Italy Via della Costa

Day 14: Sestri Levante to Levanto

30km on another beautiful day for walking, 1300m elevation, 40% inclines and walking through a 5km long tunnel.

I suppose it is a sign of just how fabulous the views have been throughout this trip, that one eventually can hardly be bothered to take my camera out of its clip on my daypack, to take pictures. The sites, vistas, beautiful houses, churches and more, just keep on coming at pretty much every corner one turns, every hill one climbs up and down. It has really been spectacular.

I left the B&B after a good nights sleep and breakfast, where we spoke with the owner about the up and coming days in Cinque Terre.

I set off on at around 9am, the first 3,5kms along the main road in and out of Sestri Lavante, before starting the first of today’s three climbs. Generally along nice paths, only having to scramble a few times, I was pretty much in the middle of nowhere with views of the small coastal village of Riva Trigoso, 300m below, and great views along the coast – including the odd houses.

I was taken by total surprise when somebody ran past. I was surprised both at actually meeting somebody, which is rare on many of these trails, but also that he was running up the rocky path, seemingly hardly breaking a sweat, whilst I was labouring, one step at a time.

After up, it’s down and the descent to Moneglia was fairly easy. Walking along this path is actually the closest one can get to the Mediterranean here, as the road along the coast is pretty much one long tunnel without pedestrian access. The main SS1, is further inland.

I walked through Moneglia, another on the list of Italy’s most beautiful villages, with a long beach in a cove with hills to the north (which I had just walked over) and to the south (the next in line). I bought a slice of pizza on the way, before starting the next climb. Passing Hotel Paradiso, this climb was initially on steps before reaching 300m and dropping down into Deiva Marina. If I’d checked the map I could have taken a path directly to the coast, instead the official path took me to the old inland village a kilometer or so north of the coast.

Deiva Marina is the end of the coastal road, and if driving, from here you must drive inland. Like so many towns and villages here, Deiva Marina is surrounded by mountains. I walked along the river towards the coast. The map indicated that there was a bridge crossing the river, but it was closed for reparation, so I had to take a second bridge closer to the coast. I planned to stop for a drink, but the only bar I passed was packed with people eating lunch.

Crossing the second bridge, I had a decision to make, should I go back along the river and pick up the path there next to the first bridge, or follow alternative path closer to where I was. Both were going up Mount Serro and both ended at ca. 300 asl. I took the alternative. I’ll never know if I made the right decision, but it was some climb. 260m in less than 1km – at times the incline was 40% and more like rock climbing. The official track was less steep but longer. I needed a break every 20-30m ascent, to catch my breath. I was shattered when I reached the top and regretted that I hadn’t stopped for a drink in Deiva Marina and perhaps analysed the two routes a bit more.

Once at 300m the next 2kms or so were on a plateau before I started a the descent the nice villages of Framura, Ravecca and Anzo. Unfortunately, non of them had a bar or supermarket that was open. I carried on down to the coast along regular roads.

I was tired, and still had 6kms before reaching Levanto. What a relief it was when I realised that the rest of the way was along the cycle path. Apart from passing through Bonassola, a small coastal village, the last 5 kms passed through tunnels. there wasn’t a lot to see, although there were gaps – but at least it was flat! There were other walkers and cyclists, so there was a lively activity through the tunnel. Looking at the map, I could almost imagine that it is just as quick to walk between Levanto and Bonassola, as it is to drive,

Lene met me at the exit to the tunnel in Levanto,  8 hours after leaving Sestri Levante.


We walked to the hotel, our room had a nice balcony with a partial view of the coast, so it was nice to rest with a glass of Prosecco watching the sun go down.

The centre of the town is closed for traffic, and the hotel’s car park is a 10 minute walk away, so we went to pick up our remaining bags we had, as we will be here for 3 nights. We had a pizza for dinner 8again) – we were late and some restaurants were full, some empty, so we found one that was half full.

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