Landscapes of Liguria
Between the Alps and the Apennines, a world of rock jutting out towards the sea
Mountains that arrive suddenly, surprising for their force, in a land where the sea can be thought of as close to the peaks: nevertheless, you are in the presence of mountains that are real and extraordinarily beautiful for their variety. Hardly any other land can boast the Alps and the Apennines together, and nowhere is there such close proximity between them as in Liguria, "stone altar ... between sky and sea" [...] scarce tongue of land that borders the sea, closes the arid back of the mountains, carved by sudden rivers" (Camillo Sbarbaro).
Heading west are the Maritime Alps, with their rugged slopes, harsh and adventurous landscapes, carved by fast-flowing rivers and waterfalls that run across those borders between Italy and France destined to stretch out towards the sea. Here too, as on the Ligurian coast, people and stones have made strange alliances with each other, the fruits of which are the villages nestled on the rugged heights. The mountain chain that rises in Liguria is the first of the Apennines. Here, the mountains of Liguria meet the highlands of Lombardy, Piedmont, Emilia-Romagna, and Tuscany, shaping a melting pot of memories and ancient traditions. Hidden places where Apennine culture and nature are still full and alive.
The Riviera di Levante, where the journey becomes poetry
An intriguing succession of places of sublime beauty, sources of eternal poetic inspiration: welcome to the Tigullio and the Gulf of Poets. When eyes rest on these lands and on this stretch of sea, they inevitably remain captivated and marked by intimate, profound sensations. In their intensity and fascination, these are places that give no escape... "the place was too beautiful, it did not seem of this land, the sea at our feet, its incessant murmuring and bellowing in our ears - everything invited the mind to meditate [...] to become familiar with the unreal". This is how Mary Shelley wrote of the Bay of Lerici. Places that cut the breath away and go directly to the heart: there is nothing taken for granted, everything is unexpected, visions capable of making everyone find their own thoughts of beauty.
The sea washes over a varied world where cheerfully tinted villages rival with nature to see who paints the most beautiful views. From Genoa to Sarzana, all you have left to do is set out to discover this constellation of splendid gulfs, renowned beaches and picturesque towns such as Portofino, Rapallo, Chiavari, Sestri Levante, Portovenere and Lerici, where you will leave your mind and heart.
The Riviera di Ponente, amid glamorous references and exotic suggestions
And all of a sudden the sea. "Superb emotions stir in me, when I see the sunset over the blue of the Mediterranean", is the way Charles Dickens used to express his amazement at that sea that washes the whole of Liguria and that he sailed across from the French Riviera to Genoa. On the deep, magnetic sea, rippled by winds or sea currents, is mirrored the Riviera di Ponente, remarkable in the variety of its settings and landscapes. In this piece of Liguria dotted with mediaeval hamlets, olive groves, vineyards and citrus orchards stretching far as the eye can see, and adorned with astonishing nature, rise the Riviera delle Palme and the Riviera dei Fiori.
The first covers the provinces of Savona, with Varazze, Spotorno, Pietra Ligure and Albenga, and Imperia, and extends for 70 kilometres of colourful coastline where rocky bays, sandy beaches, sheer headlands and rolling valleys protected by the Ligurian Alps alternate. The latter, whose beauty was also praised by Eugenio Montale, alternates between the quiet and intimate atmosphere of the hinterland and the joyfulness and liveliness of the shoreline where the delightful and vivid towns of Cervo, Diano Marina, Arma di Taggia, Sanremo, Bordighera and Ventimiglia follow one another.