Destination Cinque Terre / 1

The best spots in one of the most typical and best-preserved places on the coast of Liguria

26-07-2014
For all those who will happen to go there in the n

For all those who will happen to go there in the next few weeks, we republish, in two episodes, the article in which Marianna Corte presented her favourite places in the beautiful Cinque Terre for Guida ai ristoranti di Identità Golose 2014, published by Mondadori. The first stop is in Monterosso

I once met Dario Vergassola in La Spezia. He lives in this town and while speaking of the Cinque Terre he described them as «a slice of South up North» because of the terraces overlooking the sea where indigenous grape varieties are grown to produce an appellation, called Cinque Terre, that is sour and saltish. And also because of the lemons and the anchovies that are preserved in salt in the typical arbanelle jars, closed with a disc of slate on which a heavy stone is placed: these same anchovies, until a few years ago were eaten in the cellars, with bread and a glass of white wine.

Today everything has changed, but gotto [glass] of wine and terre are still the magic words; it is in these, more than in Montale’s verses, who nonetheless spent more than a summer in Monterosso, that one can find enclosed the emotions that can be experienced far away from the noisy night clubs and too-organised beaches.

The latter cannot be found here. Despite being one of the most longed for destinations even among foreign tourists, the Cinque Terre managed to defend themselves and preserve their charm, for the very reason that they are hard to reach and cross, unless you forget the car – which is banned – and get on board a train, a boat, or start walking down a path.

The trip has to start this way, necessarily. And it is most convenient for it to begin in Monterosso, where there are more hospitality facilities, trains stop more frequently and the few organised parking spots are still rather accessible.

Fish is obviously Miky’s strongpoint. The first recommendation by Marianna Corte in Monterosso

Fish is obviously Miky’s strongpoint. The first recommendation by Marianna Corte in Monterosso

Together with Vernazza, this village became newsworthy material during the floods in October 2011, a dramatic event of which one can still see some scars and inconveniences. Divided into two areas by a gallery, it has a historical part, where most restaurants and hotels are located, and a newer one called Fegina, built in the Fifties, where one can find Villa Montale, today divided into private flats and not open to the public, and also larger beaches and the only interesting sculpture in the entire Cinque Terre: Gigante, the large Liberty statue, made with reinforced concrete, which once supported a shell and behind which a private boat club is hidden.

A walk around the village starts in fact from this Gigante and goes through the classic promenade, with the tamarisks in line, an obliged itinerary and the location for the first and perhaps most interesting craveable stop.

The dining room of Cantina di Miky, a bistro where you can eat at all hours

The dining room of Cantina di Miky, a bistro where you can eat at all hours

Indeed, here there is Miky, a restaurant with three forks on the Michelin guide: it is recommended for the tasting of fish au gratin. Since 2008 it has also got a bistro, La Cantina, a few steps away, where one can eat at all hours: it is ideal for anchovies, in any possible version, and for long aperitifs or an after-dinner cocktail.

Another gourmet stop, before entering the village, is restaurant L’Ancora della Tortuga (salita Cappuccini 6, Monterosso, +39.0187.800065), which can be reached from the pedestrian road on top of the gallery: it offers a nice view of the gulf and dishes that are creative to the right point, such as a good Turbot with vine leaves.

1. to be continued


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