The Italian Riviera, less developed than the French Riviera, is as good or even better a charter destination than its more illustrious French neighbor.
The Ligurian coastline, as it is otherwise known, is less busy and to me a bit more idyllic. Home to the quintessential Italian fishing villages, the coastline offers old world charm with its architecture, people and food. Coastal towns and steep hillside terraces covered in vines with bustling fishing ports are the heart of this coastline.
Liguria Stretches from the French Border, through the historical port of Genoa and down the coast past the popular towns of Portofino, Camogli, San Rocco and the Cinque Terre (Five Lands).
If you have never heard of Cinque Terre you have probably seen the iconic pictures of one of the hillside villages. This is how I came to visit this Unesco World Heritage site. While researching Italy for a summer holiday, I kept coming across these pictures of colorful fishing villages. When I found out where and what the pictures were about I told myself that is where we are going.
Cinque Terre is in the Liguria region of Italy, to the west of the city of La Spezia. It is composed of five villages: Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore. The coastline, the five villages, and the surrounding hillsides are all part of the Cinque Terre National Park and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Manarola is the village we choose to stay in and after visiting the other villages we firmly believe that we choose the best.
The best way to visit this area is to have your Captain take the boat to Genoa then take the local train out of Genoa or La Spezia. All day rail passes are available from the Tourism Office on the platforms. There is also a passenger that runs between the villages from Genoa’s old harbor, La Spezia and Portovenere.
Over the centuries, villagers have built terraces with olive groves and grape vines on the steep hillside right up to the cliffs that overlook the Mediterranean Sea. A co-op has been set up for farmers to profitably grow basil, garlic and pine nuts to produce local pesto. You can taste it in village restaurants, along with the area’s wines, freshly caught fish and local lemons – used in a favorite of the region, Limoncello – a sweet lemony liqueur.
Getting to Cinque Terre is an adventure in itself and definitely worth the effort.
Examples of 2 yachts available on the Italian Riviera this Summer:
DEBRA ONE 74 Feet. Based in the northern town of San Remo, you can easily zip to Monaco or down the coast to Cinque Terre to explore the small isolated villages that are still accessible only on foot – or by boat. This 4 cabin yacht is a great platform for water sports as well with crew who know the local hot spots for evenings ashore.
Sleeps 8 Guests in 2 Double(s), 2 Twin(s)
Online brochure and Rates
FEEL SO GOOD 62 Feet. Sailing catamarans have begun to hit the Italian coastline from the Caribbean, this new Lagoon is fresh and modern. The perfect platform for up to 8 guests and well-priced.
Sleeps 8 Guests in 1 King(s), 3 Queen(s)
Online brochure and Rates