Three things about Levanto
Biking, tasty food and old history
by Michele Suraci.
Levanto is the ideal place if you are fond of sport and sea. Here is some great food, made of local products and local traditions. I went there at the end of May, the perfect time for outdoor activities. I grabbed my racing bike along, to explore this place full of green woods and maquis shrubland on the Mediterranean Sea, from the hills to the cliffs.
#1 Biking: from Levanto to Framura, through Bracco Pass
I found on line several racing bike itineraries. This place is not considered ideal because you start your tour uphill, but people may not know there is a comfortable cycling and walking path along the ancient railway trail Genoa-Pisa. A perfect paved road, as smooth as a pool table, widly lightened.
The trail starts on the cycling road connecting Levanto, Bonassola and Framura. The roundtrip takes 15 km, the perfect distance to warm up. And you can spot some great views on several nice and hidden coves along. Technical data: distance 60 km, total gap 900 mt, average slope 6%, maximum slope 7,9%
After your warming up, the trail goes up to Levanto for 10 km, until the Bracco Pass. Consider a gap of 650 mt. It suits perfect to do some activity and at the same time enjoy the view. Then you follow the path for Deiva Marina, you go down a bit untill you find another small slope of 200 mt. Then you cycle down easily to Framura. On top the view is amazing, green mountains with a scenary of deep blue sea behind. The effort you make is not so heavy, it is worthy just for the view you get!
#2 Food: Trofie with Pesto sauce and Focaccia
You haven’t understood Liguria until you taste some Trofie with pesto sauce and the local focaccia. Don’t miss a visit to Luigina, the pesto lab. You can also join a quick pesto lesson, with final tasting. The so called focaccia tastes good everywhere, just pick the place you like the most. My favourite focaccia is the one with pesto sauce and cheese on it. Drink some “Bireta” from Cinque Terre. Don’t worry to get fat, you totally deserve these delicacies after the bike session!
#3 The old Levanto
The main monuments here in Levanto were made with religious or military’s purposes. Spend a couple of hours strolling around the historical centre and visit the gothic church of St Andrew made in 1222. Here is a narrow street taking you to the Medieval Castle, built in 1226 by the old Republic of Genoa. Before that, it was a fortress for Malaspina Family. I liked also the St James Oratorio, built in 1409 and recently restored. Pay a visit also to the municipal lodge, declared by UNESCO organization a witness of peace and culture.
How to arrive: by car with A12 highway, get out at “Corrodano-Levanto”. By train there are several lines connecting Milan, Rome, Turin.
Accomodation: I tried the Hotel Garden and I warmly suggest it. Located near the beach and the boardwalk. Here you can taste some great breakfast, with many local delicacies like the cheeses from the biological valley.