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Your Travel Guide to the Italian Riviera

italian rivera city guide

Do you dream of lounging on white, sandy beaches with blue waters that stretch as far as the eye can see? That’s exactly what you’ll find when you travel to the Italian Riviera! It’s one of the most popular travel destinations in the world, and it’s known for its beautiful vistas, delicious food, and numerous famous historical landmarks (the Duomo di Milano is just one example).

Discover everything this destination has to offer in this detailed travel guide! Welcome to Italy!

Where is it located?

The Italian Riviera, also known as The Ligurian Coast, is located in Italy. It stretches along and between Liguria and Tuscany. This coastline has over 300 kilometers of beautiful shoreline. Some of its most popular destinations include San Remo, Portofino, Rapallo and Santa Margherita. It has been referred to as one of Italy’s most important tourist centers by National Geographic.


What makes the Italian Riveira special?

The mesmerizingly beautiful coastline of Italy is dotted with hundreds of pristine beaches and breathtaking views, making it a famous travel destination. From bright cities to tranquil fishing villages, you’ll find an array of scenic wonders along its coastline. The mild climate also makes it a perfect getaway for those seeking sun and fun during their vacations. It features seaside resorts such as Portofino and stunning coves and beaches like Camogli on its coast, which tempt travelers from all over to explore these sunny shores.

Airports in Italian Riveria

If you’re flying from outside of Italy, make sure you pick an airport that is easy to access. The largest airport along Italy’s coast is Nice Cote d’Azur Airport (NCE), but there are many other smaller airports nearby. If you want an Italian experience with a shorter travel time, check out these international airports: Genoa International Airport (GOA), Venice Marco Polo International Airport (VCE), and Pisa International Airport (PSA).

Genova City Airport:

This airport is located in Genova and is serviced by a few carriers, including British Airways, Aer Lingus, Air France, KLM and Lufthansa. It’s also conveniently close to both Lerici and Portofino. Once you reach your destination, you can find public transportation options via train or bus. All trains heading into Stazione Brignole stop at all of these stations. You may take a taxi from Genova Port station if time is limited.

 Venice Marco Polo International Airport (VCE)

Italy’s second largest airport serves as a hub for many of Europe’s low-cost carriers and is one of Italy’s busiest airports. With nine airlines operating at VCE, including Air Berlin, easyJet, Thomas Cook Airlines, and Ryanair, you can fly from most major cities in Europe for less than $100. (Tip: Find one-way flights into Venice.)

Pisa International Airport (PSA)

Located in Pisa, Italy, Pisa International Airport (PSA) is 3 miles from downtown Pisa. This airport offers direct flights from Paris and London and many other European cities. The easiest way to get into downtown Pisa is by cab; you’ll pay about 15 euros for a 20-minute ride from the airport. From Pisa, there are plenty of trains available that can take you directly into Florence in one hour.

Cities and towns to visit in the Italian Riviera:

The world is a big place, and it’s all very exciting. But if you’re planning a holiday or short trip in one region of Italy, there are some places you should visit before others.


Located in northwest Italy, Genoa boasts some of the best Mediterranean food you can find outside of Greece and has a thriving port industry that dates back thousands of years. It’s also home to one of Italy’s largest cathedrals, which is still under construction. When planning your trip, be sure not to miss any of these locales!


This tiny village is wedged between two strips of blue sea and features old fishermen’s houses nestled in a steep and narrow cove. The quaint harbor serves as a port for local fisherman, but is also a popular destination for tourists who flock to Camogli’s seafront and iconic view of Punta Marina. There are no car-free roads, which makes walking around town an enjoyable way to take in its scenery.


Located on a small island in Liguria, Noli is surrounded by crystal clear water and is known for its white sand beaches. There are many things to do in Noli while you are there, including going sea kayaking or horseback riding along its beautiful coastline. If you’re looking for an active vacation spot without all of the crowds and high prices, then visiting Noli might be your best bet.

Noli; a true gem


A seaside village known for its brightly colored buildings, Riomaggiore is one of four villages located along a small inlet called Spiaggia del Vernazza. Popular activities include kayaking, horseback riding and hiking around mountains and cliffs. The village itself is small enough that it can be explored on foot within about an hour—so even if you don’t have time to hike or tour a nearby city, it’s easy to get out of town and unwind in nature.

Portovenere- Hidden gem

The village of Portovenere is a beautiful example of a small coastal town on Italy’s Ligurian coast. With history dating back to Roman times, it was occupied by both France and Spain during its days as an independent city-state. Today, there are several UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Portovenere, including one for its fortifications. Other sights in Portovenere include its main church and numerous archeological sites such as Roman ruins and ancient cisterns carved into rock.

Best hotels in Italian Riviera

Hotel Astoria

If you’re going to travel, why not do it in style? Hotel Astoria offers a luxurious but affordable option. With great prices and a fantastic location, you can enjoy your time in Italy without having to compromise on comfort. The hotel is close to all of the major attractions, so you won’t have far to go if you want to visit some of Florence’s most famous sites.

The staff are incredibly friendly and will be happy to help with any questions or concerns that you might have during your stay. The rooms are spacious and comfortable, making for an enjoyable stay whether you’re traveling alone or with family members or friends. And don’t forget about their wonderful breakfast buffet!

Explore Rapallo while staying at the beautiful hotel

Sublimis Boutique Hotel

Located along Portofino’s beautiful seafront, Sublimis Boutique Hotel is a perfect place for your next vacation. This hotel features one of Portofino’s largest swimming pools, along with an on-site spa that makes any kind of stress melt away. Whether you want a romantic weekend getaway or a fun family trip, Sublimis Boutique Hotel has all your needs covered.

Rooms at Sublimis Boutique Hotel are spacious and feature large windows that offer incredible views of either Portofino Bay or Le Serre dei Giardini Botanici di Cernobbio (the botanical gardens). For a more unique experience, ask about their special ocean view rooms! The restaurant at Sublimis offers traditional Italian cuisine as well as fresh seafood straight from Portofino Bay.

Stay by the sea and spend the evenings in the city of Camogli

Best Resturants in Italian Riviera

The heart of Italy is filled with wonderful, authentic resturants. There are far too many to list, but for you I picked out some of my favorites in order. Please enjoy!

Trattoria Rensin:

Set in a 15th-century home, Trattoria Rensin offers incredible traditional dishes with fresh local ingredients. Don’t forget to try their famous fish carpaccio! And there’s a special on 3 courses when you eat before 8pm!  (50% off) You can find them at Via Guglielmo Marconi 16, only 10 minutes from Saint Lucia train station and only 2 minutes from Saint Lucia beach.


The ARAGOSTA D’ORO is a five-star hotel that overlooks Lake Como. It has an indoor pool, as well as several restaurants and bars. It’s also home to one of Italy’s most acclaimed spas, which offers treatments like body wraps and facials. The spa is considered one of Europe’s top wellness destinations. Rooms start at $400 per night.

Best Local foods:


Pasto means meal in Italian, and pesto can be eaten as a meal or a snack. It’s best enjoyed by spreading it onto your favorite type of bread. Whether you eat pesto alone or with other foods, its fresh basil and pine nut flavors will tantalize your taste buds. The word pesto comes from pesterire, which means to pound in Italian.


Whether you’re visiting during September (the month of Ferragosto) or at any other time of year, it’s difficult not to notice that Italians love their focaccia. If you’re planning a trip to Florence, be sure not to leave without trying one of these iconic breads. The crispy focaccia is simple but delicious—and if you don’t see it on every restaurant menu in town, chances are, it will be worth seeking out.

Historical sites in Italian Riviera

Cattedrale di Santa Maria Assunta

In 1997, UNESCO included Santa Maria Assunta Cathedral on its list of World Heritage Sites in Italy. After years of damage from numerous earthquakes, a new church was constructed under the supervision of famous architect Gian Lorenzo Bernini (who also worked on Rome’s iconic Saint Peter’s Basilica). The baroque-style cathedral is an incredible work of art.

Cinque Terre Trails

The beauty of Cinque Terre is that it’s a day trip from both Florence and Rome. So if you’re in either city for work or pleasure, you can easily pop over for a long weekend. The best way to travel between these five beautiful towns is by hiking along one of many trails that wind their way through vineyards and olive groves.

So are you ready to explore the Italian Riviera? Before you go, warm yourself up at home with a homemade limoncello and plan your trip! Oh and did you know that the Amalfi coast is right around the corner?

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