes placidly between swimming in the sea and doing nothing. Blue and crystalline waters represent the greatest attraction of this beautiful, small pedestrian center that lies at the center of a bay that stretches from the two headlands covered with the Mediterranean maquis of the Madonnina della Punta (which can be reached with a comfortable walk through via Roma) and Punta del Carlino, reachable in about 15 minutes with a path protected by a fence and which, between climbs and descents, leads to a wonderful panoramic point on the gulf of Bonassola.
HOW TO GET THERE : by train on the Genoa-La Spezia railway line, only regional trains stop (possible change in Levanto, which is only 4 minutes by train). By car, from the A12 you can exit the motorway exit of Deiva Marina or Levanto - Carrodano then in both cases you must reach the locality Scernio and from there you descend into the village through a winding but panoramic road.
Framura is part of the The Most Beautiful Villages of Italy circuit but it exists only from an administrative point of view. In reality, for Framura we mean a sparse municipality composed of five delightful villages halfway up the coast as far as the sea: Castagnola, Costa, Setta, Ravecca and Anzo. The last four are also connected by an ancient mule track. From Anzo you reach the beautiful sea and the beaches of Framura through the railway underpasses. These villages are ancient, of medieval layout, all to visit even for the wonderful views they offer. In the towns and along the coast there are interesting defensive fortifications built during the 9th century and built by the ancient lords Da Passano of Deiva Marina.
HOW TO GET THERE : by train on the Genoa-La Spezia railway line, only regional trains stop (possible change in Levanto). By car, from the A12 exit at Deiva Marina and follow the signs for Framura / Levanto.
Bike rental in Levanto
Bike rental in Bonassola
Bike rental in Framura
Many hotels in the area rent bikes or include overnight rentals.
While walking, waste time admiring the portals of the tunnel entrances , especially between Levanto and Bonassola. These are real works of art that have a fascinating history. In 1860 SFAI (Società Ferrovie Alta Italia) undertook the construction of the Pisa - Ventimiglia railway line but after La Spezia, the railway engineers realized the presence of a very serious problem: here there was the most sour and difficult stretch of coast in Liguria . Despite this, the line became and was a real nineteenth-century railway engineering masterpiece . In the nineteenth century, when an infrastructure was built, attention was also paid to the aesthetic aspect, favoring a rather refined exterior style, but using local material, such as excavated materials, which were recycled in this way. And this is the case with tunnel portals. This line crossed a territory full of multicolored granite rocks , which were thus reused by the SFAI master builders to create unique portals perhaps in Italy for decoration style, made with multicolored stones in relief, similar to ashlar . A perfect example are the Vallesanta I and II galleries after Levanto.
If you want to know the origins and the history of the MareMonti Ciclopedonale Track in the cut " The salt on the tracks "- Photostory of the old line of the eastern riviera, between Levanto and Framura.
For more information: MareMonti pedestrian cyclePhoto Credit: Maremonti Ciclopedonale, Marcello Naliato Instagram.
The train, surely the best means of travel to visit the Cinque Terre and be enchanted by the beauty of the Ligurian sea. From March 16th the 5 Terre Express train is in service to travel comfortably between La Spezia Centrale, Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza, Monterosso and Levanto with a single single fare ticket, taking advantage of the offer of 100 trains a day, 7 days a week, every 15 minutes