Girl in Florence aka Georgette Jupe

I started this blog as a writing outlet for me to share what it is I adore about the beautiful city of Florence and Italy also sharing travel tips and stories along the way. Now 'Girl in Florence' includes advice for Florence, artisan features, interviews with locals, tips for life in Italy and travel posts from all over Europe. I'd love to think of myself as a fearless badass but If I am keeping it 100% real on this blog a quote that I sort of live by is"I haven't failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work." I hope you enjoy this journey with me.

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Exploring Levanto on foot, bike or boat

19.05.2014

Exploring Levanto on foot, bike or boat

19.05.2014

coverlev antoLevanto, my new favorite ‘off the beaten path’ town in lovely Liguria, whether it be exploring the old town or spending a beach weekend – there is not shortage of things to do [and eat]. A kind of place that has stood the test of time – slow life still rules this sleepy coast and between focaccia shops and wine bars, we were certainly kept happy by various activities here.

 

Like many of the towns in Liguria, and especially around the Cinque Terre, people who love to stay active will feel more than welcome here with the variety of activities on offer. From swimming at the beach, hiking to nearby towns – hopping on a boat, paddle boarding, biking – you can easily earn your fried seafood dinner in just one afternoon. Levanto is also a great base to explore Liguria, not only can you hike to Cinque Terre. It’s also easy to reach Portofino, Lerici, Camogli Genova, Sestra Levanti – all of which I would love to see myself on my next trip to this region.

As I always feel, there is just too many amazing places in Italy to visit, I feel like I need more than a lifetime to see them all. 

 

Those boots were made for walking 

If you are visiting Levanto from other cities in Italy, you can leave your car at home, arrive by train and get around pretty much everywhere on foot or by bike, Levanto is quite small and let’s get real here, we could all use some exercise ;-). Think of it like this, Liguria is a sort of nightmare for cars, just imagine tons of small streets, no parking and don’t even get me started on the highway from Genova to the South of France [tunnel-bridge-tunnel-bridge-never-ends].

Instead many choose to hike between the towns in this area, why? Well just imagine breathtaking views, and a great trail that has less foot traffic than other towns in the Cinque Terre,  between Levanto and Monterosso, 3 hours and about 5 miles if not a little more, this blogger explains it well [among other hiking tips} so strap on those [hiking] boots and get your move on! Also check out this official link to all of the hiking trails in Cinque Terre.

Consider yourself a ‘water baby?’ – you’re in the right place!

Levanto has a great beach where you can relax, catch some rays and go swimming but what many people don’t know is that it’s also a great surfing spot [namely between October and May]. It’s a sport that I have yet to try but really want to, and they even have a surf school in Levanto if I decide to actually go for it, link here. Besides that you can snorkle, kayak and pretty much do anything you want to at the beach.

During my #welevanto experience with various other Italian bloggers we also got the chance to hop on a boat [from the awesome pier pictured on the top of this post] with an Italian ‘Captain Jack Sparrow’ aka. Marco to visit Cinque Terre. This was just incredibly awesome – especially since the last time I was on a boat was during last year’s short trip to Sardinia.  Marco a sea expert was excited to tell us about the nearby hills upon his beautiful Pequod boat, more info here. The original plan was to go to Monterosso yet instead, he also took us to see Corniglia, the more hidden, hilltop Cinque Terre town before dropping us off in Vernazza.

girlboat1

Two-wheels never felt so good! 

Renting a bike and exploring Levanto is as easy as finding a steaming hot gattafin [local pastry] in any pasticceria shop. If you stay at a B&B, likely they have bikes for you to rent or you can easily find one in the center of town but really, I highly recommend it! There is an old ferrovia [former railroad tunnels] that has been long closed down and turned into a bike path from Levanto to nearby Bonassola and Framura [we only stopped at Bonassola], yet another charming hamlet worth exploring.

On our last day, we hopped on our bikes and checked this path out for ourselves, an easy ride and full of fellow bikers and walkers – we spotted a small private beach on the cliffs along this path which I absolutely have to check out on my next trip. I loved Bonassola, a relaxed vibe and pretty architecture, plus here we indulged in some great spritz cocktails ;-), lots of inviting restaurants that were much cheaper than I saw in Cinque Terre and many people out and about on this warm, spring day. Riding through the ferrovia by bike

 

Will I be back to this area again? heck yah! This is why I love Italy, its diversity is so vast, even along the coastline. I can’t believe that we were only a few hours from Florence yet everything was so different, accents and local food included ;-). If you make Levanto a stop on your list in Liguria, enjoy the slow-pace of life and take advantage of all it has to offer.

PS* Please let me know here what I missed, what else can you see or do [or eat] in this tiny town? 

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GirlInFlorence

Georgette Jupe is a 'Tuscan Texan' digital social media marketing maven based in Florence, Italy. When she's not at her day job as social media manager and content editor at ITALY Magazine, she's creating social strategies for international clients and providing travel, foodie & life tips via her blog 'Girl in Florence'. Hobbies include plenty of reading, hiking, beagle cuddles, the hunt for the 'perfect' Moscow mule and laughs with the girls.

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    gooddayrome 19.05.2014 at 13:13

    Hi Georgette. I was delighted to see your posts on Levanto. A visit to Liguria and the CT can be so much more than the 5 villages. We did the hike from Montorosso last October and loved it.

    One point of note: Madeline’s blog about the hike said 5 MILES and you stated 5 KM. It’s really about 8 KM if you convert from 5 miles. Personally I thought it was closer to 10 KM when we did it. It’s not easy but it’s great! You can read about our hike in Oct. 2013 on my blog, Good Day Rome http://gooddayrome.com/2013/10/15/up-one-side-and-down-the-other/. Thanks!

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      GirlinFlorence 19.05.2014 at 13:50

      Ciao! thanks for letting me know about the mile mistake, I always mix the two up which means I often end up walking quite a lot ;-), but thats ok :). thanks for sharing your experience!

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    Maxine 19.05.2014 at 15:10

    Great informative post as usual! Love your info it is always straight on. This is now on my hope to see list.photos are great!
    Thank you so much I look forward to every post.

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      GirlinFlorence 20.05.2014 at 11:32

      Thank you – you are far too kind :D.

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    bobblesse 19.05.2014 at 16:45

    Can’t wait to go, hop on a bike and take off! Wonderful fotos! Il Capitano Marco cuts quite a figure standing barefoot at the helm of his boat. Thanks, Georgette!

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      GirlinFlorence 20.05.2014 at 11:33

      Thanks Bob! I thought he cut quite a figure myself, you can tell this is a man who feels more at home at sea than on land, I can respect that especially if I get to sit back and relax in the care of an expert!

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    Mani (A New Life Wandering) 20.05.2014 at 1:15

    Sounds awesome, good food, biking, etc, and beach… Sounds great. I’d love to go.

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      GirlinFlorence 20.05.2014 at 11:34

      You should! I see this as an awesome weekend destination if you really want to combine a little sport and relax 🙂 [plus gotta earn those yummy gattafins!]

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    Cindy 21.05.2014 at 16:45

    I love that picture of Corniglia, that looks beautiful!
    I’m sure you had a great time, and looks like you really got away from the hustle and bustle….

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      GirlinFlorence 22.05.2014 at 9:56

      Thanks Cindy! I really want to take some time to explore Corniglia when I come back, it was a really relaxing and fun holiday!

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    These photos are gorgeous! I’ve pinned this for my next trip to Italy.

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      GirlinFlorence 25.05.2014 at 19:34

      Thank you Jenna, its a place I really want to come back to year after year, you would love it!

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    Mowgli 06.08.2014 at 13:18

    Niceee! I visit Levanto at least 5-6 times every year as we go there to surf. But it’s not just the waves, it’s an amazing town by itself, real Italian charm:)

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      GirlInFlorence 07.08.2014 at 10:30

      I think Levanto is really special, I had such a good time and I would probably make this my base next time we go to Cinque Terre :). It’s a real city, not just one made especially for tourists

    About Me

    About Me

    Hi There!

    Ciao, I'm a curious American "Tuscan Texan" who calls Florence, Italy home for the past 11 years. I am the editor at Italy Magazine and I also work as an established digital social media marketing strategist (5+ years) as well as a freelance writer. My bylines have appeared in Lonely Planet, Luxos Magazine, and International Living. This blog is my way to share what life is like living and working abroad, as well as provide up-to-date true advice on traveling and living in Italy, weekend trips around Europe, and a monthly roundup of interesting events. I'm married to a wonderful Frenchman and we have a Florentine beagle who rules the household. Keep in touch with our adventures with your favorite glass of franciacorta or espresso!

    Georgette

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