Patrizio sails in the Gulf of Levanto accompanied by Claudio Valeriani of the Marine Protected Area, a different reality from the Cinque Terre National Park because it is expressly concerned with the marine territory, while the Cinque Terre National Park is only terrestrial. Because of its charming natural gulf and big sandy beach, Levanto from the early twentieth century was a very popular holiday destination with noble families, and today it is still full of villas, including that of the Agnelli family.
When you arrive in Levanto the east dock is called "la Pietra", and the one to the west the "Valle Santa nautical area". The draught is about 3 metres, this is a typical low water harbour in which the space in the water for boats is very narrow, made up for by the fact that a lot of boats are taken up on land. When the sailor wants to go out to sea, there is always a crane operator that takes his or her boat to put it in the water: however, the cranes are big boats, and for small Ligurian gozzetto boats, instead, electric carts are sufficient, which are also easy to manage yourself.
The marine particularities of Levanto and its seabed mean that as soon as the sea moves a bit a big wave rises up! For this reason there are a lot of surfers that come from all over Italy and also from the rest of Europe to pursue the big waves ... With a sailboat you can stay quietly anchored in the harbour, but if surfers begin to arrive ... careful! It means that the big wave is coming too! In this case you can seek shelter in nearby Porto Venere and Sestri Levante. The radio channel to talk to the harbour is 16 and the prevalent winds in the area are south-southwest.
The Monterosso anchovies
After so much sailing at sea Patrizio is in Levanto, in the province of La Spezia, to visit the cooperative called “The park girls”, who have worked for Cinque Terre National Park since 2002, managing the offices of the Monterosso Park. Subsequently, in 2006, this all female working group was given the management of the Levanto fish salting centre. Thanks to them the millennial tradition of anchovy salting at Monterosso has been kept going. It involves very intense processing in the three days after fishing and very fatiguing because it is rigorously done by hand, fish by fish.
Patrizio assists with interest at all the phases of manipulation, from the arrival of the anchovies down to the final packing, and he cannot end his visit without tasting the delicate but at once strong taste of the product typical of Cinque Terre.
If you had to imagine a venue in which to organize the next world surfing championships, where could it be? Australia? Indonesia? California? You are way out: Cinque Terre! In Levanto Syusy and Zoe have discovered from a group of athletic surfers they met on the beach that they were in one of the world’s surfing paradises, where you can surf in the whole bay, all year round. Indeed, above all in winter Levanto seems to be always crowded with sportsmen from Austria, Switzerland and the north of Italy who come to try out these waves. When the sea is very rough the danger level is high, with waves up to 4 metres ... a challenge for professionals to be faced only if you are well trained! With nothing to envy other famous big wave destinations, for instance Puerto Escondido ...
The possibility of surfing in Italy and making it a popular sport played at the level of football or volleyball is not only pure imagination: we would have everything necessary and a concrete possibility of development!
So Zoe doesn’t waste any time and takes the first lessons on shore, with the surfboard lying on the beach ... rowing, the posture ... it seems easy!