The Italian Riviera List
Liguria favorites—hiking to lunch in Cinque Terre, affordable rooms with a view in Portofino, architectural gems and antiques in Genoa, and everyone’s favorite boat-in beach with nonna-made lasagne
It’s the time of year when everyone starts talking about their summer plans, or their lack of them. Thankfully, this year seems to have less of a Must-Travel-to-All-My-Favorites-I-Missed frantic energy, and I’ve heard so many people say, especially after last summer’s crowds, that they would rather stay local and to do their bigger trips in the off season. But for those who are looking for somewhere different to explore in Italy, that is easy to get to, has incredible beaches and some of my favorite food, we thought we’d talk about the Italian Riviera! It seems that everyone knows where the French Riviera is, as well as Amalfi and Puglia—but Liguria (aka the Italian Riviera), less so. Yes, of course they know Portofino and Cinque Terre, but that’s probably it. Getting technical, the Italian Riviera is basically the Mediterranean coast between the border of France and Tuscany, and stretches 218 miles. That’s a lot more coastline than the Amalfi.
I’ve been to Liguria many times, usually just driving through (I added my favorite stops towards the end of this list!), and I love it. But I also turned to some of our contributors who’ve spent time there more recently, or have written about it for us in our print edition, as well as a few local friends, to get their favorites. As with all of our lists, as we get more recs (including yours, which we hope you will add into the comments) we will keep updating it. Buon viaggio! (most recent update May 7, 2023)
DISPATCH FROM…CINQUE TERRE & PORTOFINO
Last summer, my husband and I went to Italy for a close friend's wedding—the couple had met in London and now live in Bergamo, where he's from. We decided to leave the kids at home and travel in Italy for a week before the wedding. It was late August so we wanted to do the seaside, and a friend from Milan suggested we visit Cinque Terre and Portofino so we could remain in the north to avoid the worst heat while also