Monterosso al Mare is the busiest of all the five villages in Cinque Terre, being actually a small town, divided in two – the Old Town, built during the 13th century behind the harbor, and a modern town which can accommodate quite a large number of tourists, in new and modern hotels. While it is not as attractive in a rural way as the other villages, tourists can still visit here plenty of sights, of which one of the most notable is the so-called Convento dei Cappuccini which shelters a prized work of art – a Crucifixion by Anthony van Dyck.

Monterosso is first mentioned in a document from the begging of the 13th century. The village was designed as the most important fortification of Cinque Terre, especially against pirate invasions.

Considering these facts, one might say that Monterosso lacks exactly what Cinque Terre means – a preserved traditional way of life. However, since its hotels can accommodate a large number of tourists, Monterosso can be considered the heart of Cinque Terre, since it is the starting point for many hikers, when visiting this beautiful Italian region.

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