Liguria is a long strip of land which stretches like an arch over the Tyrrhenian Sea, enclosed by the Apennines and Maritime Alps. Its 340 km coast, better known as the Italian Riviera, is a continuous line of long beaches and cliffs which form coves.
Liguria is a garden overlooking the sea, a landscape painted of palms, blooming seafronts, fishing boats and colorful houses. Liguria also means historical cities and small medieval towns, places of international fame with names which recall the notes and colors of the Dolce Vita.
Its capital Genoa divides the coast into two parts: the Riviera di Ponente, lies between the city and the French border and is characterized by long sandy beaches; the stretch that extends towards Tuscany is called Riviera di Levante, here the mountains hang over the coast with high cliffs which give way to spectacular coves in some spots. Cities and beach resorts are located along the entire coast, with names that have become famous throughout the world.Genoa, the capital of the Region, is a large port but also a fascinating and little known historical city. The city has a glorious past (Christopher Columbus was born here), the great sights of which still remain and with a particular charm all its own.
The Riviera di Ponente is a succession of pretty resorts, many of which contain important historical centers. For example Albenga, the city of towers and Noli and Alassio on the Riviera delle Palme. Continuing towards France is the so-called Riviera dei Fiori, named after the extensive flower cultivation climbing up the hills. Here lie enchanting cities like Cervo,a medieval town dominated by its great Baroque church, and Bordighera, the most exotic town of the Riviera di Ponente.
The queen of the Ponente is Sanremo, one of the best loved spots of Liguria. The city is Italy's flower capital, but its owes its fame mainly to the Festival della Canzone (Italian music competition). Sanremo's inland area has been discovered recently: beautiful towns unchanged by time sit in the valleys, like Bussana Vecchia, an abandoned town repopulated by artists, Dolceacqua, Apricale and Triora, the town of witches and watermills.
The Riviera di Levante is home to cities whose names are internationally famous. The Tigullio Gulf is a succession of renown spots, including Camogli, Rapallo, Sestri and Portofino, the pearl of the gulf. Further south lies the incredible magic of the Cinque Terre, five small towns handing on cliffs where time stands still. At the tip of the Riviera is the Poets Gulf, with the towns of Lerici and Portovenere. Places full of charm and popular with many European aristocrats and literati who vacationed here in the nineteenth century.