Tellaro's colourful buildings

Tellaro Italy the local Italian secret

Tellaro Italy – The local Italian secret

They say the best kept secret destinations to visit are usually known by locals, just like the small fishing village of Tellaro Italy . So when I was visiting friends in Lerici Italy and they took me sailing on their yacht, I was not expecting what they were about to show me.

colourful terracotta roofs of Tellaro
Overlooking the fishing village of Tellaro Italy

Tellaro Village

Perched on a cliff along the Ligurian coast of La Spezia, was a picturesque fishing village of Tellaro Italy. It’s coloured buildings worn by the sun and the sea cocoon the small harbour that opens into the ocean.

Ranked as one of the most beautiful villages in Italy, you can see why it has been a lure for poets and artist looking for inspiration over the centuries.

Tellaro village by the ocean
Pulling into the harbour Tellaro Italy

As we came around the corner sailing the first thing I noticed was the church of St. George. Erected on a rock overlooking the sea it dominates the landscape. I automatically think of Cinque Terre and wonder why I had not heard of this beautiful place before now but then I remember she informed me that they kept this place to themselves to visit.

rocky foreshore of Tellaro village
The church of St. George Tellaro Italy

The Legend – Giant Octopus

My friend informs me as we get closer an interesting local legend story about a giant Octopus. He says legend has it that centuries ago, Tellaro was fodder for pirate pillaging.  To protect the village and warn the locals of pirates arriving, a guard was placed in the church tower to ring the bell. One fateful night the guard on duty had fallen asleep as pirates approached the village.

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Tellaro’s protector, a giant octopus, sprung from the sea and climbed the church tower to ring the bells and alert the sleeping villagers, who were able to escape in time.

As a respect to local folklore a  “Festival of the Octopus”, takes place every year on the second Sunday in August to commemorate this story.

Domed tower


Tellaro Italy is one of the last fishing villages lining the Ligurian coast before the beautiful region of Tuscany Italy. Unlike some of the other small villages that lace the Italian seaside that are connected via train, Tellaro is not.

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The closest international airport is Pisa and then you catch a direct train to Sarzana. From there you can catch a local bus or organise a transfer.

small boats on landing with colourful Italian buildings in background

The best way to get there is via bus, car or bike from Lerici, which is the next major village over. If you are staying in the surrounding villages in La Spezia or Cinque Terre then you can catch a ferry to Lerici and go from there. 


  • The bus is super cheap and only costs 1.50€ from Lerici

Rocky shoreline of Tellaro Italy

Top Tips:

  • Like a lot of the villages along the Italian coast, Tallero Italy is small and will only need a couple of hours to explore.
  • If staying overnight, arrive in the afternoon and go for a swim with the locals in the harbour before enjoying a spritzer or dinner.
  • If you are in either Cinque Terre or Tuscany and have a spare day it is definitely worth a visit.

locals swimming in boat ramp


There are no major hotels in Tellaro Italy but some small boutique hotels, B&B’s and apartments to rent. You can even stay at the campsite, which is only a kilometre away. I can recommend this lovely penthouse apartment available through Airbnb perfect view over Tellaro

If you are looking for a hotel or more options in regards to accommodation, then Lerici Italy is a great choice. Not only is it a bigger city but it is a great base for exploring the Italian Riviera and only 10minute ride on the bus to Tellaro. It is also where I stayed during my time in the area.


  • If you love swimming and the outdoors, I heard that the camping ground close by is a great spot and cheap. 


small boats on the boat ramp

Would I recommend it?

You do not need an octopus festival as an excuse to visit Tellaro, Italy though – it’s a great side trip, especially if you are staying in Cinque Terre or Tuscany. Not only is it full of some really interesting history but Tellaro definitely possesses its own charm that few other villages do. You can experience this yourself walking through the steep winding streets exploring and speaking to the locals.

It would be one of the most relaxing chilled places that I have been to especially when sitting with a spritzer, watching the locals and tourist alike mingling and enjoying a swim in the afternoon sun before dinner.

view of Tellaro taken from the sea

Discover more of Italy and Europe

If you are interested in discovering more of Italy and Europe, feel free to read my following articles. All are great options for groups of friends or family.

Ponte Vecchio Bridge, Florence Italy

Thank you for reading this article ‘Tellaro Italy the local Italian secret’, I hope you enjoyed it. Tellaro Italy is such a charming and pretty seaside village to explore. 

Have you been to Tellaro, Italy before? Please feel free to share your experience in the comments below or if you know any other places to see while in the surrounding area.



I am always happy to help 🙂

Here are some amazing activities that you can book while in Italy 

Disclaimer:  All views are my own based on my own experience.

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72 thoughts on “Tellaro Italy the local Italian secret

    • melbtravel
      melbtravel says:

      Thanks, Suze. I am glad you like the story. Once I wrote the octopus story, I made sure I ran it by my friend to make sure I correct on all points he said 🙂

    • melbtravel
      melbtravel says:

      To be honest, I would not have gone if my friends had not lived there. I am so glad that I did and I will definitely go back for sure. Let me know when you go, I will be happy to help

    • melbtravel
      melbtravel says:

      I concur Plushy, it definitely was worth it and I am so glad that I listened to my friends. I want to go back and explore the other villages around it.

    • melbtravel
      melbtravel says:

      I love the little stories about places as well. I also wonder though how they come about and how close they are to the truth. Let me know when you go and I will be happy to give you tips on getting there etc.

  1. Avatar
    Jurga - Full Suitcase says:

    I love little towns in Italy and this one looks so charming. Everyone always talks about the villages of Cinque Terre, but this one looks just as nice and from what I see there are hardly any tourists around. Bookmarking for our next trip to Italy.

    • melbtravel
      melbtravel says:

      I love Cinque Terre but it has gotten so busy over the years. It was so nice to go to a place just as beautiful and not have any of the crowds. The locals are also happy to chat away to you there as well which I loved.

    • melbtravel
      melbtravel says:

      I never thought about it like that but so true on the medieval. I went to Cinque Terre years ago but I understand it is really busy now, which is a shame.

  2. Avatar
    Punita Malhotra says:

    Tellaro is so lovely…All of Italy, each little village is so picturesque, isn’t it? One cannot decide which place to leave out. We are going to Italy next month, and I wish we could include Tellaro too, but already so full!

    • melbtravel
      melbtravel says:

      I concur Punita 🙂 Where are you going to? I love Italy in general and I have been so many times now. I am always finding new places to explore and see 🙂

    • melbtravel
      melbtravel says:

      It is a little of the beaten track but definitely worth a visit and as it is beautiful and does not have the crowds. Have a great trip and definitely top me a line when you go and I will be happy to give you some tips, if you like.

  3. Avatar
    Gareth says:

    I’ve been to Italy numerous times and really did try and find some of the most out of the way places although if I’m honest, I’ve never heard of Tellaro or the Octopus festival. It will unfortunately be quite some time before I’m back in Italy but I’ll definitely pass this tip along to my European friends as some of these shots are really spectacular. Such a quintessentially Italian slice of life

    • melbtravel
      melbtravel says:

      To be honest, I would haven never known about this place either if it was not for my friends taking me there. They are based in Lerici which is only a 10min bus ride away from Tellaro, also definitely worth a visit. You could do the both in a day without a problem. Hope your travels are going well and looking forward to more of your fun posts.

  4. Avatar
    Joanna says:

    I could have guesses that Tellaro must be somewhere around Cinque Terre. It looks so similar with Manarola and Riomaggiore. I’ve spent about 4 days in the area and I absolutely loved it! What a great part of Italy to live in!

    • melbtravel
      melbtravel says:

      Cinque Terre is about a 30minute boat ride away from Porto Venere. I loved the area to and I hope to get back again next year. I did tell my friends that they are lucky to live in such a beautiful area 🙂

  5. Avatar
    Alberto C. says:

    What a beautiful town! I had never heard of Tellaro before, but something to consider next time I go to Italy! I’ve never been to Cinqueterre before, so if they’re close, I might include this in my itinerary as well. Thanks for sharing this great post and photos

    • melbtravel
      melbtravel says:

      It is only about a 30min boat ride from Porto Venere, which is the last village around the Cinque Terre coastline. It is a little out of the way but worth the visit if you get the chance. Btw thank you in regards to my pictures too.

    • melbtravel
      melbtravel says:

      The problem now is that once you have visited Rome then you get addicted and want to keep going back for more 🙂 I hope that you had a wonder time in Rome. Definitely, let me know when you go back and I will be happy to give you some tips.

  6. Avatar
    Chantal says:

    Thank you for sharing this great secret spot with us! I’ve wanted to visit Cinque Terre for a while now and I’ve been looking around for some awesome things to see and do and this seems like the perfect day trip. Probably wouldn’t have found this gem without you!

    • melbtravel
      melbtravel says:

      You are more than welcome 🙂 You can catch the local ferry to Lerici and then it is a 10minute bus ride from there. Definitely, check at Lerici and go up to the castle for some great views. You can definitely be able to do both in a day.

  7. Avatar
    Sia says:

    This cute little place looks amazing! But then again everything in Italy is absolutely adorable! I love the octopus story. I am planning a trip to Italy and still thinking of itineraries.

    • melbtravel
      melbtravel says:

      Definitely just to pop passed here if you are in the area. The best way is catching the 10minute bus ride from Lerici, which is worth a visit too. Both villages can easily been done in a day. Drop me a line if you need anymore tips or have questions

  8. Avatar
    Olena Kagui says:

    Your photos are breathtaking! This shows why it’s good to go beyond the big cities and popular tourist destinations. I found a “secret” village in Italy too, not far from Pompeii. I don’t remember the name but it was beautiful. Your article made me want to take a road trip around Italy!

    • melbtravel
      melbtravel says:

      Thank you very much, Olena I appreciate your kind feedback. Oh really, it is a shame you don’t remember the name of the place as I would have loved to look it up and check it out myself. How about you take me on your road trip next time 🙂

  9. Avatar
    Vyjay says:

    Thanks for letting the world in on a beautiful secret called Tellaro. The place is really something straight out of a picture postcard. The local legend of the Octopus is really fascinating. We would like to to explore the Tuscany next time and would love to get to this lovely place.

  10. Avatar
    Yenor says:

    It doesn’t seem to matter where I go, but the places I’ve been where I have some type of friend who is a local I always have a better time because of the cool secret places they take me. Photos look great. Thanks for sharing!

  11. Avatar
    Clare says:

    I have never visited this part of Italy, but it looks stunning. I will add it to my list for when I visit Cinque Terre. I bet this place is more amazing though with less tourists. Am going to try and work in a few days here on my next trip to Italy 🙂

    • melbtravel
      melbtravel says:

      This place is definitely worth a visit, I only knew about it because my friends live there and showed me. It is about a 25min boat ride from the last village in Cinque Terre. Let me know how you go and if you need anymore information.

  12. Avatar
    yukti says:

    Tellaro looks like a toy town. Cute rustic colored buildings on the rock beside the sea is picture perfect for any photographer. Going to Cinque Terre through ferry would be very lovely voyage. I would prefer Air B & B stay.

      • Avatar
        Peter says:

        Hi, we have just booked our vacation, 10 days pure relaxing, in this little gem of an Italian town. We never visited the place before and very much like to get all the tips for a great vacation. We are a family of four (tee children 5 and 7 years) and are giono to stay at the camping place. Hope you will share.

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