Many of the coastlines on Exquisite Coasts are those with stunning beaches... this one is a bit different. While there are some unforgettable beaches the main reason it's included is because of the scenery.
The coastline stretches from the borders of Tuscany towards Genoa. If you're not sure of of the geography there's a map at the foot of the page. We've focused on the loveliest areas to explore, starting with the Gulf of Poets...
The Gulf of Poets has inspired poets and writers for centuries, most famous of all are Lord Byron and Shelley. Here's more on what many rate as the loveliest Gulf in the entire Mediterranean...
Lerici has always been a favorite of ours, for nearly ten years we lived a couple of hours drive from here and spent most summer weekends exploring this gateway to the rest of this stretch of coastline; a coastline known as the Gulf of Poets. Read about the wonderful things that await.
The part of this coast that I've always loved most is the bit from Fiascherino to Tellaro. Tellaro itself is considered by experts to be one of the loveliest of all Italian towns - Why is it so fabulous? Our guide holds the answer.
If one of the loveliest of all Italian towns isn't enough don't worry we've another for you nearby...it's called Ameglia. Find out more here.
There are some lovely walks between the towns as well and all the way to Montemarcello. Get your walking shoes on and let's go!
Normally we stay in Levanto at the Oasi Hotel or the Villa Valentina (one of the best places I've ever stayed anywhere). I'll never forget the warm welcome and the wonderful aperitivo we received on arrival at Villa Valentina, the room was better than a five star hotel with the most comfortable bed I've ever slept in - in fact I wanted to take the bed with me when I left. The breakfast too was ... my word I could go on for hours about the breakfast but it's making me hungry so I'll move on...
...Levanto is a great base to explore the CinqueTerre, it's only ten minutes from the Cinque Terre on the local train that runs up and down this coast all day, and it's more affordable too.
If you'd rather stay in the Cinque Terre area, and want to stay in a hotel as memorable and unique as the coast itself, then book yourself into the Porto Roca (click for more info and photos).
Five tiny little fishing villages built upon soaring cliffs. The cottages are similar in color to the apricot and lemon trees that grow all about.
Come here in summer and the colors almost overwhelm. There's the turquoise of the Mediterranean below, on hills above are green vineyards, while the cottages of peach, apricot and lemon have red, blue, violet, yellow flowers growing everywhere – geraniums, bougainvillea, azaleas... too many to mention.
One of my loveliest memories is of the boat trips I've taken here, enjoying Prosecco and traditional aperitivi while watching the sun go down.
I'll never forget the way the multi-colored hues of the cottages seemed to turn golden as the sun sank below the horizon.
I'll never forget diving from the boat into a warm sea and swimming below a waterfall tumbling down cliffs into the Mediterranean. Here's how to make your own memories on a boat off the Cinque Terre.
These then are the towns that make up the Cinque Terre:
This is THE town in Italy for the rich and famous.
Despite that it's still lovely.
Of course you can spend a fortune but you don't have to. The picturesque little harbor and the gorgeous views over the bay from the surrounding hilltops are all free - here's all you need to know.
In Portofino nothing is really good value but the best option is the Albergo Nazionale.
The Cinque Terre Area