Italy is made up of 20 regions, each with distinctive characteristics. Here, you’ll get an overview of Liguria to get you started on planning a Liguria trip.

The coastal region of Liguria may be little, but it packs a tourism wallop.

This is where you’ll find the popular fishing villages of the Cinque Terre, the ritzy seaside town of Portofino on the Italian Riviera, and the largest port in the country in Genoa. And yet, believe it or not, there’s more to this wisp of a region than just its coastline.

Liguria Basics

  • The Italian and English name for Liguria is the same, and it’s pronounced lee|GOO|ree|yah.
  • The demonym for people or things from Liguria is ligure (singular) or liguri (plural). This is one of the few instances in which the masculine and feminine are the same.
  • The capital of Liguria is Genoa, which is Genova in Italian.
  • Liguria is in northwestern Italy and shares borders with the regions of Piedmont, Emilia-Romagna, and Tuscany, the Ligurian Sea, and the country of France.
  • There are two UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Liguria – one covers part of the historic center of Genoa and the other stretches along the coast from Portovenere to the Cinque Terre and includes three islands.

Liguria Travel Tips

creative commons graphic by Otourly, modified by me

creative commons graphic by Otourly, modified by me

So much of the Italian peninsula is defined by coastline it’s tempting to think every region is focused on the sea. Few, however, as quite so dominated by shoreline as Liguria. The Ligurian Sea takes up nearly half of the region’s borders, but the landscape gets vertical really quickly. You might be surprised to find out that roughly 65% of the region is mountainous.

Towns along the Ligurian coast are often described as “cliffside,” which may give you an indication of the topography of the region. This is a place where the edge of the land is rocky and shoots up out of the water with basically no notice. There are a few beaches, sure, but most of Liguria’s shoreline is given over to jagged rocks, some of which have villages perched on them.

Five of the most famous of those villages are the Cinque Terre, which make up part of a National Park and are incredibly popular with tourists. Portofino, as part of the Italian Riviera, is one of those playgrounds of the rich and famous, though perhaps a bit less glamorous than Positano on the Amalfi Coast. Genoa is a major port from which many Mediterranean cruises begin, and therefore a transportation hub.

Getting around Liguria by train is relatively easy – each village in the Cinque Terre has a train station, albeit served by some of the slowest trains in the country. If you’re interested in getting beyond the main cities and towns, look at regional buses (you’ll need one to get to Portofino, which doesn’t have a train station) or perhaps renting a car.

Guided Tours in Liguria

These are affiliate links, which means I get a little something if you book one of these tours – but it won’t cost you anything extra.

Further Reading on Liguria:

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