Italian Riviera sightseeing
Discover the best things to do in Italian Riviera. Read our travel tips, discover your destination through awesome pictures and plan your sightseeing including the must-see Italian Riviera attractions.
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Pocket Travel Guide
About Italian Riviera
The 300km of coastline that makes up Italy’s Riviera is packed with decadent resorts, charming villages and celebrity yachts. It’s the place to be seen…
But where to go and stay? Here’s Venere’s guide to the best destinations on the Italian Riviera.
Riviera dei Fiori
The excesses on of the French Cote d’Azur and Monaco haven’t yet spread over the border on the Italian side, leaving this first chunk of the Italian Riviera, known as the Riviera dei Fiori, which is much calmer and laid back. The main hives of activity are the elegant resort of Sanremo or the main town of Imperia. Either side there are smaller towns and villages – San Bartolomeo al Mare, Bordighera, Ventimiglia, Diano Marina – all have pleasant promenades and good beaches nearby.
Riviera delle Palme
The Riviera delle Palme or ‘Riviera of Palms’, is a collection of small towns along the hilly Liguria coastline. The main town of Savona has an impressive historic centre and a slice of Farinata, the local speciality, is an absolute must! On either side there are towns and villages such as Varazze, Alassia, Albenga and Laigueglia, all of which have their own special charm. Particular highlights are Finale Ligure with its grand palm-lined beachfront. For a quieter and more relaxing time choose Loano.
The Tigullio gulf is dominated by the immense urban sprawl that is Genoa. The city offers hundreds of years of history, a wealth of architecture, and great entertainment. But a short hop away by train or car are other gems, such as the fishing towns of Camogli and Chiavari, the vibrant summer resorts of Santa Margherita Ligure, Rapallo and Recco, and of course the famous celebrity hotspot that is Portofino.
To enjoy the full Cinque Terre experience it’s only really worth staying in one of the villages themselves: Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, Riomaggoire. If you’re worried about crowds or the cost of hotels, stay in one of the nearby towns and access the Cinque Terre easily by local train. Levanto sits to the west, or further along the coast to the east are the lovely villages of Portovenere and Lerici in the bay of La Spezia.
How do it get to the Italian Riviera?
How do it get to the Italian Riviera?
The main access point to the region is Genoa. The airport has a good selection of flights to the main European hubs and some budget options too. If you’re heading to the western towns in the Riviera dei Fiori, it will be quicker to fly into Nice in France. From there it’s a quick drive on good motorways or a train ride with an easy cross border change at Ventimiglia.
A train line straddles the entire Riviera coastline, with local train services stopping at virtually every town along the coast. Intercity services also ply the route, with trains from all over Italy stopping at most of the main towns, including Ventimiglia, Sanremo, Imperia, Savona, Genoa, Rapallo and La Spezia. Genoa is the main interchange with plenty of services from Milan, Turin and destinations to Rome. As of 2015, there are 3 international services run by Thello that pass through the region between Milan and Nice/Marseille in France.
The A10 motorway runs along the entire coastline serving all the destinations. It continues onto Monaco and the French Riviera to the west and Tuscany and central Italy to the southeast. Motorways also descend down to the coast from Milan, Turin and Parma.
Venere's first maps
Main points of interest