Anchoring the westernmost point of the Cinque Terre, the quiet and unpretentious little resort of LEVANTO feels quite cut off by Ligurian standards, though that it precisely its charm, particularly after time spent among the crowds of Cinque Terre. There’s a sandy beach that attracts a surfy crowd, inexpensive hotels and good transport links that make it perhaps the best base for exploring the area. As well as a number of trails and cycle paths heading south to Monterosso, there’s also a wonderful new cycle path that heads north along an abandoned old railway track – it runs for 6km from Levanto to Bonassola and Framura, giving beautiful coastal views in between long stretches through dark tunnels. Levanto itself has few sights – only the Loggia Comunale on the central Piazza del Popolo, the black-and-white-striped church of Sant’Andrea in the old part of town, and the odd surviving stretch of medieval wall – but it’s a pleasant and, for the most part, thoroughly Italian seaside resort.

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