Just north of Levanto, La Francesca, and Cinque Terre in the Italian Riviera, lies the little beach town of Bonassola, Italy. Ernest Hemingway once described the town as “so sweet, unforgettable, inexhaustible“, and it truly is, even though the statement was made many, many years ago.
While staying at nearby La Francesca resort, I decided to venture over to the little town of Bonassola and discover an area that I could barely find any information on. Although I was told there was not much to do there, I wanted to see it for myself.
⇒ Getting into Bonassola ⇐
Getting into Bonassola is very easy and can be reached by walking, biking, car, or train. If you opt to walk or bike to to the town, it is very easy to reach by taking a walking/biking path directly from Levanto to Bonassola.
⇒ Exploring Bonassola: The Food ⇐
Bonassola is quite small and exploring the area can be done in less than two hours.
When you arrive to the town, stop for some gelato at Caffe Delle Rose (Via Rezzano 22) and then make your way a few doors down to Bar Lungomare (Via Rezzano 50) for some delicious local food and wine (of course you could always eat your food first and gelato second too!)
⇒ Exploring Bonassola: The People ⇐
While you are eating a meal or walking down the street, you might see a group of little old ladies or little old men playing a game of cards. Stop by and watch them play for a little while as they curse at each other in Italian and use a lot of hand gestures.
Next, make your way over to the beach where you can see people sunbathing, swimming, rock jumping, treasure hunting, and fishing. It is a lot of fun to watch the people enjoying themselves in the summertime or to go for a nice dip in the water. If you are brave enough, you can join the teenagers jumping off of a huge rock on the far right side of the beach.
⇒ Exploring Bonassola: Wandering the Streets ⇐
After you have eaten and visited the beach, a nice thing to do is just wander the streets and look at the colorful buildings and watch the people enjoying the company of each other. There is no mass tourism here and everyone seems to know each other. You won’t find hoards of tourists and you might only hear Italian all around you. Kids run around freely while riding their bikes or chasing after each other. Teenagers enjoy young love and lick gelato off of their chins. The area is filled with families, couples, and friends.
It is very relaxing, easygoing, and peaceful.
Bonassola is a wonderful place to go and get away from it all without the crowds of people that are in nearby Cinque Terre.
If you have extra time in your schedule while visiting the Cinque Terre, pop on over to Bonassola, where time seems to stop and life is simple.