Surrounded by terraces planted with olive trees and vines, the ancient fishing village is divided into two parts, the Aurora tower, of medieval origin, seems to divide the two areas in half. In the old part, situated on the hill of San Cristoforo, there is the ancient original centre of the country that is virtually unchanged: the houses are characterized by the typical tower structure, with a few rooms spread over more than one floor, linked by small and narrow roads. Monterosso Vecchio is dominated by the imposing bulk of the remains of the castrum Orbetenghi. The new part is completely different and runs along the promenade. The area of Fegina, situated on a bay that takes its name, is a modern touristic resort, full of restaurants and hotels. With one of the longest beach on the coast of Cinque Terre, this area has become one of the most important locations from a tourist point of view in the whole region.
The first historical written documents with details on Monterosso date back to 1201, when the Lords of Lagneto concluded an agreement with Genoa. In 1214 the community of Monterosso built a powerful defense system to protect the area from Saracen raids. With the increasing population and the demand of more houses, in the XII and XIII centuries, the inhabitants started to settle in the valley along the banks of the river Branco.
The Church of San Francesco, which preserves important art works, among which the Crucifixion by Van Dick.
The Sanctuary of Soviore, dating back to 700.
The Church of San Giovanni Battista, built between the XIII and XIV centuries. The building is in Gothic-Genovese style and has a façade with a two-tone hanging drape, between the door and the apse, and flanked by the Bell Tower, built for defensive reasons and raised in 1400.