For those of you who are not Ligurian: Levanto is a small village of 6K inhabitants, but during the summer it has as many as 26K, thanks to the tourism that the area attracts. Levanto in fact not only is the door of Cinque Terre but it also offers beautiful sand beaches, a chrystal clear sea, long waves to surf and a charming old city center.
Levanto was the hero of my first episode of “Liguria Golosa”, the series of interviews on Instagram TV where I host Ligurian people who shares the most authentic and traditional flavors of their corner of Liguria.
Who is Elisabetta?
Like everyone else, she had to adapt to the consequences and restrictions of Covid-19. How? She started exploring Liguria and she used Levanto as a base from which to explore breathtaking trails, paths and routes.
Levanto is known to most as the “dormitory” of the Cinque Terre, but Elisabetta doesn’t like to call it like that. Indeed people mainly know Levanto for tourism related to the Cinque Terre, but there is much more! For example its bay is a destination for surfers who come here to enjoy its long waves. It is therefore a very popular area for young people, with clubs and restaurants where you can taste excellent specialties, especially fish, and have fun at night.
Walks and routes in Levanto
Levanto is a medieval village and offers numerous routes and walks through its historic center with its main places of interest. Starting from Piazza del Comune, for example, we come across the former site of the Convento delle Clarisse, now the Town Hall.
If we continue on towards Via Guani, we come to a very peculiar point in the town, where we find one of the rare examples of this type of art: the so-called grottesche, that is, caricature depictions whose function was to show those approaching the town what was inside the walls – for example, where to drink a good wine or suggestions on where to sleep. In short, a sort of medieval advertising!
Continuing along the walls you’ll come to the medieval Loggia, in front of which you will find parking spaces and restaurants, as well as the characteristic Clock Tower , surrounded by small fields and vineyards. Continuing onwards, you’ll reach the seafront, which is lined with beautiful villas and from which, continuing upwards, you can reach Levanto Castle – now privately owned – from where one of Elisabetta’s favorite paths starts.
This path leads to Punta del Mesco, the highest part of the promontory separating Levanto from Monterosso, where there is an ancient hermitage. From here you can also see the islands near Porto Venere, when the sky is particularly clear. From the other side, you can reach Monte Rossola, not to be confused with the more famous Monterosso!
From Levanto you can reach Bonassola and Framura , two characteristic towns reachable by bike following the breathtaking cycle path along the coast that crosses the old railway tunnels – recently illuminated.
What food to bring in your backpack walking around Levanto?
For typical food product to bring with you, there are some nice little shops, including La Nicchia Pest…ifera in Corso Italia, which sells packaged products and organizes cooking classes. But don’t forget to bring plenty water if you go to Punta del Mesco ’cause there is no supply along the paths!
And what if you want to eat real Ligurian street food in Levanto?
Elisabetta recommends I 7 oblò , where you can eat the typical Focaccia tipo recco, slices of pizza, stuffed vegetables, Ligurian savory pies and, if you’re lucky, even Gattafin, the traditional fried ravioli stuffed with vegetables such as chards and wild herbs. These are indeed the flag ship of Levanto traditional cuisine. On Instagram you can see a “Pastagranny” making traditional Gattafin!
Where to eat in Levanto according to Elisabetta?
– Antica Trattoria Centro, for typical Ligurian cuisine and fish, pansoti with walnut sauce, trenette al pesto and delicious and highly recommended stuffed muscoli that are “the end of the world”! Levanto is in fact famous for the cultivation of muscoli, the Ligurian term for ‘mussels’.
– Il Gattabriga , in Via Guani, in the most historic part of Levanto. It opened in 2017 and offers, in addition to traditional Ligurian cuisine, meat, fish and seasonal cuisine. In fact, Elisabetta tells us that in the hills surrounding Levanto there are dense woods where porcini mushrooms often grow. At Gattabriga, the meat filet with local porcini mushrooms and tagliarini are excellent!
– Osteria Tumelin , located in the old “Casa del Capitano” backdating 1400, this restaurant is known in Levanto sine 1970 for its seafood specialities and for its traditional Ligurian cuisine.
And where to go for a pizza in Levanto?
– Picea , the most famous pizzeria in Levanto, who also won the world pizza championships and specializes in gourmet pizza.
– I tre archi , is located near the Loggia, towards the ancient walls. According to Elisabetta, the dough is very good!
– Nuova pizzeria Bruna, ex “Brunetto”, for a thin pizza with a nice outdoor area to enjoy in summer.
Wine and wineries in Levanto
Elisabetta says that a very good white wine typical of the area is the one produced by Ca’ du ferra winery , which is well known in the area. In fact, most of the restaurants in Levanto offer it. They have an Instagram page and organise Wine Tasting experiences with visits to the vineyards. A must try for all wine lovers in Levanto!
If you want to discover more about Liguria and its uncovered and traditional food you can have a look at the other episodes of Secret Liguria on my IGTV!
Here on the blog, the Catergory “Foodie Liguria” you can find all my Ligurian food guides and stories about Italian Riviera slow food produce and flavors.
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