One of Cinque Terre’s five villages, Monterosso al Mare overlooks a picturesque bay in the Riviera of La Spezia. It’s renowned for its historic convent and immense Giant sculpture and is connected to the surrounding villages by scenic coastal trails.
Things to do in Monterosso al Mare
Browse the sacred treasures of the Convent of Monterosso al Mare, which is perched atop a rocky promontory overlooking the bay. Admire the Capuchin-style architecture of its buildings and the “Crucifixion” attributed to Van Dyck, together with the vaulted ceiling of the refectory that’s adorned in Strozzi’s “Veronica”.
Don’t miss the Sanctuary of the Madonna of Soviore, which houses a sacred 15th-century wooden image of the Virgin Mary. It’s long been a Catholic pilgrimage site and features an interior decorated with paintings by the Genoese School and a 19th-century organ built by the renowned Agati family.
Monterosso al Mare can be used as a base to explore the UNESCO-listed Cinque Terre National Park, which encompasses all five villages and the surrounding vineyards, lemon groves and coastal cliffs. Hike to the villages of Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia and Vernazza while stopping to swim at one of the pebbly beaches along the route.
Overlooking Monterosso’s beach of Fegina is the statue of the Giant, which was built by Italian sculptor Arrigo Minerbi for the luxurious Villa Pastine. While only the tower of the villa remains following a World War II bombing, the immense Giant still stands strongly fused to the rocky cliff.
Getting around Monterosso al Mare
Monterosso al Mare is connected by train to Pisa and Genoa while being around 1.5 hours’ drive from Genoa Cristoforo Colombo Airport. The village is compact enough to explore on foot and connected by train to the surrounding villages.