If you love Italy and you have already visited the most famous must sees, you are probably looking for some new destination, that allows you to enjoy the real Italian lifestyle, to see beautiful and less crowded places, to taste traditional recipes, meet local people and hear their stories.
Liguria is a perfect destination for all of this, with its fishing villages, country hamlets and the amazing coast with beautiful sandy beaches and secluded coves, not to mention hidden pearls like Genoa with its authentic medieval historical center rich in contrasts, with noble painted palaces (read more here about the Rolli Palaces) next to incredible centuries old shops (discover more here).
But Liguria is also a perfect base to visit other Italian regions, so that Cinque Terre, Portofino and Genoa can be combined with other beautiful destinations that you can reach in a maximum of 2 hours.
LIGURIA AND PIEDMONT
In a few time you can reach the Barolo and Langhe area, famous for its castles, wines, cheese and truffles. Rolling hills and medieval villages: Alba, with its towers will fascinate you, Barolo, Barbaresco, Serralunga and more with amazing ancient castles.
This is the area where Slow Food was born and it is the perfect set for a gourmet trip. You will discover untouched places listed in the Unesco World Heritage sites and here you can meet local small producers. Don’t miss to taste the famous cheeses and hazelnuts (did you know that the famous hazelnuts and chocolate cream Nutella was born here?).
Not to speak about wine! If you travel to Liguria and Piedmont, you should taste and compare the precious Cinque Terre Sciacchetrà or the Ligurian white wines with the famous Piedmont red wines such as Barolo and Barbaresco (yes they have the same name of the villages you will visit).
If you love hiking, Liguria and Piedmont should be your dream destinations: from the steep coast of Cinque Terre, with its trails suspended between sea and sky, to the rolling hills covered with vineyards and hazelnut trees in Piedmont. Each path will give you new emotions arriving to a small cellar or a medieval castle.
LIGURIA AND TUSCANY
Tuscany needs no presentation and is just next to Liguria, particularly to the Cinque Terre area.
If you are staying in Cinque Terre you can also do a day trip to take a look to the famous Pisa leaning tower or, and I strongly recommend it, drive 1 hour and discover the beautiful fortified town of Lucca with its 100 churches and beautiful Renaissance noble villas.
If you want to continue your trip, and you have already visited Florence, you can go on to the Siena area. Here the beautiful Val d’Orcia is waiting for you with its naked hills with lone cypress trees, just as medieval painters and modern photographers have represented it. You shouldn’t miss to visit Siena with its cathedral, just restored, and the beautiful towns of Pienza and Montepulciano. It will be a fascinating contrast to compare the colored cluster of houses of Cinque Terre fishing villages with the severe perfection of these towns designed by Renaissance architects.
If you are a food lover, this is a paradise for you: Pienza is famous for its Pecorino Cheese and what about learning from an expert local chef to prepare the most famous recipes of the Tuscan tradition? You will discover if you prefer the typical Tuscan bread or the Ligurian Focaccia!
Of course, Tuscany is also a land of great wines and I’m sure you will find many occasions to taste them.
Not so greedy? You can always choose to relax in one of the many thermal places scattered around the region that is reach in natural healing waters.
Do they look to you as if they were different words? No, it is just the marvelous diversity of each Italian region and it is possible to taste it all in one trip. Yes, I’m telling the truth. No rush, no queues, no big groups, just the real soul of places you’ll visit. How much time you need? 8 days are enough.