Monterosso is the largest of the small towns in Italy’s Cinque Terre region and it is right on the ocean. The train station is practically on the beach.

When pulling into a new town, there is always a bit of anxiety about getting a nice hotel room for a good price so I was thrilled to get a sweet spot right on the beach for only 70 Euro. I had checked out the larger town nearby for a hotel, but the town was too gritty and the hotels shady, so I pressed on.

As always, the routine is to hit a local market right away for water, food, and a couple of beers. The only decent market in town had some marinated calamari and great cheese.

Monterosso is the perfect seaside village, with narrow quiet streets, a couple of restaurants, few tourists in winter, and a wine shop with service and outside heated tables. The shop served a wicked fabulous red for five Euro a glass and free snacks of toast with pesto or olive tapenade. The view from the table as the town passed by was comforting and I spent a couple of hours there.

It is hard to believe a place this perfect and scenic and romantic town is deserted as I shuffle through the low-lit alleys and archways. Nowhere to go and nothing to do but wander, relax, and enjoy the food, wine, and seaside vibe of Monterosso.


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