Friday, June 11, 2010

The Other Riviera...

Yes, I admit it. I’ve become somewhat of a snob when it comes to the Riviera di Levante and all its natural beauty. But having the assignment with Fodor’s has opened my eyes to the other part of this gorgeous region, The Riviera di Ponente.

A brief geography lesson: Liguria is a crescent shaped region which hugs the NW coastline of Italy. It is really broken in 3 parts:

  • The Riviera di Levante - From Genova southeast to the Tuscan border, most famous for Portofino and Le Cinque Terre (and where I live)
  • Genova - Italy’s most underrated and one of its most beautiful cities
  • The Riviera di Ponente - From Genova northwest to the French border, most famous for San Remo, flowers and artichokes

While Levante has a rugged coastline dotted with colorful fishing villages and what I refer to as “little pirate coves”, the Ponente has more open, white sand beaches and in all honesty, is much more built up. In fact, this has always been my issue with Ponente. But I’ve been unfair.

If you can get past the industrial disasters of Savona and Imperia (I’m trying but it still makes me mad that the people let these places become what they now are), there are many charming seaside towns, resorts, some very nice hotels and quite a few interesting things to do and see.

Favorite Beach Areas:


Finale Ligure



Quality Accommodations:

Punta Est

Relais San Damian

La Meridiana

Even the Royal Hotel San Remo is worth mentioning for those looking to live the “high life” on the Riviera

Fabulous Food:

Magiargè in Bordighera

Ai Torchi in Finale Ligure

Bagno San Ampeglio in Bordighera

Ristorante Doc in Borgio Verezzi

Cool Things/Places to Do/See:

Hanbury Botantical Gardens

Grotte di Toriano

Olive Oil Museum


Isola Gallinara


Casinò di San Remo

So if you are heading to or from France OR just want a a nice “vacation from the vacation”, the Other Riviera is not such a bad idea...Buon weekend!

1 comment:

Anne in Oxfordshire said...

Hi Megan

I have been to The Riviera di Ponente and the little towns but never went to Genoa.. so yet to do, also need to do the other side Riviera di Levante.

I think we just wanted to experience all the little towns, and we did .. amazing I just loved it.