It’s the middle of July and summer is in full swing! Hotels booked, plane tickets bought and your stocks of sunscreen are replenished. Or not yet? If you still don’t know where you’re going to spend your summer vacation, we have a suggestion for you – head to Italy! And we don’t mean the famous Sicily, the over-crowded Rome, or the touristy Milan. Our suggestion will be less-known Liguria.
Liguria is the north-western part of Italy on the shores of the Ligurian sea. It is literally one huge beach, with picturesque hills in the background, delicious food, and famous sights. You won’t get Naples- or Sicily-like heat here, the temperatures are milder, which is a plus in summer. Moreover, the beaches are not as crowded as in Rimini of Toscana. In short, Liguria is a great choice all over!
How to Get to Liguria?
Genoa – the capital of Liguria – is easily reachable from any nearby big airport. Milan airports are the closest to Genoa, and there is a regular train connection between Milan and Genoa. The trip takes about 2 hours. Getting around Liguria is also easy thanks to Trenitalia trains. For example, the famous Cinque Terre, a picturesque group of villages on the cliffs over the sea, is just an hour and a half ride from Genoa on a fast train. Within Genoa, one can easily get around with the metro, buses or a funicular. Beware, however, that the metro closes at 9 p.m.
What to Do in Genoa?
There’s a lot to do and see in the capital of Liguria, and here are some of our favorite things there:
- Museum Street, where a cluster of palaces housing Musei di Strada Nuova is located. Inside, you can enjoy 17-century interiors and art expositions. A ticket to all the museums will cost 9 euro.
- A group of maritime museums called Mu.Ma – a must-visit for everybody who loves the sea and seafaring history. Entrance cost is 21 euro to all of them
- Aquarium – the star of Genoa museums. Here you can see some of the most curious and weird sea inhabitants. Some of them you can even touch should you want to. Plam to spend about 3-4 hours here, and the ticket price is 24 euros.
- A walk along the beautiful Nervi sea promenade. You can get there by bus or train from Genoa city center, the road will take 30-40 minutes. There are kayak rentals, restaurants and swimming places along the promenade, so there’s fun for everybody!
- Swim at the beach in Camogli. Beaches inside Genoa are not very good, so it’s better to travel to some of the satellite small towns, such as Camogli.
Liguria Outside Genoa
Tastes differ, but we’re of the opinion that Genoa is not the most beautiful place in Liguria, despite being a capital. The title should go to Cinque Terre – a colorful group of fishing villages nestled on the cliffs over the Ligurian sea. You can reach it by train from Genoa or La Spezia. Each village has its own beach, promenade, and numerous restaurants and hotels. And of course, there are crowds of tourists, so it’s advisable to go there early in the morning. There is a special train called Cinque Terre Express that goes between the villages, so you can easily visit 2 or 3 in a day.
Most importantly, you shouldn’t forget about another important sight of Liguria – its food! After all, this is the birthplace of pesto – one of the trademark sauces of Italy. Another famous local food is focaccia. Here you can find two types of focaccias. Focaccia di Recco is pizza-shaped with melted cheese inside, and focaccia Genovese is a more classical puff pastry. Both are delicious!