The Italian Riviera is a stunning stretch of coastline that graces the northwestern edge of Italy, hugging the Ligurian Sea. Nestled between the French border and Tuscany, this famous region boasts a unique blend of Mediterranean charm and Italian sophistication. From the azure waters of Genoa to the rugged cliffs of the Cinque Terre, the Italian Riviera offers a mesmerizing panorama of coastal beauty. Each charming village and town along this coastline, whether it’s the pastel-hued facades of Cinque Terre’s iconic fishing villages or the glamorous allure of Portofino’s yachts and boutiques, tells a story that spans centuries of history, culture, and maritime heritage. Whether you’re wandering through the narrow alleys of Vernazza or enjoying the sun-drenched beaches of Santa Margherita Ligure, the Italian Riviera invites you to discover its hidden coves, savor delectable seafood, and immerse yourself in the dolce vita way of life.
Prepare to be mesmerized by the enchanting beauty of the Cinque Terre, a collection of five picturesque fishing villages perched along the rugged coastline. With its colorful houses clinging to cliffs, narrow cobblestone streets, and breathtaking views of the Mediterranean Sea, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is a true gem. Hike the scenic trails that connect the villages, indulge in fresh seafood delicacies, and soak up the vibrant atmosphere that makes Cinque Terre an unforgettable destination. Top tip – don’t miss trying the local pesto! Read our Guide to the Cinque Terre here.
Nestled in a sheltered bay, the glamorous village of Portofino is the epitome of chic elegance. Yachts glisten in the harbor, upscale boutiques beckon fashion enthusiasts, and waterfront restaurants offer delectable cuisine with a view. Explore the picturesque streets lined with pastel-colored buildings, visit the historic Castello Brown, and take a boat ride to San Fruttuoso to marvel at the stunning abbey nestled in a secluded cove.
Delve into the rich history and vibrant culture of Genoa, the birthplace of Christopher Columbus and a city brimming with architectural marvels. Wander through the narrow alleys of the historic center, marvel at the magnificent Palazzi dei Rolli, and visit the world-class aquarium. Don’t forget to savor the local specialty, pesto, and indulge in fresh seafood at the bustling Porto Antico.
Santa Margherita Ligure
A charming seaside town, Santa Margherita Ligure offers a delightful blend of natural beauty and laid-back elegance. Take a leisurely stroll along the palm-lined promenade, relax on the sandy beaches, and explore the elegant villas that dot the hillsides. Don’t miss the chance to visit the stunning Villa Durazzo and taste the local wine at a traditional enoteca.
Just a short distance from Cinque Terre, Portovenere is a hidden gem that exudes a mystical charm. The town’s colorful houses and medieval castle perched on the rocky cliffs create a postcard-worthy scene. Explore the winding streets, visit the Church of San Pietro with its panoramic views, and take a boat tour o witness the breathtaking beauty of the nearby islands, including the iconic Palmaria, Tino, and Tinetto.
Known as the “City of Flowers,” Sanremo is a vibrant coastal town that bursts with colorful blooms and a lively atmosphere. Visit the famous Sanremo Casino, stroll along the elegant promenade, and explore the charming Old Town with its narrow streets and picturesque squares. If you happen to visit in February, don’t miss the renowned Sanremo Music Festival, which attracts top Italian and international artists.
A quaint fishing village with a postcard-perfect harbor, Camogli is a hidden treasure that showcases authentic Italian Riviera charm. Enjoy a leisurely beach day, indulge in the town’s specialty, freshly baked focaccia, and explore the charming streets lined with colorful houses. For an unforgettable experience, hike up to the San Rocco di Camogli church and be rewarded with panoramic views of the coastline.
With its long sandy beach and palm-lined promenade, Alassio is a beloved seaside resort that exudes a laid-back Mediterranean vibe. Take a leisurely stroll along the Budello, a narrow street filled with shops and cafes, and explore the charming Old Town. Don’t forget to visit the Muretto di Alassio, a wall adorned with ceramic tiles signed by celebrities who have visited the town.