The Riviera dei fiori is the coastal area of Italy from Cervo to Ventimiglia and is part of the Italian region of Liguria. Directly to the west, it joins the French Côte d’Azur. Barely in the hinterland of the western Riviera lies Dolcedo-Ripalta with its temporary houses.
The Val Prino in the hinterland of Imperia with the main town of Dolcedo is one of the most beautiful valleys of the Italian Maritime Alps of the Riviera and is climatically especially enjoyed because it is enclosed by mountain ranges in the north and opens out to the sea. This region of Liguria unites “mare e monti” splendidly. To the north, the mountains are higher, but to the sea they drop more gently than the “Cinque Terre” in Levante. One of Europe’s oldest cultivated landscapes, the home of the famous – because it is especially aromatic – yet rare Taggasca olive is here for a reason.
This district of northern Italy is climatically especially enjoyed. The area is characterized by its mild climate – in the winter, it can get up to 20 degrees, in the summer it rarely gets really hot. The transition periods from April to June and September to mid-November are especially mild and pleasant. It only rains briefly to immediately make way for the sun (the weather forecast for Dolcedo).
Everything grows and thrives magnificently here, whether in the olive grove – it is the northernmost olive region, vineyard, vegetable garden, or on the fruit trees – and everywhere, Mediterranean herbs are sprawling. Throughout the entire year, there is something that blooms, that is fragrant.
The landscape is charming. Here, you find both the sea and highlands – the Ligurian Maritime Alps – in a small space. On the coast, the fine-sandy bays alternate with precipitous, rugged capes, surrounded by crystal clear water. The immediate hinterland with its olive terraces and up to 1000-year-old olive trees form Europe’s most impressive cultivated landscape. Above 400m, you can find large oaks and chestnut groves across rolling alpine pastures.
The Riviera is reachable ideally from Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, whether by car, airplane, or train. It is the northernmost region to the open Mediterranean Sea.
Sanremo and Bordighera are classy beach areas of the Gründerzeit and the Jugendstil. During winter, the “haute volée” of the time withdrew here. For instance, Alfred Nobel died in Sanremo where he spent much time during the last years of his life.
Here, picturesque coastal towns such as Cervo, Imperia, Santo Stephano al Mare, or Ventimiglia are lined up along the mountainous hinterland. You will find idyllic towns with dense medieval house labyrinths such as Triora, Dolcedo, Civezza, Dolceaqua, or Apricale. Here, you can also find the Principality of Seborga, which is “independent” from Italy.
Today, the fantastic coastal bikeway – the disused railway – along the Ligurian coast connects the picturesque coastal towns between San Lorenzo al Mare and Ospedaletti. New bars invite you to stay and inhale the fresh sea air.
Today, both large districts of Imperia – Porto Maurizio and Oneglia – adorn themselves. Over the past years, one of the largest and most modern yacht harbours of the Mediterranean Sea was developed at Porto Maurizio. Here, a “Concorso d’Eleganza” of old wooden cruisers – the Vele d’epoca – takes place during the even-numbered years (2014, 2016). In the harbour of Oneglia, picturesque fishing boats and the romantic row of houses at the harbour provide an ideal set for the restaurants and international mega yachts that here, too, have more and more rendezvous. You won’t encounter mass tourism in Imperia.
The Riviera offers more than beach and bathing fun. It is not spectacular but beautiful. Ideal for relaxation and enjoyment at almost any time of year – pure life.
At the same time, it is the northernmost region to the open Mediterranean Sea and can be reached from all of Europe within a few hours.