Just north of Cinque Terre in the Italian Riviera, lies the little beach town of Bonassola, Italy.
Ernest Hemingway once described the town as “so sweet, unforgettable, [and] inexhaustible“. Despite Hemingway making the statement many years ago, his statement still holds true to this day.
My visit to Bonassola occurred while staying at nearby La Francesca Resort. I was very curious about the little beach town that I saw from my hotel window so I decided to venture over to see it. The town seemed somewhat like a mystery as I could barely find any information about it online. My hotel manager told me that there was not much to do there, which made me even more curious to see it for myself.
Getting to Bonassola
Getting into Bonassola is very easy. The town can be reached via foot, bike, car, or train.
If opting to walk or bike to the town, talk the walking/biking path directly from the town of Levanto to Bonassola.
Exploring the Food Scene
Bonassola is very small and exploring the area can be done in less than two hours.
When you first arrive to the town, make sure to stop Caffe Delle Rose for some gelato.
Next, make your way a few doors down to Ristorante Lungomare 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.
Wander the Streets
After you have eaten and paid a visit to the beach, wander the streets and look at the colorful buildings and people.
There is no mass tourism in Bonassola and everyone seems to know each other. You won’t find hoards of tourists and you will only hear people speaking Italian 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.