Monterosso is known as the biggest coastal villages within the Cinque Terre. It is also the most accessible, located on lush hills overgrown with lemons, vines and olives.
Home to a number of exceptional activities and attractions, from its amazing beaches to unique coral reefs, charming locals, and delicious grub to boot.
The village is divided into two sections, split apart by the medieval tower known as Aurora. On one side is the tourism side of town, known as Fegina, and full of hotels, five-star restaurants, and plenty of souvenir shops. This region of Monterosso features the famous statue of the Giant, created hundreds of years ago and depicts the God of the sea, Neptune. It has become such a significant statue over the many decades of its existence, it is now known as the symbol of Monterosso. The old town of Monterosso is covered in crumbling ruins, with medieval streets, castle walls, and multi-coloured terraced houses lining the region.
Monterosso’s beach is the only extensive sand beach in all of Cinque Terre. Running along the coastline and offering stunning views of the golden sand meeting the crystal clear waters. It is one of the biggest draws for tourists here, with even Italians from nearby cities coming to this beach for their holiday fun.
Church of San Giovanni Battista
What better way to get to know Monterosso than by diving into its vast history. There are many historic building hidden about the town, but by far the best is the Church of San Giovanni Battista. Located in the main square of the old town, this stunning church dates back to the 1200s, styled in the spectacular Gothic-Genovese style. The exterior isn’t the only appeal, with the building home to an extensive range of frescos, with the main centre fresco depicting the baptism of Christ.
The Giant or Neptune
As it is the symbol of Monterosso, the Giant of Neptune is defiantly worth the visit. Nestled on Fegina beach, the enormous statue depicts the God of the sea, Neptune carrying a gigantic seashell. It weighs over 1700 tons and stretches up 14 metres in height. Sadly, the statue has been damaged over the years by storms and World War II battles. Despite this, it is still a magnificent site to see, being a historic structure created in 190 by the famous sculptor Arrigo Minerbi and engineer Levacher.
The Aurora Tower
In ancient times, the town was a very well-guarded region, with around thirteen towers stationed on the borders of Monterosso to stand watch. However, over the years the towers have faced hardship, with only three remaining as of today. The main tower which draws the eyes is the Aurora Tower, as it lies on top of San Cristoforo Hill. This region has quite a history, once home to both a castle and the Monastery of San Antonio al Mesco. Sadly, only the tower remains, but the stunning view of the region contrasts beautifully with the ancient structure.