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Liguria is one of the smaller regions of Italy, noted for its beautiful landscape, mild climate, and delicious but healthy cuisine. It faces southward onto the Ligurian Sea, part of the Mediterranean Sea, and is defined to the north by the Ligurian Apennines and to the west by the Maritime Alps, with the interior only sparsely populated. The Ligurian coast is also called the Italian Riviera, divided between the Riviera di Levante to the east and the Riviera di Ponente to the west. The coast is lined with small towns, beaches and marinas, with hiking trails in the hills that rise from the sea.
liguria east coast
Eastward view of coast of Liguria from Genova-Sturla

Riviera di Levante

Eastern Coast

To the east of Genoa is the Levante (from levare meaning rising, as in rising sun). This part of Liguria is steeper than the western or Ponente portion, and has small towns and beaches, including towns such as Santa Margherita and Portofino, the Cinque Terre, and to the far east the town of La Spezia.


Portofino, originally a fishing village, now one of the most popular touristic sites in Italy as well as a stop for the rich and famous.

Cinque Terre

FIU students hiking out of Vernazza, one of the five towns of the famous Cinque Terre.
Riomaggiore, the most eastern of the five towns of the Cinque Terre.


camogli beach
Camogli, a seaside town close to Genoa that NYT called: “a rare unspoiled gem on the Italian Riviera” and placed it no. 25 on its "52 Places to Go" in 2019
Camogli, looking westward toward Genoa (March 2019)
The 'porticciolo' or small harbor of Camogli


bogliasco beach
A relatively typical beach of eastern Liguria: beach with small boats, row of houses, rail line (here elevated) that follows the coast, mountains in background, a Roman bridge in foreground
bogliasco shore
On the rocks, looking westward
bogliasco bar
Canopy waiting to be reoccupied by bar for the season, Portofino peninsula in the background

Riviera di Ponente

Western Coast

To the west of Genoa is the Ponente (from porre meaning put or set, as in setting sun). There is a more gentle topography, allowing towns to spread and more land for cultivation. Beaches tend to be larger, with sand instead of pebbles. Noteworthy towns include Pra' for basil cultivation and Sanremo for flowers.