Hiking from Levanto to Framura, beyond the Kingdom’s Borders.

For locals, Cinque Terre is enclosed between Punta Schiara and Punta Mesco, on the stretch of coast where are the five (“cinque”) villages of RiomaggioreManarolaCornigliaVernazza, and Monterosso. For non-residents, the neighboring area looks like the official Cinque Terre.

Just beyond Punta Mesco for those arriving from La Spezia is Levanto, the largest town near Cinque Terre, with a beautiful beach. Levanto is worth a stroll to visit the Church of Sant’AndreaCasa Restani, the 13th-century Loggia Market, and the Castle built from an ancient 13th-century fortress, perfectly preserved.

The nice Bonassola Beach, deserted in winter

Going west is the tunnel that once was the railroad and since 2015 has been restored to make it a pedestrian and cycling path. In summer, walking the tunnel joining Levanto and Bonassola and then Framura is refreshing; in fall, also on sunny days, you will need a sweater. 

The 2.6 km long tunnel to Bonassola is interspersed with openings overlooking the sea. In some cases, it is also possible to dive into the water. Once you get to Bonassola, you can rest on its beautiful beach, one of the most loved by locals. Looking at the Bonassola coast from above, one can understand what it likely owes the name to, the Latin word Bonatia, dead calm. It is, in fact, more accessible for boats to land on the shore here compared to other narrow and rocky harbors nearby.

The Levanto to Framura tunnel

At the end of the Bonassola bay is the small chapel of the Madonna della Punta, by many considered one of the most picturesque and romantic spots on the coast. From here, you can enjoy a beautiful view of the Riviera up to the Alps on clear days. 

The Madonnina della Punta in Bonassola

The path to Framura, marked by number 18, a section of path number 1, is just off the road from the Church of Santa Caterina in Bonassola and leads to the chapel through the colors and scents of the Mediterranean scrub.

The view from the Salto della Lepre spot

After the view, the trail enters the forest in a somewhat savage and uninhabited stretch, remarkably peaceful and quiet. The wood sometimes opens up to offer unique views of the coast. Then it goes down to Framura, announced by the small beach of the Marina with a statue of Our Lady standing on one cliff.

From Framura, after about half an hour’s pleasant walk, you will reach the Salto della Lepre (the Jumping of the Hare), another beautiful viewpoint.  

You can reach the spot from an opening on the path, introduced by a WWII bunker. It is a protruding rock that allows us to appreciate the sea view over the Cinque Terre and to lay in the sun. Here botanical species are varied; in the pines grow the juniper and the agave, in addition to the bush, the prickly pear, and the sarsaparilla. 

The Madonna welcomes you at the entrance to Framura

The village of Framura is made up of fractions, Anzo, Setta, Castagnola, Ravecca, Fornaci, and above, Costa. Framura’s history is ancient and is witnessed by many buildings of artistic and historical interest, all to explore while walking through its stairs, paths, and houses. The hamlet of Anzo is one of the oldest and most enjoyable. According to Greek scrap cartographer Scillace, in the 5th century BC, the site was already marking the border between the Ligurian and the Etruscan territories. The village was a resort for Genoese noblemen in antiquity. The imposing defensive structure of the Genoese guard tower (XV century) opposed the attacks coming from the sea.

Reaching Costa above Framura is a must for those who are not tired. From there, you admire one of the most beautiful views of Liguria. In particular, the Carolingian tower, which, from its dominant position difficult to attack, allows a unique view of the sea and the outback.

The Carolingian Tower of Costa in Framura and its bell rings