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I talked with some other hikers who said that the hike from Levanto to Monterosso in the Cinque Terre region of Italy was very pretty so I decided to give it a go, except I elected to go in the other direction. There were two ways to get on the trail to Levanto. The first was to take a path that climbed steeply from Monterosso up to the ridge and then on to Levanto. The second was to first take a bus to a place called Colle di Gritta and hike from there. I had a hiking guide that said the second option was a longer hike, but that the views were better. Since I wanted to take photos, I elected for ‘the views were better’ route. I had no idea where Colle di Gritta was except as a listing on a bus route. I hopped on the bus, made sure it was going where I wanted and hoped the driver would tell me when we got there! At the top of the ridge at a T intersection in the road, the driver said that we were there! Aside from a small group of buildings that seemed to include a small inn and cafe, there was nothing else so I was happy to have the driver give me the heads up.
I fortified myself with an espresso at the cafe and set off on my hike. The first two hours of the hike were blissful! From Colle di Gritta, the trail winds its way high on the slopes through typical Mediterranean vegetation. First you get some sea views to the south but after about an hour there are some view points to the north including the town of Levanto seen in this photo. The blue of the Ligurian Sea is, as always, stunning! It isn’t hard to see why the entire zone of the Cinque Terre is called the Italian Riviera and has been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site as well as a national park. Evidently not too many took this route in late April/early May so I was quite alone in beautiful quiet and solitude, and the views were excellent! Considering the number of hikers who descend on the Cinque Terre region, finding a route where I saw no one for several hours was quite a treat! After this last tantalizing view of Levanto, I continued on to Punta del Mesco where this lovely peaceful trail merged with the main (crowded!) route between Monterosso and Levanto.