Tips and to enjoy Northern Italy’s Western Coastline
Liguria sightseeing includes some of Italy’s most scenic and picturesque destinations. The region occupies a sliver of a land along the Mediterranean Sea. The Ligurian Coast with its sandy beaches is a popular Italy vacation destination today and since ancient times. Art, sea, history and fun all come together here to make Liguria a fabulous Italy vacation destination.
Liguria is easily reachable by train directly from Milan. Trains reach Genoa, La Spezia, Santa Margherita, and Cinque Terre’s Monterosso. From Florence and Bologna it is accessible by train via La Spezia. To see trips to the area check out Northern Italy Tours.
Liguria Travel Guide Video
For more information about visiting Liguria watch the Liguria travel guide video below. It includes destinations and Liguria vacation ideas.
The Liguria travel guide map includes locations of the region’s sightseeing highlights.
Liguria Travel Guide Map
The Liguria travel guide map is interactive. Click the upper left corner of the map to display the Liguria sightseeing points of interest. Liguria’s hidden gems are nice destinations for a relaxing northern Italy vacaton. Seaside towns and fishing villages delight all visitors.
Liguria Sightseeing Highlights
Liguria is a beautiful region. Its location along the picturesque northwest coast of Italy provides perfect vacation weather. The region offers travelers stunning landscapes, rich history, and vibrant cultural offerings.
Liguria includes the Italian Riviera coastline to medieval hilltop villages. Its destinations offer a myriad of sightseeing highlights. each telling a unique story and catering to a diverse range of interests. Many destinations are worth visiting.
Bordighera is one of the most refined localities on the coast. On clear days, the views seem endless. Look out to Arma di Taggia in the northeast. And view Monte Carlo to the south west.
Bordighera proudly exports its lovely palms to the Cote d’Azur.
One of the most popular vacation destinations in Liguria is the Cinque Terre Villages area. The Cinque Terre is an area along the Ligurian Sea where there are five picturesque towns. The Cinque Terre towns are Monterosso, Vernazza, Maranola, Corniglia, Riomaggiore. Each is overlooking the sea from from rocky hillside locations.
Connecting the villages is the Cinque Terre national park. A popular activity is to walk the hiking trails through the national park that connect the seaside villages. Or for those not thrilled about hiking then there is a ferry that travels among the towns.
Genoa, the capital of Liguria, boasts a rich maritime history and a vibrant cultural scene. Although not inundated with tourists, is a world class destination. The city includes important museums, mansions, and a long history.
Genoa’s historical center is the largest in Europe. Noble palaces, splendid churches and a maze of alleyways called “caruggi”, which open onto beautiful small squares, attract tourists.
The Genoa Aquarium is one of Europe’s largest. It showcases an impressive array of marine life. Families and marine enthusiasts enjoy the aquarium.
Next to the Aquarium is Old Harbor. Famous architect Renzo Piano redesgned it. Today it is an entertainment area with museums, cinemas, cafés and also a beautiful promenade along the sea.
A UNESCO Wolrd Heritage site in the city center is “Strade Nuove”. Here, Genoese aristocrats built noble villas in Renaissance and Baroque style. The aristocrats built them to show Genoa’s greatness to the world.
Today, locals call the villas “Palazzi dei Rolli”. The Palazzi dei Rolli is a collection of 42 palaces. This UNESCO World Heritage site provides a glimpse into the city’s opulent past.
Genoa’s Lanterna, a historic lighthouse, stands tall as a symbol of Genoa’s maritime heritage.
Liguria boasts an array of museums and historical sites. The Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Genoa houses a diverse collection of Italian and international contemporary art. The museum provides a cultural feast for art enthusiasts. To learn more visit the Museo d’Arte Contemporanea di Villa Croce website.
Among the many high-quality Liguria sightseeing highlights is the Italian Riviera. The Ligurian coast west of Genoa is the Italian Riviera Ponente. The Riviera delle Palme and the Riviera dei Fiori are on this coast. The area east of Genoa is the Riviera di Levante.
To learn more about these area visit the Italian Riviera beaches page.
La Spezia is primary city in eastern Liguria just north of Tuscany. Many cruise ships disembark here to allow cruises to day trips to the Cinque Terre and north eastern Tuscany.
Sightseeing highlights in La Spezia include the hilltop St. George’s Castle. The castle houses an archaeological museum with artifacts from prehistory to the Middle Ages. The nearby Amedeo Lia Museum exhibits paintings, bronze sculptures and illuminated miniatures in a former convent.
Porto Venere and Golfo dei Poeti
Porto Venere is charming seaside town located just north of La Spezia and south of the Cinque Terre. The ferry that runs up and down the Cinque Terre includes Portovenere on its route. The boat trip along this coast makes for a delighful day full of picuresque views back to the coastlne.
Just off the its coastline is the Golfo dei Poeti. The romantic poets like Shelly and Byron made their home here. Thus its name.
The town captivates visually. This medieval village blends colorful houses, ancient churches, and labyrinthine streets leading to breathtaking viewpoints. The Gothic-style Church of St. Peter stands stands at the edge of a rocky promontory. From there enjoy unparalleled views of the Gulf of Poets.
Climbing up the hill above the town is Doria Castle. Built in the early 12th century, it is example of Genoa’s military architecture. It
Porto Venere serves as a gateway to the nearby islands of Palmaria, Tino, and Tinetto. These islands form part of the regional natural park. They add an extra layer of exploration to the Ligurian experience.
Another facet of its beauty is in its inland treasures. The Apuan Alps beckon hiking enthusiasts and adventure seekers. These mountains form a natural border between Liguria and Tuscany.
Dolceacqua, nestled in the Nervia Valley, captures the essence of medieval allure. Its stone bridge, ancient castle, and the picturesque Piazza della Chiesa captivate visitors. Its landscape enriched by lush olive groves and vineyards. This adds a touch of Med authenticity to the inland scenery.
Santa Margherita Ligure
Santa Margherita Ligure beckons travelers with its timeless elegance and scenic beauty. In the harbor right in the center of town colorful fishing boats bob gently in the crystal-clear waters.
its palm-lined promenade is perfect for a long stroll. Enjoy the moments taking in the charming pastel-colored buildings that characterize the town’s architecture.
Afterwards, wander through the quaint streets of the old town, discovering hidden boutiques and cozy cafes. Indulge in the region’s culinary delights at waterfront restaurants, savoring fresh seafood and locally-produced wines.
Cultural travelers may visit the Basilica of St. Margaret of Antioch.
Nature lovers hike up Castello Brown. Perched on a hill overlooking the town offering breathtaking vistas of the Ligurian coastline.
Sarzana is a quietly spectacular town. It lies in Liguria on the border with Tuscany. The Magra river passes to the east. The sea is a short distance away.
Basilica Cattedrale di Santa Maria Assunta is a Romanesque Gothic cathedral. Inside you’ll find Cross of Maestro Guglielmo, dated 1138. Experts note this cross as the oldest example of monumental painted panel (dipintura) cross. This crucifix portrays Jesus as the Christus Triumphans.
The central square Piazza Matteotti includes local trattorie and osteria. Stop to enjoy a nice lunch in this quiet town.
Ventimiglia, a picturesque town nestled on the Italian Riviera, offers a charming blend of history, culture, and natural beauty.
Begin your journey by exploring the historic Old Town. Here narrow cobblestone streets wind through medieval architecture. A sightseeing highlight is the impressive Romanesque-style cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta.
The town’s local markets provide travelers an authentic look into local life. The vibrant Friday Market filles the with the aromas of fresh produce, flowers, and local delicacies.
For a tranquil escape, visit the Hanbury Gardens. This botanical masterpiece overlooking the sea, boasts a diverse collection of exotic plants.
Don’t miss the opportunity to savor authentic Italian cuisine at the local trattorias, serving delectable seafood and regional specialties. It’s stunning coastline, historic landmarks, and culinary delights, promises an lovely travel experience.
Liguria’s sightseeing highlights offer an enchanting experience for every traveler. Seaside towns, fishing villages, the natural beauty of the inland landscapes, and artistic and culinary delights of its cities.
Hikers and sightseers enjoy the sun-kissed villages of the Cinque Terre. Jetsetters like the sophistication of Portofino.
Genoa attracts cultural and city travelers.
Liguria extends an invitation to immerse oneself in its unique blend of culture, history, and breathtaking scenery.
This region, with its timeless charm and diverse attractions, promises an unforgettable journey. Travel through the heart of the Italian Riviera. For those who venture into its embrace, they leave with indelible memories.
Liguria Food and Wine
Culinary enthusiasts will find Liguria to be a gastronomic paradise. Here the bounty of the land meets the treasures of the sea. The region provides fresh seafood, fragrant olive oil, and the iconic pesto.
The villages have a famed culinary tradition. In Recco visitors indulge in the local specialty focaccia. local cheeses and cured meats paid with this traditional Ligurian flatbread.
Pesto is homemade from the pine nuts, basil, and olive oil native to the region. The combination creates a delectable gastronomic experience.
Around the region enjoy charming seaside trattorias and traditional osterias. Or find one tucked away in the cobblestone streets of medieval villages. All beckon visitors to savor the authentic flavors of Ligurian cuisine.
Tours of Italy that include Liguria
For more information about touring Italy check out our Italy travel guide.