Downtown Levanto

Levanto Piazza Cavour - no cars allowed

Levanto Piazza Cavour – no cars allowed

Last night (Saturday), we were out for dinner with a bunch of other families from our older daughter’s nursery school class celebrated the impending beginning of the school year tomorrow.  Downtown Levanto was hopping with people even in late September.  Restaurants were full, bars were doing brisk business, the weather was cool but not chilly.  All in all, a lovely evening.

I realized that I have never written about downtown Levanto for this blog which is a shame.  Probably I am too enamored with the natural beauty of the area to have spent much time writing about the town, but as I watched the squadron of five-year-old girls running about the streets late last night playing hide and seek, I was struck once again by how lovely Levanto really is.

The downtown of Levanto is roughly one square kilometer, which makes it an ideal place for walking, and in fact most of the streets are either closed to car traffic or have is strictly regulated.  There is the old world charm of beautifully repainted facades of elegant buildings next to crumbling down old wrecks that haven’t yet been refurbished.  The streets are narrow but airy, filled with pedestrians and cyclists.  Behind some well-trimmed hedges you can spy gigantic old beach houses for the rich and maybe famous.  The central piazza is paved into patterns with small black and white stones in front of the old convent.  The park with its playground is filled with kids at all hours of the day, including late into the night during the summer.  You can see the cathedral with its characteristic black and white stripes from almost anywhere along the beach.   And the boardwalk is just wonderful, though that has more to do with the sea and the mountains than the downtown itself.

All told, a pretty wonderful place to sleep for a few nights during a vacation.

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