La Sosta di Ottone III

Near the Cinque Terre, Liguria, Italy
Book from GBP Book from £234 per night

La Sosta di Ottone III

Near the Cinque Terre, Liguria, Italy

A 6-room hideaway with soaring views and gourmet food, perched high above the Cinque Terre in an authentic Ligurian village

A 6-room hideaway with soaring views and gourmet food, perched high above the Cinque Terre in an authentic Ligurian village

The drive to the tiny hamlet of Chiesanuova is quite an adventure. Leaving the motorway, you corkscrew down a plunging hillside, cross a river and then start to climb again, twisting ever higher while praying you don’t meet a bus coming in the opposite direction. But take a deep breath and persevere: what awaits at the top is well worth the jangled nerves.

Occupying one of Chiesanuova’s ancient stone houses, La Sosta di Ottone III (so-called because Holy Roman Emperor Otto III stayed here en route to his coronation in 996) is an intimate hideaway that combines homely charm with plenty of gastronomic flair. The 6 bedrooms, all with beamed ceilings and shuttered windows, gaze out over terracotta rooftops and forested hills to the endless blue sea far below. Downstairs, the chef/sommelier serves up delicious Ligurian specialities made from the freshest local ingredients, while butterflies flit among the vines on the terrace outside. The famed Cinque Terre - a Unesco-listed string of colourful villages clinging precariously to the cliffs - lie just along the coast, and smiling owners Angela and Fabio will point you in the direction of hiking paths, beaches, vineyards and more.

Highs

  • An excellent base for exploring the Cinque Terre, yet removed from the crowds which clog the villages in summer
  • Soaring sea views from the terrace and some bedrooms; sunsets here are magical
  • Top-notch food based on authentic local recipes, plus a vast selection of unusual wines. Cooking classes and olive-oil tastings can be arranged, too
  • A pretty little garden where you can sit back among the flowers and wallow in total serenity
  • Friendly staff who are passionate about this beautiful corner of Italy; they'll happily share insider tips and plan bespoke day trips

Lows

  • You’ll have to walk the last 50m stretch to Chiesanuova (it’s only accessible by footpath), but there are designated parking spaces on the nearby road
  • The church bells opposite clang on the hour, every hour, from early morning until late evening
  • Don’t expect 24-hour reception; let staff know in advance if you plan to arrive later than 6pm
  • It's pricey, and rates don't include breakfast, but it's worth the splurge
  • There's been a change in chef since our last visit, but we're assured the food remains as good as ever (restaurant closes on Mondays)

Best time to go

La Sosta di Ottone III is open from April to October. Spring and autumn are particularly beautiful, with balmy days, wildflowers, and temperatures that are ideal for hiking along the coastal paths. The Cinque Terre are inundated with tourists in July and August, but Chiesanouva makes a quiet base to retreat to at the end of the day.

Our top tips

Head to Vernazza (our favourite of the Cinque Terre) and climb the steps which twist up the cliff from the harbour. Part way up you’ll find Ristorante Belforte and its sea-view terrace - a wonderful spot to linger over mounds of pasta. Afterwards, stroll around the village and admire its lemon- and rose-coloured houses - it sits at the mouth of a ravine and was destroyed by flooding in 2011, but it’s been beautifully restored.

Great for...

Family
Foodie
Great Outdoors
  • Boutique Guesthouse
  • 6 rooms
  • Bar and restaurant (open Tue-Sun)
  • All ages welcome
  • Closed: 2 Mar 2024 - 27 Mar 2024
  • Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • Beach Nearby
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Car recommended
  • Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • WiFi
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
Room: Adelaide

Rooms

The six rooms arranged in three categories - La Sosta, Dolce Vita and Unesco Heritage - according to size, have a charming mix of antiques and homely comforts. Expect squishy chairs, wooden desks and carved beds beneath gnarled 17th-century beams, plus shuttered windows that open onto a slice of that wonderful view. Colour schemes vary - some are sunshine yellow, others duck-egg blue, and the newest rooms are more neutral and minimalist. Many have sofas that can be converted into 2 extra beds, others can be arranged as twins on request.

Choose La Sosta if you're on a budget - we stayed in one of these rooms and found it a cosy space, with an armchair gazing out at the distant sea. Dolce Vita rooms work well as triples, while Unesco Heritage rooms come with stunning sea views and can be quadruples.

All rooms have snazzy ensuites, some with grey marble tiles and bathtubs, others with walk-in showers. Nice touches in each room include Santella Extra Virgin Olive Oil soaps and body cream, kimono bath-robes and “Le DD” travel slippers. You also get all manner of teas and coffees to brew too.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Central heating
  • Coffee / tea making
  • Hairdryer
  • Minibar
  • Toiletries
  • WiFi

Eating

Dinner, served in the intimate stone-walled restaurant or under a vine-tangled pergola outside, is a real treat. The cook is passionate about Ligurian food, taking inspiration from the changing seasons to produce creative twists on local specialities. You get a choice four tasting menus, or if that's too much food, you can choose a tasting dish a la carte. On Sundays the offering is slightly different, with a limited a la carte menu.

Everything we sampled was mouth-wateringly good - a fondue-like mix of spinach and pecorino, spaghetti with the freshest of clams, a silky-smooth panna cotta doused in chocolate. The wine cellar has a focus on local biodynamic wines, and they will recommend the perfect pairing for each course, as well as serving up an aperitivo (local wine, cocktails, mixed platters) to savour before your meal (on the house if you book through i-escape).

Breakfast is another spread of local delights - organic cheeses, cured hams, still-warm focaccia, jam and marmalade, and a freshly baked ‘cake of the day’. It’s best eaten outside so you can linger over the view.

Lunch isn’t served, though chances are you’ll be out and about anyway. Bear in mind that Monday is cook's night off, but picnics (savoury pies, salami, fresh fruit) can be ordered to enjoy in your room or on the terrace.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Breakfast
  • Restaurant
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Explore Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore, the 5 pastel-coloured harbour villages which make up the Cinque Terre. Cars aren’t allowed into their centres, but they’re linked by footpath and train so you can easily hop between them
  • Staff can recommend a variety of hikes along the area’s stunning coastal trails, taking in olive groves, crumbling hamlets and beautiful churches
  • Alternatively, drive down to nearby Levanto and catch the little ferry which pootles from village to village – it’s a great way to admire the plunging coastline and rocky coves. Angela and Fabio can organise private boats, too
  • There’s a sandy beach at Levanto, along with surf schools and an outdoor pool
  • Book a session of ‘dry-stone-wall watching’ - much more interesting than it sounds! Local guide Silvia Mertens will explain the history of the area’s Unesco-listed vineyards, which are formed from dry-stone-walled terraces carved into the steep hillsides, before you sit down to sample some of their wares
  • Olive-oil tastings and jam-making sessions can also be arranged

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Birdwatching
  • Boat trips
  • Cooking classes
  • Cycling
  • Hiking
  • Historical sites
  • Kayaking
  • Private guided tours
  • Shopping / markets
  • Surfing
  • Swimming
  • Wine tasting

Kids

Despite the tranquil atmosphere, children are warmly welcomed. Four of the six rooms can accommodate additional guests, and the cook is happy to tailor meals such as pasta for kids. That said, the stone steps, steep drops and bumpy path to the village mean it’s not best-suited to roaming toddlers or babies in pushchairs. Baby cots are available, too, and are complimentary.

Best for:

Children (4-12 years), Teens (over 12)

Family friendly accommodation:

Unesco Heritage and Dolce Vita rooms all have sofas which can convert into extra beds for children; twin rooms can be made up on request, and two rooms can interconnect on request.

Extra Beds Available

Distances:

  • Airport: 1.5 hours
  • Hospital: 10 minutes (Levanto)
  • Shops: 10 minutes
Kid Friendly: Teofano

Location

La Sosta di Ottone III sits in the tiny hillside hamlet of Chiesanuova, a few km from the Cinque Terre in Liguria, northern Italy.

By Air:
The nearest airport is Pisa (99km away), which is served by numerous airlines. There are also some flights to Genoa (126km away). Most people then hire a car (see below), but if you plan to mostly explore by foot you can catch a train to Levanto or Monterosso and then take a taxi from there.

By Car
For car hire recommendations, click here. Bear in mind that Chiesanouva is accessible by foot only, so you’ll have to park in one of the designated spaces on the roadside and then either use the monorail (runs daytime only) to bring you and your bags up to the hotel or walk the last 50m along a rather uneven path.

Detailed directions will be provided when you confirm a booking through i-escape.

Airports:

  • Pisa Galileo-Galilei 99.0 km PSA
  • Genoa Cristoforo Colombo 126.0 km GOA

Other:

  • Beach 5.0 km
  • Shops 5.0 km
  • Restaurant 3.0 km

Our guests' ratings...

Based on 1 independent review from i-escape guests

10/10
Room
10/10
Food
10/10
Service
10/10
Value
10/10
Overall

{{ review.rating }}/10, ,

Rates for La Sosta di Ottone III

Arriving on: