Where is the Italian Riviera? And What is It?

The Italian Riviera is a top-rated destination in Italy because of its stunning scenery and seaside. What is the Italian Riviera? This is what you need to know in order to plan your trip to this beautiful stretch of coastline.

What is the Italian Riviera?

Vernazza is a jewel of the Cinque Terre and the Italian Riviera. Photo by Peter Stewart Photography

The Italian Riviera is simply a stretch along the coast. It is also a fascinating mix of history and breathtaking views, colorful homes, and delicious regional cuisine.

It’s no surprise that lovers of la dolce Vita, artists, writers, celebrities, and royalty have been flocking since the 1800s to this glamorous destination. You will find something for everyone here: beautiful hiking on the Cinque Terre; music and glitz at Ventimiglia’s open air markets; parks in Portofino; and many charming waterfront towns that stretch along miles of blue water. There are many other activities available.

Summer is the best time to visit the Italian Riviera to relax on the beach. There are plenty of things to do even in the off-season. The winters are mild and ideal for exploring the stunning museums and parks of the Italian Riviera. The above photo of Cogoleto’s beach was actually taken in winter! ).

Where is the Italian Riviera located?

We’ve convinced you of the beauty and charm of this beautiful corner of Italy. Now, ask yourself where it is.

The Italian Riviera is located in the northern corner of Italy in the region Liguria. It runs along the Ligurian Sea from the Italian-French to the Tuscan borders. (Would you like to learn more about Tuscany and Liguria? Our guide to Italy is a must-read!


Map of the Italian Riviera from the French border in west to La Spezia (in the east).

The Italian Riviera is split into two distinct parts. It’s located east of Genoa (the capital of Liguria), and is called the Riviera di Leone (“the coast at the rising sun”) It’s west of Genoa the Riviera di Ponente, which is “the coast of setting sun”.


The capital of the region is Genoa, at the port of Genoa. Photo by mariejirousek, Flickr

It doesn’t matter where you travel in Italy, it can be easy to reach the Italian Riviera. Genoa is home to an international airport and central train station. There are many trains from Milan, Florence and Rome. It also has a port where cruise ships can dock from around the world. Genoa is a great starting point to explore the rest of the region. If you plan to use public transport in the area, make sure you check out our guide to the Cinque Terre train. ).

Are you ready to begin the journey? Ventimiglia and Sanremo are some of the most popular destinations along the Italian Riviera. These include Sanremo and Alassio as well as Savona and Genoa. This coast is full of beauty, but it is also fascinating because every town is different and unique.


Savona is a beautiful town on the Italian Riviera. Photo by Tiziano Caviglia


Are you a frequent traveler to the Italian Riviera? What were your impressions? Comment below!