Once you’ve been to this famous Italian coastline, you’ll understand why it’s been stealing the hearts of visitors ever since poets in the 1800s wrote about its captivating beauty. In fact, its unforgettable landscape and coastal panoramas have been immortalised in artworks by painters such as Claude Monet, who was also taken by the region’s fauna and flora. |
But this is a destination that offers something for all kinds of people. With spectacular hiking trails, a fun music scene, delicious food and of course lovely beaches perfect for relaxing. An Italian Riviera excursion is a dream holiday for nearly every traveller.
Running along the northwest coast of Italy in the Liguria region, the holiday hotspot can be divided in two: the western part known as “Riviera di Ponente”, and the eastern part, “Riviera di Levante”, where you’ll find the renowned Cinque Terre, a popular place for an Italian Riviera excursion. Both parts are easy to get to with two airports to choose from and a railway line that runs throughout the whole region.
Visiting Cinque Terre
If you only have time for a one day trip from Florence, this historic group of fishing villages should be at the top of the list. The five picturesque towns, with their pastel coloured houses, run along the rugged coastline and are connected by one long walking trail (although not all of it is currently accessible). It’s only relatively recently that the communities became so famous and in 1997 the area was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which only adds to its popularity.
Set in the beautiful National Park, the towns of Cinque Terre are unique and special in their own way and should definitely make up part of your Italian Riviera excursion.
The largest of the five, this town also has the most facilities for tourists as well as the longest sandy beach, so this is a great choice for those who like to do watersports or just lounge on the sand.
Its photogenic natural harbour makes this village the most photographed of them all, despite its small size. It’s a bit quieter and carries special charm with its restaurant-lined piazza.
If you’re looking for something a bit more authentic, Corniglia is the place. The only town built away from the sea (high up on the cliffs), it offers incredible ocean views and is connected to the other towns by footpaths.
With colourful houses and great seafood restaurants, this place is all about romance with its famous walk on Via dell’Amore, which is a flat scenic path to Riomaggiore.
The final village is considered one the quietest of the five. It displays typical Ligurian homes and a lovely natural harbour carved between the ragged rocks.
With natural beauty, a long history and pristine beaches, no Italian Riviera excursion is complete without a trip to Cinque Terre. You should always make sure you book with a local tour operator, who will bring the place alive and create an even more special experience.
Mauro Bramante is the Director of WalkAbout Florence, an independent business offering unforgettable tours and excursions around Italy. We can also help with advice on things like an Italian Riviera excursion to the famous Cinque Terre. Whether you want to ride a Vintage Vespa, try the famous Chianti wine or get cooking with fresh local ingredients, Mauro's company promises excitement, adventure and above all, fun. If you're keen to experience the magic of Italy with the help of some passionate and knowledgeable tour guides, look no further than WalkAbout Florence for your next getaway.
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