Liguria is located in the northwest corner of Italy in a small ribbon along the coast. Bordered by mountains to the north and the sea to the south, the region’s landscape is as rugged as it gets, with a dramatic rocky coastline interrupted by coves, secluded beaches, and tiny ports dotted with fishing boats.
The Ligurian coast – known as the Italian Riviera – is divided into two sections by its capital Genoa, one of Italy’s most vibrant port cities and the birthplace of Christopher Columbus. Extending west of Genoa to the French border is the Riviera di Ponente, “the coast of the setting sun,” a stretch of coastline populated with laid-back family resorts. The coast east of Genoa is the Riviera di Levante, “the coast of the rising sun,” is home to the area’s most renowned upscale resorts, including Portofino, a picture-perfect seaside village that has attracted artists and celebrities for centuries.
This stretch of the Riviera is also home to the famous Cinque Terre, five fishing villages dating back to the early medival period that perch precariously along the sea. Cars are banned from the Cinque Terre; visitors can either hike the gorgeous trail between the towns or take a train that runs on a railway line cut through tunnels in the cliffside.
A Liguria villa vacation is for those who wish to get away from it all and enjoy the simple pleasures of sand, sun, and sea.
“When you visit Portofino, you must stop for a meal at Ristorante Puny, a charming traditional restaurant located right on the water. It’s not a very large place, so make reservations ahead of time.” ―Saffo, Managing Director, Italy Division
“For an apertivo, I highly recommend Winterose Wine Bar, also waterfront in Portofino. Enjoy fantastic wine, cheese, and snacks as you watch the people and boats go by.” ―Margherita, Managing Director, Italy Division