Following the famous poets along the Italian Riviera
Well, hey ho, I am now wondering how easy it will be in the future to reach some of destinations I write about for reasons outlined last week about the referendum, though I doubt Italy will be seriously difficult to holiday in.
So, on that optimistic note, this week I’m thinking about the Italian Riviera, so beloved of Byron and Shelley in times gone by, which begins on the coast of Liguria, near France’s Cote d’Azur.
Strangely, enough, it is not somewhere I tend to think about when I ponder on my next destination, but at the same time, it has an appeal that resonates warm, refined holidays, having experienced the southern tip at Viareggio.
Genoa is a busy port and harbour. Unfortunately the city took quite a blasting during the Second World War, but has been lovingly restored and you can see beautiful ornate buildings and churches behind all the modern bustle.
Also, Via Garibaldi, is quite a vision if you like impressive buildings and frescoes.
Places such as La Spezia are now big holiday business and quite thronged in summer along the stretches of golden sand.
The ‘Riviera di Ponente’ has lovely beaches and lots of greenery.
For example, Ventimiglia is a very picturesque little town alongside the classic city of San Remo which has an old fashioned grandeur to it, whilst the ‘Riviera di Levante’ region has cliffs and coves and is very beautiful.
Gorgeous Portofino, once beloved of 1950s film stars, has peachy buildings next to a lush backdrop of palms and cypresses alongside other exotic plants.
If you follow paths above the town, you can reach the Castello Brown which is an old fortress, or the beautiful garden overlooking the harbour –‘ Il Museo del Parco’.
I should also mention Le Cinque Terre (Five Lands) which comprises five fishing villages with multi-coloured houses, rather like an Italian Tobermory .
It’s exquisitely beautiful and protected as a national and marine park, providing the traveller with gorgeous views at every turn.
I suggest starting at San Remo and travelling along the Ligurian coast towards Le Cinque Terre.
As holidays go, this one is close to perfection.