Streets want to be explored (randomly, if you're with me) and passers-by watched and listened to, glad of the local wine's quiet company. Particularly watch for those restaurants that many Italians gravitate into—which have arguably cheaper menus and tastier entrees.
There remain several fine old mansions in Levanto, each one of whose Belle Époque windows look towards the Mediterranean Sea. Many are maintained as hostels for adventurous hikers on their way to wherever.
The Via Dell'Amore winds its scenic way from Riomaggiore (this image) to Manarola. A stroll rather than a hike—the way is paved with almost no change in altitude; wild succulents trail between the rocks rearing up along your right side, and endlessly changing sea water pulsing among boulders to your left (unless of course you began the walk from Manarola or Corniglia and are making your way southward). So, climb into this picture—the Via begins to your right—find your lover, and enjoy together. Sigh.
2019 Portofino trip
Click to see our front yard here
You simply have to love Vernazza—with its harbor afloat with colorful boats, the somber old church's classic outline against terraced cliffs, a gracious square's fun restaurants. Also well-stocked gelato emporia. It's hard to believe our apartment looks out on the beach, right here.
Onward by rail, then to that comfortable and exciting town on the French Riviera, so well-loved by prosperous English tourists at the turn of the last century,