SEA, ROCKS, VINEYARDS, OLIVE GROVES
The extreme ramification of Eastern Riviera, from Deiva Marina to the Mesco headland in Levanto (close to the Cinque Terre National Park) is a difficult but fascinating land, which offers visitors a rocky coastline with imposing cliffs and beaches.
Along the stretch of coast between Framura and Bonassola – now walkable and bikable through the ancient dismantled railway tunnels – it is possibile to admire extraordinary basalt rocks and ophiolites (green-coloured volcanic rocks) covered with a very particular vegetation. Trekking excursions in the inland allow you to enjoy a landscape of striking beauty: woods, medieval villages, hidden farms, olive groves, rows of vines, fig trees and plenty of flowers. A walk from La Francesca Resort to the Salto della Lepre in Bonassola could be a local avifauna spotting adventure.
THE CINQUE TERRE AND THE NATIONAL PARK
The 5 small villages, dominated by sloping terraces and almost hanging between sky and sea, make up one of the most suggestive scenery of Ligurian coastline. The sound of the sea waves dashing against the rocks and the intense perfumes of myrtle, oleanders, lemons, pines and mediterranean maquis make this area one of the most suggestive of Italy.
Golden grapes ripen on the ancient terraces built with hard work by the peasant farmers: an astonishing sight you can enjoy only by walking along the footpaths and the steep stairs dug into the rocks.
A frequent train service connects the 5 centres from Levanto (daily ticket 5 Terre card). But it is also possible to get there on foot: the views of the sea and the coast deserve a little effort.
THE NATURAL PARKS
At a few kms from La Francesca, besides the well-known National Park and the Sea Park of the Cinque Terre, you can find:
- the Regional Natural Park of Portovenere, which besides Portus Veneris, the ancient port of Roman triremes, includes the islands of Palmaria, Tino and Tinetto. The park still keeps traces of the prehistoric people who inhabited the Grotta dei Colombi.
- the Regional Natural Park of Montemarcello-Magra, an area of 4,320 hectares. Not only a set of wonderful landscapes, but also a laboratory of environmental protection and requalification activities, such as the Centro Regionale Fauna Minore, the Orto Botanico of Montemarcello and the Centro Studi sulle aree protette e gli ambienti fluviali.
- the Regional Natural Park of Portofino, situated on Portofino headland, 1,800 hectares and 13 kms of coasts. The headland summit is accessibile only through the paths network which allows to visit the different park resorts.