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The Italian Riviera - Portofino, Santa Margherita, Rapallo

Updated: Sep 15, 2022

The Italian Riviera is located in the region of Liguria and is a narrow coastal strip that stretches along the Ligurian Sea from the Italian-French border in the north to the Tuscan border and Gulf of La Spezia in the south.

It's one of the most picturesque destinations in Italy that enchants with its breathtaking scenery, relaxing ambiance, mild climate, charming old fishing ports, colorful villages, delicious cuisine, pristine beaches and clear blue waters.

  • Some of the most popular places along the Italian Riviera include:

Ventimiglia, Sanremo, Alassio, Savona, Genoa, Portofino, Santa Margherita Ligure, Rapallo, Sestri Levante, and Cinque Terre.

Travelling along the Riviera is easy as there is a convenient railway line along the coast with stops at most of the places. You can also use bus or ferry services, and of course a car.

The nearest airport is Genoa's, though you can also land in Pisa or Florence and extend your journey by visiting these two beautiful and popular Italian cities, and then take a train or car and go to the Riviera.

  • Portofino is one of the most popular and charming towns on the Italian Riviera.

A fishing village in the past, nowadays Portofino is a famous, high-end resort that attracts many celebrities and people from the art spheres of life.

The place is best known for its picturesque harbor that hosts luxury yachts and fishing boats, and colorfully painted buildings lined along the shore.

The central part of the village is a small cobbled square that overlooks the harbor and is filled with highly-priced seafood restaurants and cafés. Luxury boutiques, upscale world brands and expensive luxury hotels are also well presented in the streets of Portofino.

To enjoy breathtaking panoramic views and to make stunning photos take the path uphill towards the Castello Brown, a 16th-century fortress and the beautiful Church of Saint George.

Castello Brown

The best way to get to Portofino is by water - taxi boat or ferry services.

There are regular ferry services from Santa Margherita and Rapallo and for the 15-20 min ride you can enjoy splendid seashore scenery and beauty.

Note that Portofino doesn't have a train station and the other option to get there is by road - car or bus, but as far as I know, the road is very slow and parking in Portofino can be difficult and expensive.

  • Santa Margherita Ligure is another beautiful town along the Italian Riviera.

It's located in the Gulf of Tigullio between Rapallo and Portofino, and about 30 km south from Genoa.

The place boasts a beautiful seafront promenade where you can take a long walk at leisurely pace and marvel at the beautiful pastel-colored houses and elegant villas on the hills.