Liguria is a crescent-shaped region in northwest Italy. Its Mediterranean coastline is known as the Italian Riviera. Its capital is Genoa. The region almost overlaps with the Italian Riviera and is popular with visitors for its beaches, towns, and cuisine. The five lively fishing villages of the Cinque Terre, as well as trendy Portofino and Santa Margherita Ligure, are on the eastern coast known as Riviera di Levante. The western coast is called the Riviera di Ponente and is home to Sanremo, a vintage resort with a turn-of-the-century casino and a promenade. The waters of this piece of the Mediterranean attract all sorts of water sports enthusiasts to the region, which shines with its rocky coasts, coves, and beaches of fine golden sand. These transform into lively hubs of entertainment and shopping at night for all your needs. You can find much to do here - nature, beautiful landscapes, culture, entertainment and nightlife. All one has to do is decide on what to do first!
Things to see, things to do
Visit Genoa, the capital
Genoa is the capital of Liguria, divides the coast in Riviera di Levante (Eastern Riviera) and Riviera di Ponente (Western Riviera). Genoa was for centuries a powerful maritime republic and its close relationship to the sea is still strong in the present day. Genoa has been nicknamed la Superba or the Proud one because of its glorious history. Part of the old town of Genoa, with its typical ‘carruggi’ or narrow winding alleys is on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 2006. Not to be missed in Genoa is the Aquarium, the largest in Italy and second largest in Europe. Try the cuisine, go for a stroll – experience history!
Explore the Cinque Terre
The most impressive stretch of this coastline is of course the Cinque Terre, which is famous all around the world. The Cinque Terre, along with Palmaria, Portovenere, Tinetto, and Tino have been declared a UNESCO World Heritage site. In the Cinque Terre, you can see the wonderful colorful houses and vineyards that hug steep terraces where Sciacchetrà wine is created; go on walking paths (best known among them is the cliffside Sentiero Azzurro), local trains and boats that link the villages of Riomaggiore, Corniglia, Vernazza, Monterosso, and Manarola. Here you can discover the historic and vibrant ‘borghi’ or new towns at seaside locations. There is also a national park in Cinque Terre that was established to protect the very fragile environment in the area.
Enjoy the Italian Riviera
Anytime one comments on the Italian Riviera, they are speaking about Liguria, which has the most important feature of this region – 186 miles of coast touched by a marvelous sea. Liguria, offers some of the most beautiful marine life reserves in Italy such as the famous Sanctuary of Cetaceans, the Cinque Terre, Portofino, Berteggi, and Gallinara.
Experience the aquatic life
The seabeds and underwater riches of the Ligurian Sea deserve an exploration where you can admire the stunning views and aquatic wildlife. Even if you are not a scuba diving expert, no worries, you can enjoy the enthralling experience by visiting any of the many specialized diving centers around the more popular sea resorts. You can go snorkeling –“seawatching” as the Italians put it– as it perfect for the visitor who wishes to sightsee but not go too far from the water's surface. It is also an enjoyable activity for active children and even the average bored teenager! Accompanied by professionals and dressed with mask, flippers, and wetsuit you can take in the view of the colors and variety of the flora and watch out for many species of fish that are home in these waters. This area has the highest concentration of aquatic mammals in the Mediterranean Sea whale watching fanatics can enjoy a captivating and informative experience on these “blue sea roads,” observing wonderful specimens of marine fauna. Your whale-watching outing will most possibly include a biologist on hand to reveal details of cetacean life, as well as the regulations that help in conserving their natural habitat.
Sample the cuisine
If you are a foodie, you have come to the right place! Liguria is the origin of pesto, one of the most famous sauces in Italian cuisine. It is made with Parmesan cheese, pine kernels, fresh basil, olive oil, and garlic. Seafood is a major staple food of Mediterranean cuisine, and the range of Ligurian seafoods is exceptional, as the sea has been an important part of the region's culture. You should try the Ciuppin soup, made from fish leftovers and stale bread with flavors of white wine, garlic, and onion. Vegetables, particularly beans, are dominant in Ligurian cooking, such as in Mesciua soup that also incorporates farro and olive oil. The classic pasta also has a foothold here, and Ligurian pasta includes trenette and trofie. One of the most popular forms of pasta is the delicious pansòuti, fresh pasta pockets. Once you have had your fill of savory dishes, turn towards the desserts! The traditional desserts of this region include pandolce genovese (traditional Christmas cake), amaretti (almond biscuits) and cubeli, which are tiny butter cookies. Wine connoisseurs will also enjoy Liguria as it home to vineyards and olive groves that produce first-rate extra-virgin olive oils and quality wines, such as Pigato from Salea d'Albenga; Ormeasco and Rossese from Dolceacqua; Ciliegiolo, Bianchetta, and Vermentino from Genoa; Albarola and Pollera Nera from the Riviera di Levante.
Vacation rentals at Liguria, Italy
If you have always wanted to visit Italy, Ligura is a good start for exploring and enjoying yourself. CuddlyNest can help you find that perfect vacation rental for your holiday. We offer a wide selection of properties like villas, entire houses, and apartments for all your accommodation needs, whether you are on a solo adventure, on a romantic getaway or with the family. Search with the help of our powerful filter and choose according to your budget and needs. With CuddlyNest, you will feel at home wherever you go!