Portofino: A Jewel by the Sea
Welcome to the Italian Riviera, a sun-kissed haven of sparkling azure waters, lush landscapes, and enchanting towns that beckon travelers to explore its many treasures. This Mediterranean gem, nestled between the Ligurian Sea and the Maritime Alps, offers a stunning array of experiences that will captivate your senses and leave you longing for more. Portofino, a picturesque fishing village-turned-luxury resort, is a must-visit destination on the Italian Riviera. With its vibrant harbor, pastel-colored houses, and lush gardens, Portofino embodies the essence of the Riviera’s charm. Stroll through its narrow streets, dine at exquisite seafood restaurants, and admire the breathtaking view from the iconic Castello Brown.
Type of location: A world apart.
Taverna del Marinaio – Seafood dishes directly on the Piazzetta.
Da u Batti – Indulge in the region’s culinary delights within this enchanting, intimate setting.
Winterose at the end of the Calata Marconi (pier on the left)
Main Street: Via Roma and Piazzetta – Best Period: May to September – Where to Stay in Portofino
Genoa: A Gateway to History and Art
As the capital of the Liguria region, Genoa boasts a rich maritime history and an impressive collection of art, architecture, and culinary delights. Delve into the city’s storied past at the Palazzo Ducale and the Maritime Museum, then wander through the narrow alleys of the medieval Old Town. Marvel at the ornate frescoes adorning the walls of the Palazzi dei Rolli, a series of palaces inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list, and feast on the city’s famed pesto and focaccia.
Type of location: Culture, history, fun
Il Genovese – Indulge in exquisite Genovese cuisine within this intimate, welcoming space.
Cavour 21 – A traditional, family-run trattoria serving mouthwatering regional specialties.
Main Street: Via Garibaldi, Piazza De Ferrari, Via XX Settembre – Best Period: April to October – Where to Stay in Genoa
Cinque Terre: A Tapestry of Color and Culture
The Cinque Terre, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is a collection of five idyllic villages perched atop the rugged cliffs of the Ligurian coast. Wander through the winding pathways of Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza, and Monterosso al Mare, and lose yourself in their kaleidoscope of colors and rich cultural heritage. Embark on the famous Sentiero Azzurro hiking trail, which connects these enchanting villages, to fully immerse yourself in the region’s awe-inspiring beauty.
Type of location: Nature, relaxation, fun
Trattoria dal Billy (Manarola) – A family-run gem serving mouthwatering seafood and traditional Ligurian fare.
Ristorante Miky (Monterosso al Mare) – An elegant dining experience where creativity and tradition entwine.
Main Street: Via dell’Amore (Riomaggiore to Manarola) – Best Period: April to October – Where to Stay in Cinque Terre
Sanremo: A Symphony of Blooms and Glamour
Renowned for its vibrant flower markets, historic villas, and the prestigious Sanremo Music Festival, the coastal city of Sanremo is a beguiling blend of glamour and nature. Discover the city’s lush gardens, such as the Villa Ormond and Villa Nobel, and stroll along the elegant Corso Imperatrice promenade. For a taste of excitement, try your luck at the opulent Casinò di Sanremo or take in a thrilling race at the Circuito di Sanremo.
Type of location: Glamour, fun, nature
Ristorante Buena Vista – Enjoy a panoramic dining experience overlooking the enchanting Sanremo harbor.
La Tavernetta – Savor traditional Ligurian dishes in this cozy, family-run establishment.
Main Street: Via Matteotti – Best Period: May to September – Where to Stay in Sanremo
Camogli: A Mosaic of Seaside Serenity
Camogli, a tranquil fishing village on the Riviera’s western coast, offers respite from the bustling tourist hotspots. Meander along the pebble-strewn beaches and soak up the sun as you gaze upon the vibrant, sun-kissed facades of the village’s waterfront homes. Savor the region’s freshest seafood at one of the many waterfront restaurants and immerse yourself in the village’s serene, poetic atmosphere.
Type of location: Glamour, Relax, nature, serenity
Da Paolo – A waterfront gem serving the freshest seafood in a warm, inviting atmosphere.
La Camogliese – Delight in traditional Ligurian cuisine within this quaint, family-run restaurant.
Main Street: Via della Repubblica – Best Period: April to October – Where to Stayin Camogli
Levanto: An Oasis of Adventure and Relaxation
For those seeking both relaxation and adventure, Levanto is a perfect destination. The sandy beach provides a haven for sunbathers, while the nearby **Cinque Terre National Park and Marine Protected Area offer endless opportunities for hiking, cycling, and kayaking. As the sun dips below the horizon, let the soothing sound of the waves lapping against the shore serenade you while the sky erupts in a symphony of colors, painting an unforgettable masterpiece.
Type of location: Adventure, relaxation, nature
Trattoria da Piva – Experience the region’s culinary magic in a rustic, welcoming setting.
L’Oasi – A hidden gem serving authentic, locally sourced dishes that tantalize the senses.
Main Street: Via Garibaldi – Best Period: April to October – Where to Stay in Levanto
Santa Margherita Ligure: A Symphony of Elegance and Charm
Santa Margherita Ligure, a town exuding grace and sophistication, enchants visitors with its elegant villas, luxurious hotels, and stunning promenades. Wander through the town’s verdant gardens, such as the Villa Durazzo and Villa San Giacomo, and marvel at the breathtaking panoramas of the glittering Ligurian Sea. Indulge in the region’s delectable cuisine, as the scent of freshly prepared pasta mingles with the sea breeze, crafting an exquisite sensory experience.
Type of location: Elegance, charm, relaxation
Ristorante Antonio – A culinary haven where fresh seafood and regional specialties abound.
Trattoria da Pino – A local favorite serving traditional Ligurian cuisine in a warm, convivial atmosphere.
Main Street: Via Palestro – Best Period: May to September – Where to Stay in Santa Margherita Ligure
Sestri Levante: A Tale of Two Seas
Nestled between two enchanting bays, Sestri Levante is a captivating destination that effortlessly weaves together the allure of the sea and the charm of the Riviera’s hinterland. Explore the bewitching Bay of Silence and Bay of Fables, and let their crystal-clear waters and timeless beauty inspire your soul. Wander through the town’s historic center, where the whispers of centuries past echo through the cobblestone streets, and uncover the secrets of this mesmerizing locale.
Type of location: Nature, relaxation, charm
Ristorante Sereno – Indulge in a symphony of flavors within this elegant, seafront establishment.
Polpo Mario – A beloved, family-run trattoria serving authentic, mouthwatering Ligurian cuisine.
Main Street: Via XXV Aprile – Best Period: April to October – Where to Stay in Sestri Levante
Rapallo: A Tapestry of History and Nature
The vibrant town of Rapallo beckons visitors with its rich tapestry of history, culture, and natural beauty. Discover the town’s storied past at the ancient Castle of Rapallo and the striking Basilica of San Gervasio e Protasio. Embrace the serenity of nature at the nearby Portofino Natural Park, where the lush landscape invites you to explore its many wonders and lose yourself in its verdant embrace.
Type of location: Easy, nature, fun
Ristorante Il Pesciolino – Savor a medley of fresh seafood and regional dishes in a picturesque setting.
Osteria Bon Ton – A cozy, family-run gem offering a taste of Ligurian culinary tradition.
Main Street: Via Mazzini – Best Period: April to October – Where to Stay in Rapallo
Conclusion: The Timeless Allure of the Italian Riviera
From the enchanting villages of the Cinque Terre to the historic allure of Genoa, the Italian Riviera is a treasure trove of unforgettable experiences that will forever hold a place in your heart. As you traverse this sun-drenched haven, let the radiant warmth of the Mediterranean sun, the whispers of ancient tales, and the symphony of the sea wash over you, etching the beauty of the Riviera deep within your soul.
I Delfini di Portofino 🐬