The Italian Riviera: Places to Explore

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  • Alassio

    Although Alassio is no longer a sleepy fishing village, the centro still possesses some old-world charm, colorful buildings, a great beachfront promenade, and white-sand beaches. Spend the day...

  • Albenga

    Albenga has a medieval core, with narrow streets laid out by the ancient Romans. A network of alleys is punctuated by centuries-old towers surrounding the 18th-century Romanesque cathedral, with a...

  • Albisola Marina

  • Bordighera

    Bordighera sits as a charming seaside resort with panoramas from Genoa (on a clear day) to Monte Carlo. A large English colony, attracted by the mild climate, settled here in the second half of...

  • Camogli

    Camogli, at the edge of the large promontory and nature reserve known as the Portofino Peninsula, has always been a town of sailors. By the 19th century it was leasing its ships throughout the...

  • Cervo

    Cervo is the quintessential sleepy Ligurian coastal village, nicely polished for the tourists who come to explore its narrow byways and street staircases. It's a remarkably well-preserved medieval...

  • Chiavari

    Chiavari is a fishing town (rather than village) of considerable character, with narrow, twisting streets and a good harbor. Chiavari's citizens were intrepid explorers, and many emigrated to...

  • Corniglia

    The buildings, narrow lanes, and stairways of Corniglia are strung together amid vineyards high on the cliffs. On a clear day views of the entire coastal strip are excellent, from Elba in the...

  • Finale Ligure

    Finale Ligure is actually made up of three small villages: Finalmarina, Finalpia, and Finalborgo. The former two have fine sandy beaches and modern resort amenities. The most attractive of the...

  • Genoa

    Genoa (Genova in Italian) was the birthplace of Christopher Columbus, but the city's proud history predates that explorer by hundreds of years. Genoa was already an important trading station by...

  • Giardini Botanici Hanbury

  • Imperia

    Imperia actually consists of two towns: Porto Maurizio, a medieval town built on a promontory, and Oneglia, now an industrial center for oil refining and pharmaceuticals. Porto Maurizio has a...

  • La Spezia

    La Spezia is sometimes thought of as nothing but a large, industrialized naval port en route to the Cinque Terre and Portovenere, but it does possess some charm, and it gives you a look at a less...

  • Lerici

    Lerici is located in the glorious Bay of La Spezia, famous for its natural beauty. Near Liguria's border with Tuscany, this picturesque village dates back to medieval times when, under the rule of...

  • Levanto

    Nestled at the end of a valley of pine forests, olive groves, vineyards, and medieval villages lies this sunny seaside town: an alternative and usually less expensive base to explore the Cinque...

  • Manarola

    The enchanting pastel houses of Manarola spill down a steep hill overlooking a spectacular turquoise swimming cove and a bustling harbor. The whole town is built on black rock. Above the town,...

  • Monterosso al Mare

    It's the combined draw of beautiful beaches, rugged cliffs, crystal-clear turquoise waters, and plentiful small hotels and restaurants that make Monterosso al Mare into the largest of the Cinque...

  • Nervi

    The identity of this stately late-19th-century resort, famous for its 1½-km-long (1-mile-long) seaside promenade—the Passeggiata Anita Garibaldi —its palm-lined roads, and its 300 acres of...

  • Portofino

    One of the most photographed villages along the coast, with a decidedly romantic and affluent aura, Portofino has long been a popular destination for the rich and famous. Once an ancient Roman...

  • Portovenere

    The colorful facades and pedestrians-only calata (promenade) make Portovenere the quintessential Ligurian seaside village. As a UNESCO World Heritage Site, its harbor is lined with tall, thin...

  • Riomaggiore

    At the eastern end of the Cinque Terre, Riomaggiore is built into a river gorge (thus the name, which means "major river") and is easily accessible from La Spezia by train or car. The landscape is...

  • San Remo

    Once the crown jewel of the Riviera di Ponente, San Remo is still the area's largest resort, lined with polished hotels, exotic gardens, and seaside promenades. Renowned for its VIPs, glittering...

  • Santa Margherita Ligure

    A beautiful old resort town favored by well-to-do Italians, Santa Margherita Ligure has everything a Riviera playground should have—plenty of palm trees and attractive hotels, cafés, and a...

  • Vernazza

    With its narrow streets and small squares, Vernazza is arguably the most charming of the five Cinque Terre towns. Historically, it was the most important of them, since it was the only one...

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