In 1016, there was a diminishment in the danger from the numerous Saracen invasions that had threatened
the area for many years. As the danger abated, the villagers came down from the hills towards the sea,
from Albareto to Monterosso. In 1254, Pisa restored the castle in Genoa; however, the final reconquest
of Genoa was shortly thereafter.
Over the years, Monterosso was continually harassed by pirates and invaders from the sea that took
advantage of the village's coastal position.
Today, indelible signs of the continuing struggles of the past remain, the castle with three
round towers, the Aurora tower overlooking the sea and a medieval tower in the historic center,
which was later modified to become a bell tower in the St. Giovanni Battista parish.
During his youth, Eugenio Montale, a Nobel Prize winner for literature, spent part of his summer
holidays in Monterosso and here he composed his most famous works in the collection, "Ossi di Seppia".
Monterosso al mare is the first in the chain of villages that comprise the Cinque Terre, which overlooks
the sea from the rocky crags of the Appennine Mountains in the far corner of the Ligurian
Riviera di Levante. Of the five villages, Monterosso has the distinction of having the largest, sandiest
beaches, making it popular destination to relax on the beach and to enjoy the crystal clear water.
Monterosso is surrounded by hills covered in vineyards, lemon orchards, and olives groves. The natural
vegetation is typical of the Mediterranean maquis (coastal scrub vegetation), composed mainly by
evergreen: Juniper, maritime pine, arbutus (evergreen shrubs), and rosemary. Other typical plants
are agave cactus, vines, and olive, orange, and lemon trees.