Monday, July 25, 2011

Weekend on the Italian Riviera!


For the last four days, I have been in one of the most beautiful places in the entire world.  The Italian Riviera is famous for it's yachts, beautiful beaches, excellent seafood, and scenic views all around.  I was fortunate enough to be able to experience all of these things!  On Thursday, our whole group took a bus to Genova where we took a small walking tour and learned some history about the town.  Genova, like all of the other towns in the Riviera is located right along the Mediterranean Sea. 

View of Santa Margherita

A fountain in Genova

From Genova, we got back on the bus and traveled to Santa Margherita.  Santa Margherita is another town in the Italian Riviera.  Our bus ride was a little windy, but by the time we arrived at our destination, it was well worth the ride.  We pulled up on the coastline, right along the crystal clear blue water.  Immediately after disembarking the bus, we headed straight for lunch which for us was focaccia bread.  The Riviera is famous for focaccia, which is more or less a flatbread that can have toppings or even fillings.  Pesto is also famous in the Riviera region, so it made the most sense to get a pesto focaccia!  In Santa Margherita, the group stayed in two hotels that were right by a public beach.  We spent the rest of Thursday laying out by the Mediterranean. 

On Friday, we took a group trip to Portofino.  Portofino is the most famous of the Italian Riviera locations because it is the wealthiest.  In fact, while we were there a few people even saw Catherine Zeta Jones and Michael Douglas.  Portofino is rather small, and only accessible by boat, so we took a ten minute ferry from Santa Margherita to get there.  When we pulled up, the port was filled with yachts and sailboats galore!

We walked around Portofino past designer stores and expensive souvenirs up to a castle that sits atop a hill giving a spectacular view of the boats on the water.  From the castle, we even saw the villa that Dolce and Gabbana stay in when they visit!  Many spring/summer and or resort collections are designed with the Italian Riviera as inspiration, and it is clear to see why upon visiting.  

After spending the afternoon in Portofino, the group came back to Santa Margherita, and we were free for Saturday and Sunday to do our own thing.  I went off with a few friends back to Genova on Friday night.  Saturday, we did a famous hike amongst five villages along the coastline about an hour and a half from Genova known as the Cinque Terre (the five towns.)  Some towns are a twenty minute hike from one the next, but two of the towns are a 2 hour hike.  I didn't do the whole hike, but I had friends who hiked to each of the five towns and they said it took five hours!  Each village is distinctly different and quaint and they all have beautiful views of the sea.  I hiked to two of the towns, and took trains to the other three.  

On Sunday, we were back in Genova where we found the most beautiful private beach.  The water was amazing, it was so warm and clear, and the bluest of blues.  The beach was only a few hundred meters from where we were staying.  It was a fantastic beach day, and were not ready to come back to Torino for school, but we knew we had to.  

The weekend was phenomenal and filled with beautiful sites.  I highly recommend the Italian Riviera to anyone and everyone!

1 comment:

  1. Your pictures are STUNNING. LOVE the coastal photos. The Italian Riviera is simply gorgeous. Glad you had a great time!