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Liguria is one of Italy's smallest regions, a mountainous sliver of moon on Italy's northern coast known as the Italian Riviera. Use the buttons on our map to zoom in to each province, identified by color and read more about the towns below the map.
Liguria Map © James Martin, Europe for Visitors
Imperia Province is the closest to France and fits seamlessly into the French riviera. The A10 Autostrada (toll road) runs along the coast to Genoa. The coastal superstrada takes you through all the towns and can be ultra-slow moving during the summer beach season.
Here begins the famous Riviera dei Fiori, or riviera of flowers. You'll see greenhouses loaded with flowers perched on coastal hillsides all along the autostrada route.
The town of Ventimiglia, near the French border, is a pleasant seasdie town with an interesting old town on the hill, Roman ruins, and seaside promenade. Near Ventimiglia are Italy's largest botanical gardens and prehistoric caves. Probably the most famous of the towns in the Imperia region is San Remo.
Imperia's Cathedral of San Maurizio is the largest in Liguria. Imperia has a museum devoted to olives and the famous Ligurian olive oil, called Museo dell' Olivo.
Albenga, on the Liguria coast, is a walled town with a picturesque old town center, many brick towers, and a Romanesque cathedral, and a 5th century baptistery. The Roman Shipping Museum has a good collection of amphora found by underwater archaeologists.
Alassio, near Albegna, has about two miles of beach with very fine sand made of quartz. It's one of the most popular beaches and resorts in the area so its packed during summer.
Finale Ligure, between Albenga and Savona, is another resort town with a nice beach, a castle overlooking the town, and picturesque old quarter. Nearby is an early Capuchin church and the Monastery of Santa Caterina with an archaeological museum .
Savona is on the River Letimbro. Worth visiting are the Torre Pancaldo, the cathedral built in 1604, the church of San Giovanni Battista with 17th and 18th century paintings by local painters, and its art museum with pictures, sculptures, and majolica.
Noli is a nicely situated fishing town and seaside resort. Noli has a castle, remains of town walls, an interesting old town, and a late Romanesque church.
Genoa is the largest city in Liguria and Italy's main port. Genoa makes a good base for visiting towns on the Italian Riviera if you're traveling by public transportation. Genoa has a fascinating aquarium, an interesting port, and a historic center said to be the largest medieval quarter in Europe, with a wealth of churches, palaces, and museums. Read more about Genoa in our Genoa Travel Essentials.
Camogli is a charming fishing village on a rocky outcrop. Camogli has a nice beach and colorful houses, many with Trompe L'Oeil treatments. Here's more about Camogli. From Camogli you can visit San Fruttuoso, an isolated fishing village reached only by sea or a 3-hour hiking trail.
Rapallo is the largest resort on the Riviera di Levante. Rapallo has a fishing harbor, a beautiful seaside promenade with hotels and cafes, and a medieval castle. A cable car goes up to the 16th-century sanctuary of Montallegro. Rapallo Travel Guide | Cable Car Ride Video
Portofino, one of the most popular seaside resorts in the Italian Riviera, was the favorite of the rich and famous during its 1950s heyday. Portofino is a beautiful village of pastel colored houses surrounding a half-moon shaped harbor. Above the village sits the Castello Brown. Read more about Portofino with our Portofino Travel Essentials and take a look at our Portofino Pictures.
Sestri Levante is a seaside and winter resort set on a promontory between two bays. Sestri Levante has a nice seaside promenade with extensive views of the Gulf of Rapallo, Golfo Tigullio. On the tip of the promontory are the Castelli Gualino, imitations of medieval castles. There is also a walking trail to a signal station on the southern spur of Monte Castello.
Chiavari, another seaside resort, is situated at the mouth of the River Entella. Chiavari has a beautiful street of palm trees, a cathedral from 1613, a citadel tower from 1537, and morning markets held in the square in the town center. Chiavari Travel Directory
Varese Ligure is an interesting inland village in the Vara Valley. Varese Ligure has a small castle in the center of town surrounded by beautiful buildings and a small, old quarter. Be sure to eat at the Taverna del Gallo Nero and try croxetti pasta, a round stamped pasta.
Levanto, on the coast, is popular in both summer and winter. There are remains of its medieval walls and castle. The clock tower is the only tower that is still standing.
Le Cinque Terre, the five lands, are a group of five villages accessed by train or ferry. There are also popular hiking trails between the villages. You'll have to pay for entrance to the trails. Europe Travel has a good Cinque Terre hiking guide and map with pictures so you'll know what to expect when you go. More about Cinque Terre
Portovenere, on the Gulf of Poets, is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Portovenere's harbor is lined with brightly colored houses, narrow medieval streets lead up the hill to a castle, and the tip of the promontory holds a picturesque church. Portovenere is my favorite Italian Riviera village and on a summer morning we walked up to the castle and had it all to ourselves. Read about Portovenere with our Portovenere Travel Guide and take a look at our Portovenere Pictures.
Lerici, also on the Gulf of Poets, sits across the bay from Portovenere. From Lerici you can walk to San Terenzo and there are hiking trails to small fishing villages to the southeast like Fiascherino, Tellaro, and Montemarcello. Lerici has a castle and a small old quarter. Picture of Lerici.
La Spezia is a main train center and from La Spezia's port ferries run in summer to Portovenere, Lerici, and the Cinque Terre. La Spezia has pedestrian only shopping streets, a castle, and several museums. In 2006, La Spezia came in third on the list of Italy's most livable cities.
Sarzana is a small walled town famous for its antique shops. Sarzana has two castles, pedestrian only streets, and good cafes and restaurants. See our Sarzana Castle pictures and Europe Travel's Sarzana Pictures.[an error occurred while processing this directive]