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Artemest is proud to present the tenth stop in its ultimate insider’s guide to Italy: Liguria. Discover the shining gems of Liguria and its unique artistic and craftsmanship traditions.

Liguria is a land of nature, sea, culture and history. Its characteristic shape makes it unique: a long narrow strip of land that lies along the Mediterranean Coast, one step away from France. Nestled in the enchanting northwest corner of Italy, the “Italian Riviera” entices visitors with its charming fishing villages, breathtaking landscapes, and lush hillsides.

With its unique blend of natural beauty, rich heritage and culinary delights, Liguria invites travelers to discover its enchanting lands and immerse themselves in its vibrant coastal culture. Whether wandering through the vibrant streets of Genoa, exploring colorful villages on the coast or hiking wild trails immersed in the nature, here you can discover the real essence of Italian culture and a unique vision of the local art and craftsmanship.

Illustration by Francesca Consonni
Illustration by Francesca Consonni

What to See

Riviera dei Fiori – A captivating destination renowned for its enchanting floral landscapes, this part of Liguria stretches along the coastline, between Ventimiglia and its colorful gardens, Sanremo - the capital of Italian song and flowers - and the beautiful Bordighera, loved and painted by Monet during his travels around Italy. This coastline is among the most loved in the world, thanks to its stunning beaches and unique landscapes.

Genova – A city of art and culture, recognized as a UNESCO heritage site for its famous Palazzi dei Rolli, majestic examples of historic architecture. Steeped in history, Genoa’s narrow alleys, known as caruggi reveal their medieval charm and lead to hidden squares brimming with lively cafés and a collection of splendid Renaissance and Baroque buildings.

Portofino and the Tigullio – Part of Riviera di Levante, here you can find beautiful seaside towns such as Rapallo and Sestri Levante, enchanting places where you can discover the local culture in colorful streets and characteristic restaurants. Portofino, with its exceptional promontory and the bay of San Fruttuoso di Camogli, is a real postcard of Liguria.

The Cinque Terre – Five villages surrounded by lush Mediterranean scrub: Monterosso, Manarola, Corniglia, Riomaggiore and Vernazza compose a magical itinerary through a national parks and marine protected areas.

Golfo dei Poeti – Literature, culture and breathtaking landscapes make this gulf a unique gem of the Ligurian tour. Discover the city of La Spezia, with its center and mueums, and the stunning Porto Venere, with the beautiful Palmaria archipelago. The gulf takes its name from the large quantity of poets and writers that have passed through here, such as: Mary Shelley, Lord Byron, D.H. Lawrence and Virginia Wolf.

Panoramic view of Manarola
Panoramic view of Manarola
The streets of Portofino
The streets of Portofino

Traditional Ligurian Craftsmanship

Today Liguria is famous for its natural beauties and cultural destinations scattered around the region, but the local artisans and artists offer a window into its opulent history. Goldsmiths, carpenters, ceramists and many more artisans still work to preserve the ancient traditional craftsmanship.

Ceramics from Albissola - Walking through the historic center of Albissola, you can truly breath the bond of the city with art and crafts. This is the very heart of ceramic production, and you can find here the Promenade of the Artists, where more than 800 meters of streets overlooking the sea are covered with polychrome hand painted ceramic panels. Here Ceramiche Pierluca, Paolo Anselmo and Mazzotti 1903 have their atelier and give life to exquisite ceramic pieces that follows the tradition of Albissola.

Wood from Chiavari - Chiavari is renowned for its millennial forests of beech, cherry, ash and maple trees. These forests have supported wood-based crafts for centuries thanks to the sustainable harvesting methods employed by Italian lumberjacks. Here Fratelli Levaggi have been shaping wood for three generations, giving life to historic pieces such as the famous Campanino chair.

Leather from Genova - Genova is the very center of Ligurian culture and here you can find many small shops and artistic workshops. Giobagnara started working leather in 1999 and, still today, produces exquisitely crafted leather home décor pieces.

Where to Stay & Eat

Splendido Mare, Portofino – ​Once a humble retreat for fishermen, today ​Splendido Mare is a charming guest house characterized by a nautical signature style, reminiscent of its glorious past, and its location overlooking the beautiful sea of Italian Riviera. Stepping into this wonderful location it is impossible not to remain enchanted by the timeless charm of Portofino you can breathe inside. Accomplices of these feelings are the hidden terraces that capture the spirit of the harbor giving the guest a kaleidoscopic view of Riviera Ligure.

Langosteria, Paraggi – ​Located in the charming Bagni Fiore in the breath taking bay of Paraggi bay, just behind the renowned town of Portofino, ​Langosteria Paraggi is a splendid pieds-dans-l’eau fish restaurant surrounded by crystal clean waters and a luxuriant promontory. The dreamy location is one of the most beautiful and historical beaches of the Ligurian coast since 1927.

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