Italy’s main seaport is Genoa, which is easy reachable with public transportation, especially if you come from France, Pisa, Turin, Milan. There is also train station, airport and ferries which are always circling around. Coming to Genoa is a good start to start your traveling, and after that the next step is to visit the nearby villages.
Genoa has large historical value because of the large number of museums, churches and palaces. It is culturally developed city and has a lot of good shops, restaurants, coffee bars and a great number. Also Genoa is known for the second largest aquarium in Europe. The Italian Riviera between Genoa and Tuscany is breathtaking and it is worth visiting.
Camogli is a small village which is situated on a rocky outcrop. It is very good for fishing, so if you a fish lover you definitely should come here. The houses in this village are unique because of their various colors and they resemble Trompe L’Oeil treatments.
Carnogli has a beautiful beach which is good for bathing and it has a carousel and big square where people can relax while their children are playing. Carnoglis’ old town section is very interesting and definitely should be visited.
Every year in May a fish festival is held in Carnogli. This village also has train station but from Genoa can also be reached with ferry. From Carnogli you can go to San Fruttuoso, which is reachable only by sea. The travel takes only 3 hours. This village like Carnogli is good for fishing. From Carnogli can also be visited the village Portofino.
One of the most popular Italian Riviera seaside places for resort is the beautiful village Portofino, whose houses are painted with pastel colors. In the 1950 it was a hideaway of the rich and famous. Its seaport is half-moon shaped, which is surrounded with houses. In the harbor there are a lot of restaurants, coffee bars, shops and a small number of luxury hotels .
Castello Brown is located on the top of the hill from which there is a good view of the whole village. Portofino’s waters are crystalline green and are good for diving, swimming, boating and hiking. Getting to Portofino from Santa Margherita Ligure, Rapallo, Carnogli and Genoa is by ferry. Portofino also has a bus station, making the town easy reachable.
One group of beautiful villages is Cinque Terre which are situated along the coast and surrounded by woods, olive groves, and vineyards. Between this villages and in there hills there is a trail for hiking. In this village people can come by train, which passes through Genoa and Spezia.
Besides train these villages can also be reached by ferry from Levanto, La Spezia and Portovenere. To come in these villages you must pay entrance for using the trails which are in the national park. Europe Travel has a good guideline with pictures, so you will be introduced with everything that these villages have.
Also you need to buy Cinque Terre Card if you want to use to blue number 2 trails which connect the five villages. In winter and early spring sometimes these trails are closed because of flood damage. Spending a few nights in these villages is good experience, relaxing and escaping from the crowded cities. If you want to spend a night there you will have to book ahead because there aren’t many hotels.
Portovenere, Italian Riviera
Portovenere is a village crowded with houses painted with bright colors, with narrow medieval streets which lead through the hill from the city gate all the way to the castle. A beautiful church is situated in the highest point of the hill. This village is also called the Gulf of Poets.
There is one cave which is called Byron’s cave which leads to the see where the famous poet Baron used to swim. This village can be easily reached thanks to the ferries, hiking trails, bus station and train station. Palmaria is a island which stands across Portovenere and is famous for its beautiful beach and cavern.
via Flickr, by bast1en, license CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
La Spezia and Lerici
La Spezia is called the Gulf of Poets because it was visited by the most famous poets and some of them even died there. One of the poets who died was Shelly because his boat was hit by a storm. There is also cavern dedicated to Lord Byron situated where he used to swim.
Also Petrarch and Dante were fascinated by the beautiful natural setting of this village. Around La Spezia there are small villages and Lerici is one of them which has a old quartet and a castle. From Lerici San Terenzo can be reached by foot. There are also hiking trails which lead to small fishing villages like Tellaro, Montemarcello. Lerici can be reached by ferry which run mostly in summer.
There is also a big parking lot between Lerici and San Terenzo. From this parking lot you can walk from one village to another or you can go by shuttle bus. If you need some information there is information kiosk in this parking lot.
via Flickr, by Lars O., license CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
Tuscany, Italian Riviera
Although Tuscany is not known for having the best beaches, there are a lot of coast towns which have beautiful sandy beaches with clean water, One of the most beautiful villages in Tuscany is Versilia which is stretched from Liguria almost to Pisa. Apuan Alps are mountain ranges famous for marble production. Another well known resort is Viareggio the largest and most beautiful beach town in Tuscany. It is known for its best beaches, nightlife and seafood.
There are a lot of modern buildings, shops, cafes and a large number of seafood restaurants. In the past Forte dei Miami was one of the first beach resorts in Italy, but now it is not that popular for resort, it is popular hideaway for wealthy Italians. One of the beaches was chosen for one of the ten topless beaches in the world. In this town there is marble fortress which was built in 1788.