The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one’s own country as a foreign land.” – G.K. Chesterton

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Levanto: Agriturismo La Collina Verde (B&B), and the beach!

The main destination of our trip to Italy last summer was the five villages that makes up the Cinque Terre (translates to "The Five Lands"). I remember being told about this scenic location a couple of years ago by hubby's aunt and uncle who are long-time Hong Kong residents, and it says a lot for a (very) well-travelled couple like them to recommend any place. I decided to have our base in the town of Levanto, located just north of the northernmost Cinque Terre village, and part of its territory is included in the Cinque Terre National Park. It seemed sensible to avoid the summer tourist crowds that swamp each of the five villages each day, and I'd also heard that accommodation in the towns were expensive due to scarcity, and that they were not as well-equipped as outside towns due to difficult accessibility. Levanto was a lovely town in its own right, with delicious food, easy accessibility to the Cinque Terre, and a gorgeous agriturismo B&B run by a cute couple. The word 'agriturismo' is the combined term of 'agriculture' and 'tourism', something like a farm house resort, or a farm stay. Agriturismo La Collina Verde is a quaint little house set in the hills about a 20-minute walk from the town centre and 10 from the train station. Surrounded by vineyards, olive groves and orchards, we could enjoy a peaceful and quiet rest every night after a busy day. This agriturismo is run by Rudy and Delia, a young couple whose passion for this agriturismo is evident when they talk about it.

Breakfast in the beautiful sunshine and gorgeous scenery:

Breakfast was delicious, and we loved the variety of homemade jams and marmalades. Rudy would present about five or six types of jams and marmalades at each breakfast, and they were different on each of the four days we stayed there. Rudy makes a very good cup of hot chocolate - very thick like a milkshake, but hot - and we also enjoyed the cappuccinos. In addition to the cornetto (aka croissant to our boy), focaccia and jams on our table outside on the patio, we helped ourselves to the food and drinks in the pantry inside the kitchen. The highlights were the variety of homembaked pizza-like focaccia with various toppings. The breakfast spread was relatively simple but nutritious, and it fueled us well for our busy activities ahead.

Five jams and marmalades, on day 1 of our stay:

The breakfast pantry by the kitchen, with cool drinks, eggs, bread, cheese, some Italian-style cold cuts, cakes and fresh fruits:

Every evening we would return to our room to a different type of digestif on the table, which was a nice touch. Our room at the back of the property was very quiet, but the Wifi signal wasn't good there. However everything else was good, the bed was comfortable, the room was clean, and we slept well every night we were there. Highly recommended as a base to see Cinque Terre, Portovenere and Portofino!

Agriturismo La Collina Verde
Località Sant'Anna, 6
19015 Levanto
La Spezia, Italy
Tel. +39 393 636 7653

We spent our first afternoon in Levanto exploring the town and hanging out at the beach. There were many beachgoers enjoying the sun, sand and water, and I must have stood out as the only Asian there, with a round 5-months pregnant belly to boot. The beach was nice, but nowhere as beautiful as the beaches back home in Perth and basically all along the coastline in Western Australia. It's funny how we could only fully appreciate Perth beaches after living and travelling extensively overseas.

Levanto, where the green hills meets the sea, literally:

The boy having fun with the gritty coarse sand (nothing like the fine sandy beaches in Perth, but the boy knew no better and gleefully played with the sand):

A flower that I've never seen before:

A panorama of the beach at Levanto (click image for larger view):


  1. The flower is from a passionfruit vine.

  2. Hi Anonymous, thanks for solving the mystery! I wouldn't have guessed passionfruit :)