Liguria, one of the smallest provinces in Italy, is possibly also one of the most varied. Following directly on the mountains, Liguria stretches from the Cote d’Azur along the Mediterranean Sea to Tuscany. Also called Italian Riviera, the coast is considered one of the most beautiful in all of Europe. Film worthy cliff villages, sophisticated cities, romantic beaches, secluded hiking trails but also mountain biking and climbing paradise, Liguria has it all.

Location and map of Liguria

Liguria, the third smallest province, is located in the northwest of Italy and stretches from the French border to Tuscany. The hinterland is mountainous due to the foothills of the Alps and the Apennines and is dominated by agriculture with vineyards and olive groves.

The Mediterranean coastal fringe is also called the Ligurian Riviera, which is divided by the regional capital Genoa into the sections Riviera di Levante (Genoa – Tuscany) and Riviera di Ponente (Genoa – French border). 

Due to its mild climate, the Liguria region can be visited all year round. The special microclimate here provides optimal conditions for the overwhelming abundance of flowers everywhere. The part bordering France is even called the „Riviera dei Fiori“ – the Flower Riviera.

Places on the Italy Riviera

You will not be the first to fall in love with the picturesque Italian Riviera. The picturesque coastline has always captivated and inspired travelers and countless great artists. Hemingway, for example, spent a lot of time in the small fishing village of Rapallo, so the bays also have resonant names like Golfo Paradiso or Golfo dei Poeti, named after Lord Byron or John Keats, who wrote there. No wonder the romantic coastal towns served as a backdrop for various literary figures and Hollywood classics.

For these reasons, Portofino, until then a small fishing village, became a symbol of Italian art glamour and one of the most exclusive seaside resorts on the Mediterranean in the early 1950s. 

Even today, Portofino, which is located on a car-free peninsula, has a very special attraction. The small harbor is surrounded by ocher and gold-colored residences and welcomes a fleet of luxurious yachts during the summer months. Not surprisingly, the tourist infrastructure is reaching its limits, so this place is best enjoyed out of season. 

Towards the south, Liguria ends with the world famous Cinque Terre. Between Levanto and La Spezia, along the rugged coastline, there are five villages which give their name to this area (Cinque Terre = five countries / five villages). As if to outdo each other in color, Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza and Monterosso al Mare offer spectacular views against the azure Mediterranean Sea. The whole area with steeply sloping coasts is protected and offers incredible biodiversity. As part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, this unique landscape invites you to hike and explore. 

Genoa as a regional capital has long had the reputation as having the best times behind it and was only a run-down industrial port city. Long gone was the prosperous 16th century, when merchants and bankers invested their wealth in art and magnificent palazzi. In recent decades, however, the city has experienced an upswing and is now considered a lively cultural city, also thanks to these relics of golden days. 

Friends of outdoor sports will find what they are looking for in Finale Ligure. In addition to diving, kiting, surfing or white water rafting, there are also over 1500 climbing routes, as well as an extensive network of mountain bike trails. 

Italian delicacies from Liguria

As in all of Italy, culinary delights are of course celebrated in Liguria. Ligurian cuisine is a typical Mediterranean cuisine that combines fishing with agricultural products from the region. Local specialties include, for example, olive oil from Imperia or Pesto Genovese, which, as the name suggests, has its origins in Genoa. So there is in all Liguria a delicious lasagna which is prepared with this pesto. 

In addition, the focaccia, the farinata, the trofie, as well as the dessert Pandolce are among the typical dishes of the region.