Discovering Ligurian coast in Italy…Italian Riviera
When you are in Italy, it is easy to like the town, like the food, like the people. Top that with beautiful, azure sea line, small local beaches and make yourselves welcome to Liguria.
We always think about Positano, Amalfi or Portofino when we think about Italian coast. Last year, I drove along Genova to Noli and then from Genova to Menton. This route is also called Italian Riviera but if you want to act like a local just call it Liguria.
Selecting Finale Ligure as the base for this ancient sea kingdom stay was the best choice to optimize logistics. You instantaneously feel like a local there and of course it helps not to see too many tourists around. The town is dominantly occupied by Italians and their summer houses. Food is great, cuisine mostly dominated by seafood, pasta, pines and basil. (Pesto sauce rings a bell I hope). And it is locally cheap.
You get to spend your days in total laziness, under sunshine, getting up just for a quick splash or an ice cold frappucino. Or you may just enjoy people watching in piazzas with aperotivos at hand. Getting lost in small streets only to find the most amazing ristorantes serving not only amazing Mediterranean food but Mediterranean hospitality. The perfect ice cream shops that you won’t hesitate to queue every night. The only regret you may have could be not owning a beach house there, but then you will find consolation by telling all the hotels are your oyster. it is a white, white lie and in reality you admit having a summer house there would just have been perfect.
Staying in Punta Est in Finale Ligure was a charming experience in itself. However,we drove to even smaller towns around especially to Noli and spend many of our days there. And it was always worth the effort.
Italian Riviera was really popular till 60s but then somehow Its French cousin (Cote D’azure) stole all the glamour and become the popular one. I did not see any Italians to complain though. Yes, the towns seem to be stuck around 70s but this brings a new level of cuteness to everything. And we are talking about Italy, everything is old and coming with a heritage.
Writing these lines I just want to beam back there but not without my reco list.
Stay where we stayed: Hotel Punta Est. A lovely boutique hotel in Finale Ligure. Reflects old school glamour. Wonderful terrace and outdoor areas in general.
Eat where we ate: For local, cheap and amazing seafood Sapero di Mare, for Michelin experience and great scenery Ristorante Il Vescovado in Noli, For award winning pizza La Buona Luna in Loano. For great ice cream, do not skip Il Dattero in Finale Ligure. Totally worth the queues.
Beach: Anywhere you can put your sea towel is just fine, but we always went to Vittoria Club in Noli. Clean, lovely and offering evening yoga classes if you are interested.
Cool Factor: Italian everything