The lovely coastal town of Levanto sits at the end of a wooded valley, thick with olive and pine trees, and is known to many as the gateway to the Cinque Terre. Located in the province of La Spezia in northern Italy, there are many delights on offer. A long, sandy beach set against a backdrop of wooded hills offers plenty of space to sunbathe, places to rent canoes, peddle boats and surf boards, and boat trips along the Riviera spotting celebrated towns such as Portofino and La Spezia. Head into the historic centre for a refreshment in one of the many restaurants in the Piazza della Loggia, which does have a beautiful 13th-century loggia. On a Wednesday, there’s a lovely bustling market too, and if you can, try and visit the town’s well-preserved medieval castle, There are a number of wonderful walking trails which connect Levanto to the Cinque Terre, if you can draw yourself away from this hidden gem.