Liguria - Travel Guide and Tourism Information for Liguria, Italy
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Provinces: Genova, Imperia, La Spezia, Savona
It is a mountainous and hilly region, which includes part of the Maritime Alps and the Ligurian Apennines, The region is divided in two sections: the Riviera di Ponente (to the west), from Ventimiglia to Genoa, and the Riviera di Levante (to the east), from Genoa to La Spezia. The terminal strip of the Riviera di Levante is known as “Le Cinque Terre” (the Five Lands).
An important commercial and touristic port.
The Medieval district of the city holds many treasures, such as the Porta Soprana (the old stone entrance gate to the city), the Church of Sant’Agostino (next to the Museo dell’Architettura e Scultura Ligure), the beautiful Church of San Donato, the 12th-century Church of Santa Maria di Castello and the Gothic Cathedral of San Lorenzo. Outside the Medieval district, Via Garibaldi, where many of the city’s richest inhabitants built their palaces, is a beautiful walk, with Palazzo Podesta, Palazzo Bianco (now an art gallery with paintings by Van Dyck and Rubens) and the magnificently decorated Palazzo Rosso (adjacent to Palazzo Bianco and housing paintings by Titian, Caravaggio and Dürer). The Acquario (Aquarium) presents underwater ocean life, with 1000 species housed in 50 vast tanks, making it the largest centre of its kind in Europe.
This narrow strip of coastline is divided into two sections: the Riviera di Ponente (to the west), from Ventimiglia to Genoa, and the Riviera di Levante (to the east), from Genoa to La Spezia. The Riviera di Levante boasts small bays backed by rocky cliffs and more exclusive retreats such as Portofino and Cinque Terre.
Portofino is the best known, with its small picturesque harbour full of yachts, its luxury clothes shops, its romantic villas owned perched on the hillside and the Castello di San Giorgio high up on a promontory with magnificent views of harbour and bay. The beach at Santa Margherita Ligure, just 5km south of Portofino, is an excellent place to swim, with a magical view of the surrounding cliffs and villas.
Rapallo, 8km south of Portofino, is less fashionable and subsequently less expensive. Here you can visit the Baroque cathedral and take a cable car ride up to the mountain 16th century sanctuary of Montallegro.
Camogli, from here, with a boat trip, you reach the isolated fisherman village of San Fruttuoso where you can visit the abbey with its 13th century church.
Lerici has a 6th century castle worth a visit as well as the Genoese castle on the promontory of Portovenere.
Cinque Terre: At the southern tip of the Riviera di Levante lie the Cinque Terre, a series of five picturesque fishing villages linked by scenic mountainside paths and surrounded by vineyards and olive groves - Corniglia, Manarola, Monterosso al Mare, Riomaggiore and Vernazza.
Riviera di Ponente: also known as the Riviera dei Fiori. Close to the French border you may visit the Villa Hanbury with more than 6000 species of plants in its gardens. In the picturesque hill town of Dolceacqua have a look at the 12th century castle and the Romanesque church.
Bordighera offers sandy beaches and a Belle Epoque seaside promenade.
San Remo, famous for its Italian music festival has a medieval quarter and, of course, the Casinò. Other small towns, ideal for a stop over are Alassio, Albenga and Finale Ligure.
All characterised by their small or even tiny size and by their vicinity to the coast.
Palmaria (province of La Spezia) is the main island (0.61 sq. miles) and is almost joined to the promontory of Portovenere which lies just 105 metres away. Palmaria closes the Gulf of La Spezia along with the small islands of Tino and Tinetto. The former (0.07 sq. miles is a military area and there is no public access; also the latter is very small (0.11 sq. miles), but very interesting from an archaeological point of view. The remains of two partially restored early Christian chapels can be seen.The very small oratory which is situated on the western point dates back to an earlier period than the second construction, a more complex chapel located in the flat area at the centre of the island.
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