There is something very charming about Monterosso even though it is bombarded with tourists each year from all over the world. Out of the five Cinque Terre towns, it has the best private and public beach areas and more restaurants and hotels. Here we are at Ristorante Carugio in Monterosso.
In my opinion, 4 of the 5 town are worth visiting as they are quaint in their own way.
Except for the entertaining bus driver, Corniglia is the town that could be missed. Not much happening at all there except it is connected to the trails that link all 5 villages. Since the trail was closed due to heavy rain the night before, we rode the bus up from the train station for dinner but the few restaurants that they do have were closed from 4-7:30. Since the last bus down to the train station stopped at 7:45, we opted to go home to eat at Monterosso.
On our final day in Monterosso (Nancy and I spent 10 nights there),several of us walked straight up the very narrow Via Buranco for 30 minutes or more. We were told it was a nice before-dinner stroll! We discovered Buranco Agriturismo where they were making wine from their vineyards. When we rounded the bend as we continued our climb, we were met with another sweet fragrance of pine needles and a breathtaking view above the town and sea, before arriving at the church where the monks were chanting. We couldn’t see them, but the singing was beautiful. At first, we thought it was a recording, but it wasn’t. So many things in Italy seem unreal to me! In the tunnel linking the historic section of Monterosso with the new area, we would hear beautiful classic or traditional Italian music most days, and we assumed it was being piped in. But each time we’re greeted with live musicians on the corner.
Photo of Nancy and I overlooking Monterosso from our hike/stroll. Nancy was my assistant really helping pull together all the details during the week, so I was more free to teach the workshop. Thank you Nancy!
Saturday, September 19 was the Acciuche Sagra (Anchovy Festival) in Monterosso. I’ve read online that it usually takes place on the 2nd Saturday of September, but this was the third Saturday in September.
I was expecting something bigger, but it was small and… salty. I loved watching the local men make the bread dough and fry it for the salted anchovy, pepper sandwiches with extra garlic tossed in oil. A little white wine from local grapes growing on the hillsides rounded out the festival. I don’t really like anchovies, but I must say that the anchovies prepared with lemon juice and in a variety of ways, at most of the restaurants were actually tasty.
Part of the Anchovy Festival included about 10 artist’s booths along the promenade outside the train station above the beach, in the newer area of Monterosso. As I walked by, one man was hanging a small poster from Fellini’s film, “La Dolce Vita.” I figured I’d go back to buy it since it was the title of my workshop, but the women on my workshop surprised me with it at our last meeting!
Wishing all of you la dolce vita!! More about the Italian Riviera later.
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