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The Italian Riviera



Geographically, the term 'Riviera' refers to the long narrow stretch of coastal land peacefully nestled between the Alps and the Mediterranean Sea extending from southeast France to northwest Italy. From east to west, therefore, this long stretch is divided between the equally beautiful shorelines of the French Riviera and the Italian Riviera.

The Italian Riviera — A Rich Paradise of Scents and Colours

Although its French counterpart, the French Riviera, unfairly holds much of the praise and renown, travellers who have had the good fortune of experiencing the luxurious warmth and crystal clear blue waters of the Italian Riviera attest that it is equally, if not more beautiful, than its famous neighbour due in part to the absence of massive tourist crowds. This positive state of affairs has enabled the beautiful coastal region of Liguria, more popularly known as the Italian Riviera, to preserve its pristine environment and create a dream-like atmosphere conducive to the enjoyment if its historical richness. The term 'picture perfect' finds its true meaning in the 200 miles of attractive and eye-catching stretch of coastline located in the northern part of Italy

Located in the region of Liguria, the Italian Riviera coastline stretches from Ventimiglia in the west near the French border to Genoa at the center, and ending just beyond Cinque Terre in the east at Portovenere.

Lying quietly along the Mediterranean shore and sheltered by the Maritime Alps and Ligurian Apennines to the north, this coastline paradise is well known for its mild weather, crystalline blue waters, soft sandy beaches and magnificent craggy hillsides overlooking the ocean.

At the center of the Italian Riviera sits the Ligurian capital, Genoa, the largest commercial port in Italy, which divides the region further into two sections; the Riviera di Ponente or Riviera of the Setting Sun, which extends westward from the French border all the way eastward to Genoa at the center, and the Riviera di Levante that spans eastward from Genoa to Portovenere. The Riviera di Ponente is home to San Remo, a fancy seaside resort whose Pigna hill offers a breathtaking view of the Ponente and Levante and which also houses the glittering San Remo casino.

Other towns located west of Genoa include Albenga and Ventimiglia, both important centers in Liguria during the time of the Romans that now serve as sites for historical landmarks and remnants of ancient and medieval civilisation.

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