Are you going to embark on a journey to discover the Ligurian Riviera?
You are in the right place!
Today it can be very difficult to find reliable and updated tourist information on Liguria: often what is found is written by foreign travelers who rely on tourist and commercial destinations.
The information you will find on this page, however, is written by those who live in Liguria, by those who know all its peculiarities and beauties, even the most hidden.
Beyond the usual tourist destinations, Liguria also has hidden sides to offer to its travelers for a journey to discover local authenticity.
In addition to a few tips on Liguria and where to go, in this guide you will find everything you need to know about Liguria before packing: what to do, what to see, what to eat and much more …
When you have finished the article and all the insights you will know everything you need to know about Liguria for a unique and organized trip.
Here is the definitive guide for the traveler to better explore the Ligurian Riviera.
Are you ready? It begins!
THE MAP OF LIGURIA
A paradise in the heart of the Mediterranean.
Thanks to its geographical location, the Ligurian Riviera offers an absolutely strategic position that makes it easily accessible but also the perfect starting point to visit the surrounding beauties. A stone’s throw from Tuscany, the blue coast, the Langhe and the most important cities of northern Italy, the Ligurian Riviera is divided into the Riviera di Ponente and the Riviera di Levante.
LIGURIA DI PONENTE
from the French Riviera to the borders of Genoa
The Riviera di Ponente that runs from the border with France to Genoa is perfect both for a relaxing weekend and for a stay longer than two weeks: the wide beaches and the rich hinterland will always offer you lots of entertainment and ideas for new adventures .
LIGURIA DI LEVANTE
From Genoa to the border with Tuscany
The east coast begins with Genoa and extends to Tuscany. In this part of Liguria you will find the most photographed villages, small pearls to visit one behind the other: ideal for romantic weekends or short stays always in different cities.
HOW TO GET TO LIGURIA
Connections with the whole world
Reaching Liguria is easy thanks to its excellent connections by plane with the airports of Nice and Genoa, but also with trains and cars from both Italy and France.
Ideal for the Riviera di Ponente, Nice airport, it is only 20 minutes from Ventimiglia.
Perfect for the Riviera di Levante, the airport of Genoa, it is in the heart of Liguria.
The line that runs along Liguria is convenient both from the main Italian cities and from France.
The A10 motorway allows you to easily reach every city in Liguria.
WHEN TO VISIT LIGURIA
Liguria is an ideal destination 365 days a year and, for this reason, it manages to satisfy every type of traveler and reserves pleasant surprises in every season.
Here is what Liguria has to offer during all seasons of the year:
LIGURIA IN SPRING
Flowers, sport and wellness.
Come and enjoy the first blooms in the natural parks and botanical gardens of Liguria. Breathtaking views and an extraordinary climate await you. practice outdoor sports and get fit after the long winter.
LIGURIA IN SUMMER
Sea, fun and … Dolphins!
The beaches come alive and it is easy to make new friends and have fun together in the squares and clubs of the cities of Liguria. The keywords are fun and light-heartedness.
The cetacean season begins: join the thousands of people who go whale watching every year from the ports of Liguria.
LIGURIA IN AUTUMN
Festivals, mushrooms and good things.
You enjoy autumn in Liguria in shirt sleeves: the extraordinary climate often gives life to a second, small summer.
Savor the delicacies of the area in typical trattorias, large restaurants or village festivals.
LIGURIA IN WINTER
Mountain Bike, Relax and Breathtaking Sunsets
Discover the days with the pleasant climate of Liguria: you can relax or practice your favorite sport.
Get off a mountain bike trail, challenge your friends to tennis or go skiing: an hour from Bordighera the 80km of Limone Piemonte slopes await you!
Festival of Sanremo but not only, excursion in the western Ligurian Riviera to discover the City of Flowers
I go to the province of Imperia, about 20 km from the border with France. Today’s destination is in fact Sanremo, one of the best known places not only in the region but in all of Italy.
Here, in fact, numerous events of national and international fame take place, such as the Italian Song Festival or the Milan-Sanremo cycling race. In addition, it boasts an ancient history, which began under the Roman Empire, and today houses one of the four Casinos present in Italy.
What to see in Sanremo in one day
The itinerary begins and ends near the new railway station, no longer located on the seafront but inside, about ten minutes on foot from the central streets. With the time available, I managed to calmly turn the modern city, the ancient one and finally walk on the cycle-pedestrian path obtained from the old railway line.
The port of Sanremo and the Fortress of Santa Tecla
first, I immediately head to the Sanremo seafront because I want to enjoy the sunrise and its magical reflections on the water. After almost two hours by train from Cogoleto I start to stretch my legs a bit by exploring the two ports, namely the old and the new.
the first recalls the deep bond between the city and the sea and, in particular between the Middle Ages and the 19th century, it was the main point of reference from a commercial and therefore economic point of view. Even today, fishermen gather for the sale of freshly caught fish in the area of the pier closest to the fortress.
Portosole, on the other hand, was inaugurated in 1978 and there is the Weather Center, essential for all boats leaving. In addition, events such as the International Sanremo Yacht Meeting and the historic Regatta of the Giraglia are held here, a regular appointment since 1953.
A building that catches the eye is the Morgana, built around the 1930s in the rationalist style. It is an authentic local institution and inside it houses a restaurant and a ballroom.
Then I reach the small gardens that surround the Fortress of Santa Tecla, a military building erected in the 1700s by the Republic of Genoa with the function of controlling and quelling any attempt at rebellion by the population. In the following centuries he performed various functions, the last one being that of prison.
Finally, starting in 1997, the fort was “returned” to the city and, after a series of restoration works, it reopened as a museum and venue for events during the year.
The Empress Walk
I return to the center but this time moving on the avenue adorned with palm trees which runs parallel to the cycle path. I therefore enter one of the symbols of the Riviera dei Fiori and the golden age of Sanremo at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries.
the walk is dedicated to the Empress of Russia, Maria Alexandrovna, who stayed here in December 1874 to spend the winter taking advantage of the much better climate. He was so enthusiastic about Sanremo that he decided to donate a large sum of money to embellish the course with a series of palm trees. Today, in addition to the plants, there are also two noteworthy sculptures:
the “Statue of Spring”, by Vincenzo Pasquali sculpture;
the monument to Garibaldi, with his gaze turned towards the sea.
The floral variety that embellishes the area is surprising, despite it being early December. In fact, it is enough for me to think of the nickname of Sanremo, that is the “City of Flowers”, to understand that this is natural. In fact, the perfect combination of geographical location and mild temperatures for most of the year has allowed the adaptation and consequent growth of different tropical and exotic plants in addition to the typically Mediterranean ones.
It is therefore not surprising that the botanical wealth of Sanremo has become a natural excellence that is exported all over the world, as well as attracting thousands of tourists who come to contemplate gardens, villas and in general the corners of the city where flowers abound.
The modern city, via Matteotti and the Ariston Theater
From Corso Imperatrice, the starting point of this itinerary, I take the wrong road and so I end up in front of the Russian Orthodox Church, something that I never expected to find in Liguria.
His presence is due to the fact that, at the beginning of the last century, the wife of the Russian Tsar and other illustrious personalities of the nation chose Sanremo as a destination for their “healing” stays. Thus, in 1913 this Byzantine-style temple was built so that Russian holidaymakers had a dedicated place for their worship.
Corso degli Inglesi, dominated by the splendid Art Nouveau building that houses the Sanremo Casino, one of the four opened in Italy. It was inaugurated in 1905 and, in addition to the gaming rooms, it also houses a theater and a party room. Not surprisingly, the Sanremo Festival was held here starting from the first edition of 1951 and until 1976.
Just to the side stands the Convent of the Capuchin Friars, consecrated to the Church in 1668 after the first community of religious arrived in the city already in 1578. The site is dedicated to the Immaculate Conception and to Saints Bernardo and Francesco d’Assisi, to this the last one was dedicated to the statue in the center of the square.
Originally, the lands of the friars were more extensive but were forced to sell part of them following the decision of the municipality to build the casino. And so, the two buildings still coexist side by side today.
Corso Giacomo Matteotti, certainly the most chic street and point of reference for shopping in Sanremo. Given the presence of modern buildings and luxury shops, more than a Ligurian street reminds me of Via Montenapoleone in Milan.
The street is largely pedestrian and leads in front of the Ariston Theater. However, before you get there you can stop at the many bars and cafes present there. Among the historic buildings, the Civic Museum of Sanremo stands out, housed inside Palazzo Borea d’Olmo, built in the fifteenth century and easily recognizable for its baroque facade embellished with eighteenth-century portals.
Via Escoffier, the statue dedicated to Mike Bongiorno
At the crossroads with via Escoffier, the statue dedicated to Mike Bongiorno was placed, inaugurated in 2013 to celebrate the historical presenter of the Festival as well as one of the most loved celebrities of Italian television. The monument is very beautiful, I then appreciated the word “Cheerfulness” in memory of his motto that we all now associate with him.
the most famous building in Corso Matteotti and Sanremo is undoubtedly the Ariston Theater, inaugurated in the early 1960s to encourage the spread among the general public of cinema, a “business” that had started to expand in Italy in the years following the end of the world war.
Since 1977, since when the famous Ariston room – 1960 seats – has become the “home” of the Italian Song Festival, Ariston has been the symbol of Sanremo also famous across the border. Just think for example that whoever wins the Festival then has the right to participate in the Eurovision Song Contest to represent Italy. During the rest of the year, the theater is a multiplex cinema and also hosts a series of events of various kinds.
If its history is fascinating, let’s say that – absolutely personal opinion – the external facade has not particularly impressed me, perhaps because it turns out to be a bit too vintage compared to the architectural style of the buildings around.
The villas and gardens of Sanremo
My day ends with a stretch of the Aurelia that cuts the Sanremo waterfront in two.
With your back to the center and continuing beyond the railway station you reach the area where the illustrious personalities who frequented the Ligurian town in the past decided to settle.
For example, Villa Ormond (1889) was commissioned by the Swiss entrepreneur of the same name, and dominates the English garden where, however, there are several exotic plants. The building has a classic layout and consists of a single floor overlooking a terrace bordered by two Renaissance-inspired loggias.
THE JOURNEY IN LIGURIA CONTINUES
MANY THINGS TO DO
SOME IMAGES THAT REPRESENT PART OF MY TRIP IN LIGURIA, A MAGNIFICENT LAND.
THIS IS MY TRIP TO LIGURIA, A MAGNIFICENT LAND.