Liguria - things to do
Liguria is served mainly by Genoa Sestri International Airport, accessible from many destinations around Europe. The area is also accessible via train services with the two main stations of Genoa Piazza Principe and Genoa Brignole. Upon arriving in the region, you’ll find that Genoa is served by the AMT bus service, La Spezia by ATC buses (linking you with the towns of Lerici, Chiodo and Porto Venere) and Imperia by Riviera Trasporti.
Though small in size, the region of Liguria is certainly not small in character. It boasts 340km of beautiful coastline known as the Italian Riviera, the stunning area of Cinque Terre, many tiny yet picturesque fishing villages, and of course its capital, Genoa, nicknamed La Superba, ‘The Super One’, a tribute to it being one of the great Mediterranean cities. Its four provinces of Imperia, La Spezia, Savona and Genoa include many fascinating and exciting activities. And in a region that borders the Mediterranean Sea, the Alps and the Apennines Mountains, everything you do here will be in the backdrop of natural beauty.
The list of things to do in Liguria really is endless. The exceptional seaside town of Porto Venere is a great day out. Its Gothic Church of St. Peter, Romanesque Church of St. Lawrence and The Doria Castle each comprise of fantastic architecture and history. Or how about the Hanbury Botanic Gardens? From Australian Trees to Cultivated Flowers, this is an equally ideal way to spend a relaxing afternoon.
However, the principal attraction of the region has to be Genoa. There are plentiful examples of why Genoa is one of the great Mediterranean Cities. It is a unique Italian experience but certainly a worthwhile one. It has all the classic features of a major western city with its cathedrals and its palaces, yet it still has its own distinct character and charm which neither Milan, nor Turin, nor Rome can match.
Genoa Aquarium is the second largest aquarium in Europe. Situated on the Aquario Village site, it is one of the best known tourist attractions in the region; it really does take you to a different world. The sharks, dolphins and penguins are accompanied by over 500 other species; they’re everywhere. Children in particular will love it.
They will also love La Città dei Bambini e dei Ragazzi, ‘Children City’, found on the same site, which has tons of exciting things to do involving games, science and technology. Particularly suitable for children under 10, they can play, climb and even pretend to host a TV news station! Aquario Village
also boasts the Museo del Mare, the Sea Museum. This is a museum for those more interested in the voyaging aspect of sea exploration. It is a tribute to the best of Italy, namely its explorers and its shipbuilders. As you set foot upon one of the enormous boats you can just imagine yourself as one of the explorers heading out to sea. As you enter the submarine, Nazario Sauro, the largest Italian submarine still afloat, you will get a unique perspective of this more modern means of sea voyage. The museum is a 23-room and four-floor tribute to exploring and to a time when European powers were discovering the New World, each floor taking you chronologically through the technical developments over time in the world of voyaging. Where better than Genoa to discover this world, for this is the birthplace of Christopher Columbus…
Fascinating museums in Genoa are not restricted solely to sea voyage. Il Museo d’Arte Contemporanea encompasses famous modern art work from the region and Il Museo d’Arte Orientale includes all manner of Japanese works, from weapons and armours to pottery and musical instruments. Furthermore, Via Garibaldi is one of the most extraordinary streets you are likely to find in the country with a wide variety of shops, churches, and museums, such as Palazzo Rosso, Palazzo Bianco and Palazzo Tursi. This walkway most definitely deserves its place on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, for just walking along it is a memorable experience.
If you’d prefer something a little greener, then Villa del Principe is the perfect place to spend an afternoon, wondering around the delightful gardens, and taking in the stunning architecture. True wonders of the European Renaissance are evident here. At one time in order to enter the private rooms of Prince Andrea Doria, you had to be of a certain rank, now its beauty is open for all to see. The Princess’ private rooms are equally beautiful. The tapestries, paintings and furniture are amazing. This is without doubt a visit you will not soon forget.
Heading out of Genoa, The Cinque Terre National Park, west of the town of La Spezia, offers a wide variety of panoramic walks. Beauty, adventure and culture are just some words that spring to mind when talking about this UNESCO World Heritage Site, which comprises of 5 villages; Vernazza, Monterosso al Mare, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore. Vernazza is particularly popular for its great restaurants such as La Torre, offering excellent views and great quality Italian cuisine, perfect for a romantic meal for two, or a great relief at the end of a long hike to this beautiful town. Or how about trying Angelo’s Boat Tours in Monterosso al Mare? It is a fantastic way to spend an afternoon or evening, enjoying the company of your Italian hosts, dining on fine food as you head off shore with views that you’ll struggle to find anywhere else. Elsewhere, the ancient town of Albenga oozes pre- Roman buildings, beautiful cathedrals and fascinating architecture in the midst of modern shops and restaurants; another great day out for anyone.
And finally, when it comes to events, Siena may have its Palio, Turin its skiing competitions, but Liguria has its very own Gulf Race. A tradition of the local population, and a great spectacle for tourists, it involves 13 boats, generally representing different towns of the region. The event is celebrated with parades and festivals, a tribute to the regions culture. Alternatively, you may find yourself in the midst of ‘La Torta dei Fieschi’ in the town of Lavagna. This celebration includes the re-enacting of a 13th century wedding and cake-eating on an epic scale. Or perhaps if you make your way to San Remo you’ll bump into its flower festival, a parade of colour and vibrancy that is always a great hit. In a region that is arguably most admired for its beauty, such traditions demonstrate how local culture sits comfortably within this beauty.
For places to stay in the region please see the selecion below or click for more
Cinque Terre villa Italy - Casa di Mare is a town house to rent near the Cinque Terre, set on the side of a hill, in a privileged setting in a lovely village, overlooking the bay of Bonassola. One of five units, it offers an ideal seaside location, with a five minute walk down to restaurants, cafes and the beach.
Price Range:£1215 - £2385
31 Aug-14 Sept: was £2,925, now just £2,545 per week!
17-21 September (4 nights): now available at just £1,280!
Bordighera holiday villa with sea views Liguria - Villa Claudio is a real find, in a fantastic location on the Italian Riviera near San Remo yet close to the French border, Menton and Monte Carlo.
Price Range:£1880 - £3295