Beyond Cinque Terre: Bonassola, Italy

Bonassola Italy

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 ⇐

Levanto to Bonassola

A walking/biking path takes you from Levanto to 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.

Levanto to Bonassola tunnels

A series of tunnels run along the path

⇒ Exploring Bonassola: The Food ⇐

Caffe Delle Rose Bonassola Italy

Order gelato at Caffe Delle Rose

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!)

Tortelloni erbette Burro e Salvia

Tortelloni erbette Burro e Salvia (Tortelloni with herbs, butter, and sage) at Bar Lungomare

⇒ Exploring Bonassola: The People ⇐

Card game Italy

Watch the older generation throw down in a game of cards

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.

Fishing Bonassola

Go fishing and catch something delicious to eat!

Cliff jumping Bonassola

Jump off a rock if you dare!

⇒ Exploring Bonassola: Wandering the Streets ⇐

Bonassola Italy

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.

Laundry Bonassola Italy

Palm Tree Bonassola Italy

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.

Have you ever heard of or been to Bonassola? 

By | 2017-07-30T01:10:06+00:00 October 8th, 2014|Cinque Terre|10 Comments


  1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) Oct 9, 2014 at 10:25 am - Reply

    I was thinking about going to Cinque Terre next year so thank you for this tip as I’d never heard of Bonassola and if we get time to add it on to our trip, then looks like a beautiful place to visit!

  2. Francesca Oct 9, 2014 at 1:42 pm - Reply

    Mmmm… gimme those tortelloni! One of the best meals I’ve had in my life was in Italy (Orvieto); it was gnocchi with butter and sage. OH MY GOD. Bonassola looks like a neat little place; I dig that tunnel!

    • Chanel | Cultural Xplorer Oct 9, 2014 at 2:12 pm - Reply

      They were so delicious yum! I really need to get back to Italy to try all of those suggested places you gave me 🙂

  3. The Crowded Planet Oct 11, 2014 at 5:57 pm - Reply

    I’ve been there too recently! I loved La Francesca and Cinque Terre but we didn’t make it to Bonassola (sigh….) means I need to go back!

  4. Sarah @ A Week at the Beach Oct 12, 2014 at 1:48 pm - Reply

    I love your photos, showing the “everyday side” of Bonassola… looks like an amazing place thanks for sharing!

  5. Nadeen Jan 2, 2015 at 12:51 am - Reply

    This looks so lovely! I has the opportunity to visit the Cinque Terre area in September while on my Mediterranean cruise but was exhausted after 3 days of long excursions. I love Italy and hope to spend a long period of time touring the country in the future.

    • Chanel Jan 2, 2015 at 1:42 am - Reply

      It was wonderful! You definitely should visit Italy for an extended period of time in the future, it is amazing 😀

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