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Europe 2017

Monterosso, Last Stop

ITALY | Tuesday, 11 July 2017 | Views [371] | Comments [1]

Monterosso's claim to fame among the Cinque Terre villages is its "sandy" (looks more like light dirt) beaches. Like the French Riviera, beach chairs, mats and umbrellas are crammed together and offered for rent at exorbitant rates. It also has a relatively large, very crowded public beach.
Like the other 4 villages, it can trace its history back to about 1000 but eventually it came under the protection of the city-state of Genoa. It flourished under Genoa's protection and the land was terraced in order to grow wine, olives and lemons. Remains of early fortifications can also be seen but they have not been restored as they have in some of the other cities. The fact that it has a beach, such as it is, makes it a popular tourist destination. But, comparing it to a Florida beach, there is no contest - especially Sanibel. However, this is northern Italy and you enjoy what you have!
So, for someone who hasn't traveled much and seen some of the truly pretty beaches of the world, this may be something to write home about. Certainly, there are no lack of tourists. Like all the other towns, the village was packed and as the day progressed, so did the temperature.
Although, there is definitely a charm to the 5 villages, in my opinion, I think they are terribly over-rated and they are certainly over-run with tourists! This spoils the natural setting and quaintness of the towns. It is hard to take in the beauty and serenity of a place when you have to be careful that you aren't going to be hit by a selfie stick at every turn or you have to wait in line just to mount a few steps.
Looking for unique and novel little gifts was like looking for a needle in a haystack. The villages are filled with the same junk that you find in most other tourist areas around the world - T- shirts with the names of the town, pens and pencils, postcards, magnets, hats, plastic place-mats with pictures of the town. just can't escape the feeling that somewhere in a Chinese factory, next to 45's ties, all these souvenirs are being mass produced.
But, I did manage to find, quite by accident, a tiny little pottery shop that I literally stumbled upon. A young woman was painting lovely and one-of-a-kind pieces of pottery. Her work was simple and elegant and a very welcomed change from what we had been seeing all day!
Someone made the comment that Cinque Terre is unfortunately a victim of its own success. We would definitely agree.




We were at Cinque Terre in late March and it was uncrowded and lovely. Not warm enough for swimming for this Floridian.

  Paula Eckerty Jul 11, 2017 5:37 AM

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