The Italian Riviera includes chic resort town, hikes in the Cinque Terre fishing villages, and the gritty Renaissance port city of Genova

Liguria is the northwestern coastal strip of Italy, curling from the Apuan Alps of Tuscany, across the underbelly of Piemonte, and right up to the border with France's Côte d'Azur.

The Italian Riviera follows the Ligurian Sea along a narrow coastal band backed by mountains. At the center of the rocky coast is Genova (Genoa), the country’s first port and still its most important—a fascinating if gritty city that greets visitors with a remarkable assemblage of Renaissance art and architecture.

Some of Italy’s most famous seaside retreats flank Genoa on either side, from the tony resort of San Remo on France’s doorstep all the way down past Portofino and Rapallo to the famous string of fishing villages known as the Cinque Terre connected by hikable goat paths.

Liguria is famous for its pesto sauce, Christopher Columbus, foccacia sandwiches, and French-inflected resorts—all regimented beach umbrellas, casinos, and arts festivals.

Places in Liguria

Manarola, as seen from the trail (Photo © Reid Bramblett)

A traveler's guide to hiking the Cinque Terre (often misspelled—and mis-pronounced—"Cinque Terra"), a string of fishing villages on the Italian Riviera


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