Italian Riviera: the unmissable destinations
Do you all know where is the Italian Riviera? It corresponds with the beautiful Ligurian seacoast, located in the northwestern part of Italy and most known for the glitzy harbor of Portofino and for the beautiful towns of Cinque Terre & Portovenere. Ligurian Riviera is one of the best spot to spend your summer holidays in total relax and to taste one of best culinary experiences in Italy. If you are planning to visit these amazing places, we have collected the best tips for your perfect Italian Riviera travel!
Portofino: the precious one
Portofino is the classiest town along the Riviera: cars are banned from the historic center and you can only visit its pictoresque harbor that every year attracts super expensive yatchs and tons of tourists by walking. In the past, Portofino used to be a small fishing village but now it's a glamour town full of expensive hotels and exclusive boutique like Gucci, Dolce&Gabbana and Dior. We recommend walking around the narrow streets, having a fancy Aperitivo and then taking the road towards Castello Brown: an historic house museum located high above the harbour where you can have a breathtaking view of Portofino. The climb to get there it's a little bit hard, but you will not regret it!
Sanremo: the melodious one
Sanremo is the Italian casinos town that offers both majesty and leisure: aside visiting the Italian casinos you can explore the glamorous buildings, gardens, cafés and churches along the main street, Via La Pigna. Even if one of this city's most famous symbol is the Madonna della Costa Sanctuary - with its stunning architecture admired by everyone - every average Italian people know Sanremo as the town helding the most popular Italian song contest whose awards ceremony is held annually since 1951. For this reason, Sanremo is also known as the Italian capital of music: if you come during february or march you could possibly run into this extravagant music festival and probably meet some famous Italian singer!
Camogli: the tasty one
A jewel town famous for its pretty, minuscule port with multi-colored houses lining the water and far away from the hordes of tourists or day-trippers: Camogli is a real hidden paradise among the Italian Riviera towns. Our favorite activity to do there is eating, of course! Just a 20 minutes walk from the city center and you can taste Recco's famous focaccia that differs from the original Ligurian focaccia for being enriched with the delicious "stracchino" soft cheese. Apart from eating this Ligurian treat, we recommend visiting the ancient abbey of San Fruttuoso that backdrop to a gorgeous bay. You can get there hiking a 3 hours trail from the city center or you can easily take a ferry from Camogli harbor.
Portovenere: the majestic one
Among the Italian Riviera destinations, you can't miss Portovenere: a hidden gem that definitely deserves a visit. Designated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, Portovenere is a seaside village - located near Cinque Terre - beloved by international poets who have been inspired by this unique place and celebrated its beauty in their poems. One of the main attraction that this beautiful village has to offer is the old castle and the unique St. Peter's Church: a majestic church that overlooks the Gulf of the Poets - the name conquered by this area. If you are looking for some adventure, you can visit the nearby islands of Palmaria which is perfect for a one day cruise thanks to its crystal clear waters and caves to explore.
Monterosso: the panoramic one
Monterosso is one of the most famous Cinque Terre villages: full of colorful houses, dramatically located along the cliffs and connected by hiking paths, trains and ferries. The hiking routes of the Cinque Terre are the most suggestive routes along the Italian Riviera and it is not by chance that these places have been designated as World Heritage Site and Protected Marine Area by UNESCO. Hiking is highly recommended as the trails take you past beautiful terraced vineyards and wonderful views of the sea and picturesque villages. A trail that we recommend is the one between Vernazza and Monterosso which takes approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes. Along this trail, you will find a beautiful spot where you can see Vernazza from above: perfect for taking an amazing picture with your beloveds!
Manarola: the cinematographic one
Manarola, built on a high rock 70 metres above sea level, is probably the most charming and romantic among the Cinque Terre villages. Its natural beauty has made it a key inspiration for "Portorosso", the fictional town that serves as the setting for the new Pixar movie “Luca”. If you are a food lover like Luca and his friends, you can have an authentic Italian lunch in Manarola's tiny piazza full of traditional restaurants. Try delicious pasta with the genoa pesto or fresh seafood while contemplating the picturesque multicolored houses facing the sea: this is how happiness looks like here!