Every now and then TomTom gets confused or is not as up to date as we would like even though I hook it up to the computer for regular updates while we are away. We drove through the town of Levanto following Tom Tom’s instructions until it told us to turn right down a narrow turning that had a sign up that looked as if the road was restricted to traffic. We turned left instead and ended up back at the road for the second time and decided to just go down it. That was ok but then TomTom wanted us to turn left but that was blocked off with bollards. Eventually, we stopped and spoke to two ladies standing outside a shop chatting and asked them if they spoke English, luckily one of them knew a little English and was able to direct us to the campsite over a little fly over avoiding some of the narrow streets.
When we arrived outside the campsite we couldn’t believe our luck to find it so close to town. In fact, we stepped outside of the campsite right into the old town of Levanto. Another bonus was that it was a beautiful site. Nice restaurant/bar, and very clean toilet/shower block. The wifi is free but you can only get it outside the restaurant where they provide a shaded covered area with tables and chairs. There is no supermarket but you only have to step outside for all the shops. The BBQ area with picnic tables is a really nice touch too. This site was called Aqua Dolce. Although it is an ACSI inspected site it was not in the book as they do not give the discounts for cardholders. The details were on the ACSI DVD though. The campsite website is www.campingacquadoice.com
We spent the afternoon looking around the charming intimate town of Levanto and walking along the promenade. The beautiful painted villas are set into the hillside. The atmosphere was great there were so many families out enjoying their Sunday afternoon. The scenery around the beach was so lovely. Before going back to the site for dinner we stopped and had a glass of wine in the sunshine doing a bit more people watching as there were so many people out. When the waitress brought the drinks she also put down a plate of food and crisps. I was just about to say we hadn’t ordered them when she told us they came in with the price of the drinks. When we asked for the bill we expected to pay a lot more but to our surprise, a glass of wine and a small beer only cost 6 euros.
Levanto is in the province of La Spezia in the Italian region Liguria, located about 60 km southeast of Genoa and about 20 km northwest of La Spezia. The town is on the coast end of the valley, thickly wooded with olive and pine trees.
Levanto has one of the best beaches not only for swimming but also for surfing. The beach is sandy and long. This particular area is a favourite of surfers because the waves are some of the biggest in Italy and the water is clean. Levanto offers castles, public gardens, and incredible architecture. Historic churches ring their bells to signal the time of day.
The next morning we decided to visit the tiny villages of the Cinque Terre. Levanto is considered a gateway to the Cinque Terre, there are trains leaving the station every 20 minutes or so that go to the five towns/villages. The small station is about a 10-minute walk from the campsite. We purchased a day pass which allowed us to visit all the villages by getting off and on the train and also access to the Cinque Terre National Park zone. The day tickets were good value at 10 euros each. We could have visited the villages by ferry which would have been nice but that worked out a lot more expensive at 20 euros each and we had just missed the ferry.