Top 5 Charming Italian Places You Should Visit in Liguria
When you are in the north Italy you need to make sure you visit Liguria! It is located in north-western part of Italy just at the border of France. You cannot miss it as you have to visit Cinque Terre for your proper Italian experience. This is well known recommendation for the top (essential!) things to see in the north Italy and I agree…but when I finally got there I have seen and discovered that Liguria itself is actually a very interesting and beautiful part of Italy and there are other places you should visit when exploring this region.
Liguria has it all: mountains, steep cliffs, Mediterranean Sea, stunning flora and fauna and magnificent landscapes, many historical monuments with its rich historical heritage. Moreover, Ligurian Riviera is famous for the cultivation of flowers which are not only to be admired but mostly they have been used for the production of aromatic essences. That is one of the reasons that the region of Italy has been named the Riviera of Flowers.
This Riviera is pretty big. It covers 317 km long mostly rocky beautiful and fascinating coastlines. It starts at the French border in the west of Italy and run up to the city of La Spezia. Liguria offers so much: the sea & both: rocky and sandy beaches so you can choose it for the relaxing summer holidays. It is also a dynamic region so you can spend more active time here: hiking in the mountains, enjoying water activities, admiring fascinating landscape and steep cliffs while talking a walk. On top of that thanks to the famous local history you can find there the impressive buildings, elegant mansions and magnificent religious monuments and many attractions classified as World Heritage Sites by UNESCO you can do some interesting sightseeing if you like more active holidays. But mostly feel free to mix all the experiences: relaxing, resting, discovering something interesting each day and getting fit while hiking & walking! What are your real likes and preferences? Whatever they are, let me help you decide where to go in Liguria. As I mentioned, there are many places to visits but let’s focus on the Top 5 Charming Italian Places You Should Visit in Liguria!
Top 5 Charming Italian Places You Should Visit in Liguria
- Genoa is the biggest (the most expensive) city in the region. It’s the capital of Liguria, thanks to its historic centre, it is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, and declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO since 2006. What is more, thanks to this incredible heritage of art, history, literature, music and culinary tradition, Genoa has received the role of Capital European City of Culture in 2004. The city is packed with the large complex of religious buildings, many of which were built as chapels. The most outstanding sites all worth visiting are: the Cathedral of San Lorenzo, the Santissima Annunziata del Vasto and the Basilica of San Siro, as well as Palazzo Ducale, the ancient harbor, the Teatro Carlo Felice. While in Genoa, make sure you also stop at the Aquarium, one of the most complete and technologically-advanced marine life centers in Europe – it is one of the top (essential) things you should do. And this is not all about Genoa, since ancient times Genoa has played an important role in the Italian trade and commerce of Italy especially thanks to its big port, the most important port in the whole country.
- Cinque Terre is an amazing complex of 5 charming and magnificent seaside villages and has been credited with the title of the heritage UNESCO Site. The land of 5 stunning towns of Manarola, Riomaggiore, Corniglia, Vernazza and Monterosso, covers 18 km (11.2 mi) of rocky coast of steep cliffs, blue sea, green fields and passages, colourful houses, small and charming little streets and paths and creates create a unique scenery. And this is not all, the Cinque Terre complex is rich in history, culinary traditions and breathtaking sceneries. An experience not to be missed!
- Porto Venere and the islands of Palmaria, Tino and Tinetto are another UNESCO Site in Liguria (since 1997). I would say it is even better then Cinque Terre towns, the seaside Portovenere, is an ancient fishing town. It has it all and even more! The colourful buildings, one next to the other, deep blue sea, walking paths, sandy beach, ruins and walkable hill of rocks with a charming little church on top and sunning view! There are just a small number of souvenir shops, few beach bas and many easy and affordable restaurants which serve sea food and fish (on top of pizza and pasta which is being served everywhere in Italy!). So the spirit of the small village is not spoilt by the crowds, touristic hacks and creates relaxing atmosphere. I loved their small charming and narrow typical Italian streets and its historic center, rich in natural heritage. I also liked the religious architectural complexes to be admired, such as the impressive parish church of San Lorenzo, the Sanctuary of the Madonna and the White the Church of San Pietro, built in Genoese gothic style– all to be visited!
- La Spezia is the capital city of the province of La Spezia. It is the second biggest city in the Ligurian region, just after Genoa and it is one of the main Italian military and commercial harbours. It is important city because it hosts the arsenal of the Italian Navy, has an interesting museum of Palio del Golfo, and most importantly it has the railway and boat links with Cinque Terre. And this is its ‘selling’ point, there are so many tourists who come for Cinque Terre and resist in La Spezia! It’s an understandable benefit as the city is situated minutes to the east of Cinque Terre by train and so it helps you save money and time when travelling. The English speaking Information Stands are very helpful and nice to provide you all the information and give advice,
- Portofino is another picturesque village of the Liguarian Riviera. It is a real pearl in the coast. It attracts tourists from all over the word by its beautiful squares and narrow streets full of colours and posh shops. The village has an important natural heritage, as well as some religious architectural complexes worth-visiting. While in Portofiono, make sure you go and admire the famous Parish Church of San Martino, located in the oldest suburb, the church of San Giorgio and the Oratory of Our Lady of the Assumption. When you plan your holidays have a look at the ‘News and Activities’ Calendar recommended by the city. There are many tourist and cultural events that are attended by important personalities from the world of culture and entertainment. One of the most important is the Festival of San Giorgio, where you can experience the folklore and the delicious local cuisine of this region.
So again, it has been a real struggle to choose only 5 Top Charming Italian Places to visit in Linguria but we cannot do and see all. Limited with time and budget I could visit this time only few but i managed to get the feel and atmosphere of charming Linguria. I hope you can make your own selection of places to visit in this Italian region and will enjoy it as much as i did. Happy holidays!