Levanto

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Levanto - 5,600 inhabitants - is located on the eastern Ligurian coast, bordering the “Cinque Terre”, and sharing with them large areas of the National Park and the Protected Marine Reserve.

18 medieval villages are nestled amidst its wide valley of olive groves, vineyards and Mediterranean maquis, and easily connected through a 80-km network of footpaths. 

The valley opens up in sandy or pebbly beaches equipped with modern bathing establishments and boat services, thanks to which Levanto earned the “Blue Flag” award in 2016.

Tourism is the main economic sphere with steadily increasing flows. All thanks to the "slow philosophy” that triggered investments in an environmentally-friendly policy such as: 

restoring its historical center (now completely pedestrian and creating a new network of paths along the medieval walls) and the hillside villages transforming the former railway line in a 5-km sea promenade connecting Levanto with Bonassola and Framura creating a completely new efficient "door to door" waste collection system developing a widespread network of incoming facilities and business activities, thus making Levanto a strategic junction in the Riviera and inland. 

Cultural and entertainment events organization offers a rich calendar all year round, ranging from classical music (with "Amfiteatrof" Festival, choir and organ festivals) to modern music, from the “taste route” (“The Mangialunga" a trip along the paths in the hillside villages and the "De Gustibus Tour" in the center) to cultural and sport events, markets (handicrafts, antiques fairs, curio, collectors’ items, local selected agricultural products) and beach parties.

Oil, wine and honey stand out for their high quality. The gastronomic options range from vegetable pies (the "Gattafin", a kind of fried “ravioli” filled with wild herbs and cheese, f.i.) to fish dishes, to a wide selection of Levanto traditional sweets in the pastry shops.

 

TYPICAL PRODUCTS 

WINES

White and red wines (RDO). Raisin wines. 

OIL

Extra virgin olive oil (PDO)

HONEY 

PESTO

Typical Ligurian sauce made of basil. 

Preparation: crush the basil leaves in a mortar adding Parmesan cheese, pine seeds, garlic, oil and salt.

 RICE PIE

Levanto traditional holiday salty pie with rice, eggs and cheese covered by a pastry and baked.

 

FOCACCIA WITH OLIVE PULP

Levanto focaccia bread prepared from November to February with fresh oil and olive pulp remained in the millstone after olive pressing.

 

GATTAFIN

This kind of fried “raviolo” – which is filled with wild herbs, onions, eggs and cheeses - stands out in Levanto cuisine.

 

STUFFED ANCHOVIES

This dish can be found throughout Liguria, as appetiser and main course too.

Levanto tradition requires double anchovies.

 

RAW VEGETABLE PIE

Levanto traditional pie made of garden raw vegetables, without eggs.

 

FISHERMAN'S BREAD

Following the tradition of Italian sweet bread, it is very rich in dried fruit and sugar. It could be preserved for a long time and it was an exceptional source of energy for local sailors.

 

LEVANTO LADIES’ KISSES

These cookies, coming from Sicily, have been producing in Levanto since fifty years ago: a sweet heart of hazelnuts and almonds in a soft shell of dark chocolate. 

 

CAKE LEVANTO

This traditional cake has a short pastry base, then an almond cake with a layer of apricot jam dividing them.

 

CANESTRELLI

Light and thin short pastry biscuits without eggs, with a fragrant aroma and sprinkled with confectioners’ sugar

 

GATTAFIN

The name “Gattafin di Levanto” and its recipe identify the trademark that the Association “Sapori di Levanto” registered at the Chamber of Commerce of Pavia in July 2003.

This kind of fried “raviolo” – which is filled with wild herbs, onions, eggs and cheeses - stands out in Levanto cuisine.

 

Ingredients

Filling: green or wild beets, mixed wild herbs, spring onions or sweet onions, fresh marjoram, eggs, grated Parmesan cheese, ripe Sardinian Pecorino cheese, extra virgin olive oil, sea salt, (pepper or nutmeg). Fresh ricotta is optional.

Dough: flour type “O”, extra virgin olive oil, salt, water (white wine or one egg)

 

Preparation

Boil in salty water, drain, squeeze well and chop coarsely all vegetables in a lyonnaise pan. Lightly brown the chopped onion or the spring onion in olive oil, add the vegetable mixture for a few minutes to become tasty, then remove it from the heat and place in a bowl. Season the filling with grated cheeses, salt, spices, washed and finely chopped marjoram, eggs and a drop of oil to taste.

If wild herbs prevail in the filling, especially in the spring and the autumn, add few tablespoons of absolutely fresh ricotta to counterbalance the bitter taste of vegetables.

Lift the flour into a mound add some tablespoons of oil, salt, as well as one egg or some white wine every kg of flour and cold water, as you like. Then knead and work it well to get the traditional soft and manageable dough. Roll it out on the working surface and put some tablespoons of filling on it, at the same distance. Pinch the edges together. Cut big moon-shaped “ravioli” using the round cutter. Press the filling with the palm of your hand and fry in abundant hot oil. Serve hot or lukewarm.

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EVENTS

 

The “Mangialunga”

A walk through the valley and its paths, stopping in every village to taste their products.

It takes place on the third Sunday of May and welcomes almost one thousand participants. 

 

“De Gustibus” Tour

Strolling through the old town center, its monuments and its most peculiar places, while tasting our typical dishes. It takes place in October. 

 

"Amfiteatrof"Festival

An international festival of classical music taking place on summer evenings in the town most charming corners. 

 

Laura Film Festival

A film festival including retrospectives, movies, meetings with directors and actors and a short-film competition. It takes place in July. 

 

The Sea Festival

In honor of St. James the Apostle (Patron Saint of seamen), it takes place on July 24 and 25 and celebrates the birth of our Municipality with parades in 14th-century costumes, medieval tournaments and games, a procession with wooden crucifixes carried by the Ligurian confraternities and finally a great fireworks show over the gulf. 

 

“Stralevanto”

A 15Km-foot race through the valley of Levanto. It takes place in October. 

 

Choral

An international festival of choirs. It takes place in summer inside the main churches and outdoors

 

Have fun in the hamlets

Summer evenings feasts in the valley hamlets with music and local recipes prepared by the inhabitants.

 

The cribs in the crib

Guided tour to visit the most characteristic cribs hand-made by the inhabitants of the valley, and tasting of typical products. It takes place between Christmas and Epiphany.

 

Referente per Cittàslow:

Paolo Lizza (assessore Comune di Levanto)

 

Condotta Slow Food “La Spezia - Cinque Terre-Val di Vara-Levanto”

Fiduciario: Silvano Zaccone – Tel. 3474657039

Sede: c/o fiduciario: via XX Settembre 258 – La Spezia

Email: ilcigno2004@alice.it