The Italian Riviera

We’ve compiled the best of the best in The Italian Riviera - browse our top choices for the top things to see or do during your stay.

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  • 1. Giardini Botanici Hanbury

    Mortola Inferiore is the site of the world-famous Hanbury Botanical Gardens, one of the largest and most beautiful in Italy. Planned and planted in 1867...Read More

  • 2. Palazzo Reale


    Lavish rococo rooms provide sumptuous display space for paintings, sculptures, tapestries, and Asian ceramics. The 17th-century palace—also known as Palazzo Balbi Durazzo—was built by the...Read More

  • 3. San Pietro

    With its black-and-white-striped exterior, this 13th-century Gothic church is a spectacular landmark recognizable from far out at sea and upon entering the village. It is...Read More

  • 4. Abbazia di San Fruttuoso

    A medieval stronghold built by the Benedictines of Monte Cassino protects a minuscule fishing village that can be reached only on foot or by water—a...Read More

  • 5. Acquario di Genova

    Porto Vecchio

    Europe's biggest aquarium is the third-most-visited museum in Italy and a must for children. Fifty tanks of marine species, including sea turtles, dolphins, seals, eels,...Read More

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  • 6. Baia del Silenzio

    The Bay of Silence is a sandy cove east of the pedestrian-only street in the old town, with pastel-color bars and restaurants edging the sand...Read More

  • 7. Bardineto

    For a look at some of the Riviera's mountain scenery, make an excursion by car to this attractive village in the middle of an area...Read More

  • 8. Bussana Vecchia

    In the hills where flowers are cultivated for export, this self-consciously picturesque former ghost town is a flourishing artists' colony. The town was largely destroyed...Read More

  • 9. Castelletto


    To reach this charming neighborhood high above the city center, you take one of Genoa's historical municipal elevators that whisk you skyward from Piazza del...Read More

  • 10. Castello Brown

    From the harbor, follow the signs for the climb to Castello Brown—the most worthwhile sight in Portofino—with its medieval relics, impeccable gardens, and sweeping views,...Read More

  • 11. Castello di Lerici

    The promontory is dominated by this 13th-century Pisan castle, which now houses a museum of art and paleontology, a superb location for weddings—it overlooks the...Read More

  • 12. Castello di San Giorgio

    The remains of this massive 13th-century castle, atop a small hill above the modern town, now house a small museum dedicated to local archaeology....Read More

  • 13. Chiesa Russa Ortodossa

    This onion-dome Russian Orthodox church testifies to a long Russian presence on the Italian Riviera. Russian empress Maria Alexandrovna, wife of Czar Alexander I, built...Read More

  • 14. Childhood Home of Christopher Columbus


    The ivy-covered remains of this fabled medieval house—just a very small portion of it—stand in the gardens below the Porta Soprana. A small collection of...Read More

  • 15. Cimitero Monumentale di Staglieno

    Piazza Manin

    One of the most famous of Genovese landmarks is this bizarrely beautiful cemetery; its fanciful marble and bronze sculptures sprawl haphazardly across a hillside on...Read More

  • 16. Consorzio Liguria Viamare

    Porto Vecchio

    Boat tours of the harbor, operated by the Consorzio Liguria Viamare, launch from the aquarium pier and last about an hour. The tours include a...Read More

  • 17. Ferrovia Genova–Casella

    Piazza Manin

    The Genova–Casella Railroad is a good way to get a sense of the rugged landscape around Genoa; the train departs about every hour. In operation...Read More

  • 18. Galata Museo del Mare

    Ponte dei Mille

    Devoted to the city's seafaring history, this museum is probably the best way, at least on dry land, to get an idea of the changing...Read More

  • 19. Galleria Nazionale di Palazzo Spinola


    Housed in the richly adorned Palazzo Spinola north of Piazza Soziglia, this beautiful museum contains masterpieces by Luca Giordano and Guido Reni. The Ecce Homo,...Read More

  • 20. Granarolo Funicular

    San Teodoro

    Take a cog railway up the steeply rising terrain to another part of the city's fortified walls. It takes 15 minutes to hoist you from...Read More

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