The most beautiful towns on the Riviera di Ponente
The region of Liguria wraps itself like an eyebrow around the Tigullian Gulf and offers pure variety despite its small area! Along the coast and in the hinterland, you will come across charming towns that enchant their visitors with their unique charm.
Discovering the Charming Towns of the Riviera di Ponente
The flower town of San Remo on the Riviera of Flowers
The coastal town of Sanremo is in the province of Imperia and is the undisputed “Queen of the Riviera of Flowers”. Due to its particularly mild climate, Sanremo has always been a popular holiday destination – even during the winter months. The beautiful old town is nicknamed “La Pigna”, which means pinecone. It is situated on a hill and the arrangement of the houses below is reminiscent of a pinecone.
For a long time, San Remo was home to the largest flower market on the Ponente coast, which is why it is also known as the “Flower City on the Riviera”. The flower market still exists but on a smaller scale. However, flower lovers should not miss the “San Remo in Fiora” flower parade, which takes place at the end of January and has been held annually since 1904.
A special highlight of the coastal town is the Sanremo casino, which also hosts the annual music festival “Festival della Canzone Italiana”. The cathedral “San Siro”, the baroque church “Santo Stefano” and the “Santuario Madonna della Costa” are also worth a visit. The enchanting Sanremo was the centre of the life of the famous Nobel Prize founder Albert Nobel and he died there. The Villa Nobel can be visited.
The long promenade has a wonderful cycle path. The 24-kilometre-long cycle path leads from Ospedaletti via Sanremo to San Lorenzo al Mare and invites young and old to cycle. The Porto Vecchio, the harbour of Sanremo with its beautiful waterfront promenade, is also particularly worth mentioning.
The villages of Dolceacqua and Albenga
In one of the most beautiful valleys of Liguria, in the Nervia Valley, lies the small village of Dolceacqua. It has been awarded the orange flag “Bandiera arancione” and is one of the most beautiful villages in Italy. Dolceacqua is particularly famous for its bridge “Ponte Vecchio di Dolceacqua”, which already fascinated the painter, Monet. For the famous artist it was a “jewel of lightness,” and it even inspired him to paint a picture in 1884.
The bridge with its 32-metre arch span connects the districts of Borgo and Terra. Many of the small, narrow alleys are impassable for cars. The mighty 13th-century Doria castle “Castello dei Doria” is also well worth seeing. The main sources of income in the village are flower growing, olive oil and of course the famous red wine “Rossese di Dolceacqua”. The grapes for the Ligurian DOC red wine are grown in Dolceacqua and the surrounding area.
The beautiful town of Albenga on the Riviera of Palms, which joins the Riviera of Flowers to the east, has one of the most beautiful old towns in Liguria! The maze of alleys enclosed by the protective town wall holds a discovery around every corner: idyllic views into romantic backyards, venerable towers and small squares and churches.
The ten slender, red family towers form the striking silhouette of the village. They are unique in the region and were built in the 14th century for reasons of prestige by the richest families in the town. The highest tower is the “Torre del Comune”, right next to it in the “Piazza San Michele” is the “Torre del Municipio” and the church tower of the “Cattedrale San Michele”. The “Battistero” and the two museums on the piazza are also worth seeing. From here, the lively shopping street “Via d’Aste” invites you to take a stroll to the wide “Largo Doria” near the “Piazza del Popolo”. In the winding alleys, you can immerse yourself in the charm of Albenga.