Liguria’s location, close to the Apennines, lets the sea meet the mountain in a multitude of breathless landscapes. In addition to the popular culinary specialties such as pesto alla genovese, focaccia or chickpea farinata, the brand “Artigiani in Liguria” (artisans in Liguria) represents several excellences produced in the region, from goldsmith to textile art. Perfect for a weekend escape or for a traveling holiday around its towns, here is a short itinerary in Liguria, at the discovery of its most charming places.
Genoa, the first stop of our itinerary in Liguria
Capital of the region, Genoa boasts a very characteristic town centre: a maze of alleys that go back to the Middle Ages, among which is the famous Via del Campo sung by Fabrizio de Andrè, that leads to wonderful squares, such as Piazza della Vittoria and Piazza De Ferrari. The streets teem with craft shops, and those that are particularly worth mentioning are the goldsmith ones. To fully breathe the charm of what was one of the four maritime republics (repubblica marinara in Italian), one should go to Porto Antico, where it is possible to hop on a sailing ship used in Hollywood movies, enter in a Biosphere and visit the famous Genoa Aquarium.
At the seaside in Camogli, Portofino and Santa Margherita
Camogli is a typical sea town: picturesque buildings all in different colours overlook the beach of Golfo Paradiso, at the bottom of the western part of the cape of Portofino. Portofino is one of the most exclusive places in Liguria: in the famous square are located restaurants and luxury boutiques. Being in the heart of a protected natural park it is possible, with an enjoyable walk, to go up the cape up to Brown Castle and enjoy a beautiful view on the harbour and on the lavish yachts. Santa Margherita Ligure is ideal as base and it stands out for its castle, its marvellous Villa Durazzo and the very nice beaches. A delicacy that must be had in the area is Recco’s focaccia.
Rapallo, Zoagli and Lorsica: between breath-taking views and high-quality fabrics
Located in the heart of the Tigullio Gulf (Golfo del Tigullio), Rapallo boasts a privileged location between land and sea; in addition to a beautiful town center and the Castle – a symbol of the city –, it offers countless scenic walks. An all-Italian excellence is the “pizzo a punto Rapallo”, the town is in fact famous for its crochet production which unique all around the world. Moving towards East, you run in Zoagli, famous not only for its position but also for its unmatched production of silk velvet. For lavish fabrics’ lovers this area is ideal: in fact even Lorsica, which is more in the country, is renowned for the weaving of precious damask and allows one to learn more about the art of it in the “Museo del Damasco e della storia del territorio”.
Cinque Terre, UNESCO heritage
An itinerary in Liguria cannot feature the most visited and fascinating area of the region, the National Park of Cinque Terre, a UNESCO world heritage site. In the park, the fishing villages of Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Monarola and Riomaggiore follow one another. These beautiful towns perched on the cliffs, overlook the sea with countless coloured houses and small harbours. The towns are connected between them through Sentiero Azzurro, accessible on foot, that unfolds through terraces, vineyards and offers beautiful views. As an alternative, one can move around by train or ferry along the coast.
Finale Ligure and Alassio, between craftsmanship and nightlife
Along the Riviera di Ponente rises one of the most charming villages: Finalborgo, one of the three urban areas that form the town of Finale Ligure. The center, enclosed by medieval walls, allows tourists to take a dive in the rich history of the place. Walking along the small alleys you run in buildings that date back to the 1400 and in craft shops where everything is still handmade: from ceramic to glass, from fabrics to paper and sustainable fashion. Not far from it there is Alassio, which is more famous for bringing the glamour. Popular for the beauty contest Miss Muretto and its bars, where once hung out even Hemingway, it is the ideal place to enjoy the nice life, by day on the long sand beach and by night in the clubs of the movida.
Sanremo, the town of flowers
Our itinerary in Liguria ends in Sanremo, which certainly needs no introduction. The town hosts the homonymous Festival della canzone italiana and it is the biggest of the Riviera dei Fiori (Flower Riviera), famous precisely for the great production of amazing flower compositions. Sanremo is extremely refined as proves the elegant Passeggiata dell’Imperatrice (Walk of the Empress) that runs along promenade featuring palm trees. Among the lavish buildings, you cannot miss Villa Nobel which belonged to the scientist who created the prestigious award and, to finish it all off, you must have a bet at the Art Nouveau Casinò.