Beyond the Kingdom’s Borders: hiking from Levanto to Framura
Technically they are not in Cinque Terre, but with the Cinque Terre they share the history, the atmosphere and the beauties: beyond the Punta Mesco the trail between Levanto and Framura, passing through Bonassola goes through the scented forest and always looks at the sea to discover spacious beaches and historic charm.
If you ask a local, Cinque Terre is an area enclosed between Punta Schiara and Punta Mesco, where the five villages of Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza and Monterosso are included, giving the area its name (Cinque Terre means Five territories). For non-residents, or for those who do not speak Italian and the term Cinque does not mean five, the whole neighboring area looks really alike what technically is Cinque Terre, and the Cinque Terre include at least 7 or 8 villages.
Just beyond Punta Mesco for those arriving from Spezia is Levanto, the largest town near Cinque Terre, with a beautiful beach. In Levanto, it is great to take a stroll to visit the Church of Sant’Andrea, Casa Restani and the 13th century Loggia Market, and the Castle built from an ancient 13th-century Malaspinian fortress, perfectly preserved.
Hiking from Levanto to Framura starts here and leads to one of the nicest trails just off the Cinque Terre but with all the finest features in the area.
Climbing to the west is the tunnel that once was the railroad and since 2015 has been restored to make it pedestrian and cycling. In summer,
strolling in to the tunnel joining Levanto and Bonassola and then Framura is really refreshing because it is always cool; in the fall, also on sunny days, you will need a sweater. The 2.6 km route to Bonassola is interspersed with glimpses on the sea, and in some cases it is also possible to reach the sea to dive in water. If you prefer to cross the tunnel quickly to enjoy the towns, you can rent a bicycle in Levanto and get back later to return it.
Once you get to Bonassola, you can rest on its beautiful beach, one of the most loved by locals in the summer. Looking at the Bonassola coast from above, one can understand the probable origin of its name, derived from the Latin Bonatia, dead calm, with reference to the ease of landing for boats on the shore, probably compared to other harbors, more narrow and rocky .
La spiaggia di Bonassola
At the end of the Bonassola bay is located the small chapel of the Madonna della Punta, considered by many the Bonassola’s symbol, reached within minutes from the beach, one of the most picturesque and romantic coastline from which to enjoy a beautiful view of the whole coast up to the Alps in the most beautiful days. The path to Framura marked by number 18, section of the path number 1, is just off the road from the Church of Santa Caterinain Bonassola and leads to the chapel through the colors and scents of the Mediterranean scrub.
After about half an hour of pleasant walk you will reach the Salto della Lepre Jumping of the Hare, another panoramic point to admire the view over the Cinque Terre. The Jumping of the hare is an evocative rock overhanging the sea that is appreciated in its height from a space that opens on the path with a bunker of the times of war, where to stand in the sun. At this point there is a particularity and variety of botanical species more typical of the area: in the pines, the juniper and the agave grow, in addition to the bush, pricly pearsa and the safflower.
After the view, the trail enters the forest in a somewhat savage and uninhabited stretch, particularly peaceful and quiet, which sometimes opens again to the coast to offer unique views, until finally descending to Framura, preannunciata by the small beach of the marina on which it dominates a small statue of Our Lady.
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 perhaps one of the oldest and most interesting, according to Greek scrap cartographer Scillace, in the 5th century BC the site was already markeing the border between the Ligurian and the Etruscans populations. A resort for Genoese noblemen in antiquity, which has preserved its aristocratic style, and an imposing defensive structure from the attacks of the sea, now constituted by a Genoese guard tower (XV century), located right at the entrance to the hamlet.
For those who are not tired, reaching Costa above Framura, is a must. From Costa you admire one of the most beautiful views of Liguria, in particular from the carolingian tower, which, from its dominant position difficult to attack, allowed a unique view of the sea and the inland.
Framura offers really many ideas for walks, days at sea, tastings of typical products. The small town often organizes interesting events to get to know the village and its millenary history.