Grimaldi to La Spezia along The Italian Riviera visiting Portofino
Portofino Harbour RP 34.
Located in the region of Liguria in northwestern Italy, the Italian Riviera stretches between the Italian-French border and Tuscany. The Italian Riviera itself is divided into two parts. East of Liguria’s capital city of Genoa, it’s called the Riviera di Levante (“the coast of the rising sun”). West of Genoa, it’s the Riviera di Ponente (“the coast of the setting sun”). The Riviera is narrow coastal strip of land which lies between the the Maritime Alps mountains and the Ligurian Sea. It is famous for its particularly mild climate and relaxed way of life which, together with the charm of its old fishing ports and the beauty of its landscape make this, a must visit place.
Starting at the French border border, this route soon arrives at the glitzy town of San Remo, Italy’s version of Monte Carlo complete with its own stylish casino. The well kept parks and green spaces have led to it being referred to as ‘The City of Flowers’.
From San Remo the route stays on the ancient Roman route from Rome to France known as the Via Aurelia it also uses the less glamorous title of SS1. People have been traveling this route since before 300 BC, although I doubt whether it would have been anywhere near as busy as it can be today. For this reason 2 wheels are better than 4 and scooters and motorcycles rule here and probably outnumber the cars. Don't let that put you off though, sections of this route WILL have traffic, embrace it, treat it as a taste of the real Italy. The azure blue sea is your constant companion and that alone outweighs any traffic annoyance. I have not suggested anywhere to stop for coffee or lunch, there are literally hundreds of cafes, bars and restaurants all along the route so I will leave this to you.

The Capo dell'Arma lighthouse, high up on your left at RP 5 is very visible, but not so visible, because it has it's feet in the water, is the Prarola tower at RP 6, this is the only remains of a larger 16th century fort. A second lighthouse up high on the left again is the Capo Mele Lighthouse at RP 11, from here you will also get a view of the island of Isola Gallinara further along the coast. Gallinara is a site of great interest due to its precious uncontaminated natural environment, combined with great historical and cultural value: in fact, since the middle ages, a Colombian and later Benedictine monastery was built there, then gradually the island was abandoned, to be occupied by the Germans and then released at the end of the Second World War. Up until the last decade Gallinara was inhabitant by a guardian, but today it is completely uninhabited. Some locals refer to it as Turtle Island as the islands silhouette mimics a swimming turtle.
The route stays on the Via Aurelia following the beautiful coastline as it makes its way to the capital of the area Genoa. I have included a link to the Hotel Puntabella at RP 22. I have friends who have stayed there and recommend it. It is just 30 kms from the bustling capital so it would be useful for anyone catching a ferry.

After passing through the big metropolis of Genoa, the route leaves the Via Aurelia SS1 and heads into Portofino. Arguably the prettiest fishing village in the world with its brightly coloured houses and neatly manicured everything. It is on a par with St Tropez for famous faces from the jet set. A quick Google of some of the names on the mega yachts might reveal who's in town. It is picture postcard perfect and even a quick visit must be on your list.

Returning back to the Via Aurelia SS1 and following the coast for a few more kms until you reach RP 40, from here the route heads inland, up hill and becomes exquisitely twisty, and is in stark contrast to the previous section of this route. The twisty road climbs and climbs taking you ever further from the coast, the palm trees that lined the town streets have been replaced with a forest of natural vegetation and the coastal views replaced with mountain views. The route ends at a hotel just outside of La Spezia, Hotel Nella and I have included a link for this. The location of Hotel Nella is ideally situated for discovering the Cinque Terre Natural Park.
Cinque Terre is a string of centuries old seaside villages on the rugged Italian Riviera coastline. In each of the 5 towns, colorful houses and vineyards cling to steep terraces, harbors are filled with fishing boats and trattorias turn out seafood specialties along with the Liguria region’s famous sauce, pesto.

I have awarded 4 stars for this route, the scenery is excellent and both roads and attractions are good.


View across Port Alassio and the island of Isola Gallinara or Turtle Island. RP 12.
Turtle Island
Useful links:
Hotel Puntabella
Hotel Nella
Route number 2

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Waypoint, used to construct the route
Sight, here you can see something
Viewpoint, a short stop for taking a picture
Stopping point, for hotel, lunch, etc
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Nick Carthew - (MRA Senior)
Ligurie
The images and text displayed here originate from the Wikipedia article "Ligurie", which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.
About this region
Liguria (, Italian: [liˈɡuːrja]; Ligurian: Ligûria [liˈɡyːɾja]) is a region of north-western Italy; its capital is Genoa. Its territory is crossed by the Alps and the Apennines mountain range and is roughly coextensive with the former territory of the Republic of Genoa. Liguria is bordered by France (Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur) to the west, Piedmont to the north, and Emilia-Romagna and Tuscany to the east. It lies on the Ligurian Sea, and has a population of 1,557,533. The region is part of the Alps-Mediterranean Euroregion.
3849
Amount of visits (Ligurie)
2
Amount of routes verified by RouteXperts (Ligurie)
50
Amount of downloaded routes (Ligurie)
Route collections
The route collections by MyRoute-app are collections of multiple routes that belong to each other and checked by MRA RouteXperts. All routes are identical for TomTom, Garmin and MyRoute-app Navigation.
11
Routes
2491.09
Kilometers
58.22
Hours
View route collection An epic tour down the west coast of Italy to Sicily
About this route collection
This tour of 11 routes has been designed to take you to many of the well known sites in Italy, it even includes some lesser known sites that I think you'll enjoy too.
When they can, the routes will take you as close as you can get to the sites, like the Leaning Tower of Pisa just 100 m from where you park, or the Ponte Vecchio bridge in Florence where you'll pass right by the end of it and one route takes you as far as you can go up the active volcano Mount Etna.
I said this is a tour of 11 routes and not 11 days because I think you should stop an extra night at one or two places to really enjoy everything that Italy has to offer. For instance; an extra night at La Spezia gives you the opportunity to visit the famous chain of five picturesque seaside fishing villages known as the Cinque Terre. An extra night at the volcanic crater lake - Lake Bracciano, will allow you to take a short train ride into the city Rome to see all of her sights. I'd like an extra night at Salerno to ride the Amalfi Coast road again and another at Cefalu on the island of Sicily to enjoy the spectacular coastline.
What better way to discover amazing Italy than on a road tour? With 80% of world heritage sites, an Italian road tour surely promises an experience worth living!
From a motorcyclist’s point of view, Italy is among the best places in the world to ride. Twisty roads, close distances between sea, hills and mountains – you only need to ride a few miles and the landscape changes completely. Excellent food, good weather and reasonable costs make Italy an attractive touring place for bikers. Reasonably priced hotels and B&Bs; have been used with links to these on each route review.

Route highlights:
Route 1: The Italian Riviera and Portofino.
Route 2: Pisa, Florence and Siena.
Route 3. Volcanic crater lakes and the Tuscany landscape.
Route 4. Twisty roads through the foothills of the Lepini mountains.
Route 5. The Amalfi Coast road.
Route 6. The equally spectacular Cilento Coast road.
Route 7. Tropea and the Coast of Gods.
Route 8. Climbing Mount Etna and the incredibly twisty road to Cefalu.
Route 9. Twisty roads and The Valley of the Temples.
Route 10. The pure white cliffs of Scala dei Turchi and the Selinunte Temples.
Route 11. The salt pans of Trapani and the Grotta Mangiapane.

The tour ends in the ferry port of Palermo where you have a choice to either take to the road to head off of the island at Messina or hop on a ferry. Ferry destinations from Palermo include Genoa in northern Italy, the Italian island of Sardinia where you can tour the island and hop on another ferry to France, or even take a ferry to Tunisia in North Africa. The choice is yours. I hope you have enjoyed this tour.