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Journeying through the Riviera di Levante

Writing this on a cold, grey winter day towards the end of February in Amsterdam, I long for a ray of sunshine. It's been a long, dark winter, and my whole body and mind yearn for spring and sunshine.

Perhaps that's why I got so immersed in seeking out the very best spots on the Italian Riviera. In my mind, I was already lounging on a beach chair, strolling along the coast, jumping off cliffs, indulging in pasta, and sipping on multiple Aperol Spritzes and glasses of Ligurian Vermentino.

The province of Liguria stretches from France to Tuscany all along the coast. It consists of four provinces: Imperia and Savona are located in the western part and Genoa and La Spezia in the eastern part. The latter two provinces are collectively called the Riviera di Levante and include Portofino and the Cinque Terre, beloved coastal destinations. Fortunately, there are also many villages that most tourists overlook and where you can still find truly amazing spots. After getting lost in my search for the best places. I, for one, would love to head there immediately.

Now, with our first Plinius booking to N032 coming up soon and the owner also sharing a few nice tips, I thought it was time to compile these. So here I am sharing them with you.


For this sudden obsession with The Riviera de Levante, I mostly blame @paoloabate, one of my favorite Instagram accounts. He mainly posts videos from a village called Camogli. This paradisiacal, colorful village, situated on the Riviera di Levante, became my new obsession. First of all it seems like the sun ALWAYS shines here. Secondly, it looks like only retirees with too much time live here; everyone seems to be drinking wine, smoking elegantly cigarettes, consuming books and newspapers, and just simply enjoy the sun and la dolce vita 24/7. It’s all extremely aesthetically pleasing. This village resembles as a colorful film set with only authentic Italian characters. I know where I'll be living after my retirement, or rather, preferably already next winter.

Dai Muagetti
Build on a rock, this spot offers an amazing view for an aperitivo.



U Giancu


Then another reason for me to travel to Liguria as fast as I can would be this restaurant. I first spotted this @konfektmagazine and finding it so amazing that I immediately thought I had to save and share this.

Founded by papá Giancu, mamma Rina and aunt Lice on the hills above Rapallo, U Giancu is a country restaurant.

Walls are literally covered by original comics drawings from every part of the world.

U Giancu is for everyone: families with children, lovers, business dinners, important events or simply to dine in an unusual place.

On the terrace among olive trees in spring or summer and close to the fireplace, among comics drawings, when weather is not nice.


Pictures from @ugiancu



This secret sixth village of the Cinque Terre, and in our opinion the most beautiful one, is usually overlooked by tourists, as of its remote location in between popular places like la Spezia and the Cinque Terre. We don’t mind it at all, as we prefer to share it just with the locals.

These spots are the favourite places of Giovanni from Villa N032 in Portovenere:

Iseo - located right in the middle of the Harbour of Portovenere, it’s the ideal spot to watch people with a glass of something in your hand

La Lucciola - Best pizza in town

Osteria del Carrugio - for the best local experience (Slow food restaurant)


Palmaria island


A small island just off the coast of Portovenere. A trip to this small island is perfect for those who love adventure, because it is full of scenic walks and trails. And you can rent a canoe and visit The Blue Grotto, the Volcanic Grotto, and the Grotta dei Colombi. The nature on this island is uncontaminated and offers a variety of rare species of plants and animals, such as green oysters, raised here, which have now become a symbol of La Spezia cuisine.

To eat:

Locanda Lorena is a reason on itself to visit this Island. If you book lunch at Locanda Lorena, it offers a private transfer on a Venetian Taxi-boat.


La Spezia


La Spezia is the second largest city in Liguria. Its nice to visit for groceries as it has a covered market square where they sell where some of the best local products. It also has some nice Slow Food restaurants.

Osteria Picciarello

A former grocery store has hosted this family-run tavern for twenty years. Local fishermen supply the kitchen (Slow food restaurant)

La Pia

A good but simple pizza place in the centre. The restaurant looks very simple but the pizza’s will make up for that. Perfect for a quick lunch (Slow food)

La Marinella (15min ride from La Spezia)

Seaside Bistrot with sun-beds and a cocktail bar located in a little bay. Seems like the ideal spot to sit by the sea with a cocktail in your hand.

Terrazza Belvedere (30 min ride from La Spezia)

lounge gallery where you can share food, wine, art and music

@ lamarinella



Up in the hills above Portofino, overlooking the Ligurian Sea, you can find La Portofinese. While Portofino is known as a famously picturesque fishing village in Italy, the scope of La Portofinese is to take you beyond the famous “piazzetta” and allow you to explore the charming hillsides, in an exclusive “insider’s experience” involving nature, wellbeing and the delicious local cuisine with tasting of local products.

La Portofinese is a family-run business. Our goal is to accompany you on a journey to discover a more authentic side of Portofino. Places to visit:

Osteria dei Coppelli

a realm of tailor-made lunches and dinners both indoors and outdoors, following the “one table only” recipe.

The Portofino’s Lighthouse

Portofino’s Lighthouse, the farthest point of the territory. It is here you will find the ideal setting for unforgettable Italian aperitivos and delicious light faire. More than a cocktail bar with a spectacular view.

Ü Caban

A wine bar and a shop for local products in a former whisky bar on the first floor of a typical village home overlooking the sea.



Cinque Terre

While Cinque Terre certainly does not need more visitors, we understand that you want to visit those five villages at least once in your lifetime, and you are right to do so as the path along the coast is breathtakingly beautiful.


The five villages are connected by a beaten path, so you can hike from one village to the other. We think the scenic route from Monterosso to Vernazza is the most beautiful one and will take you about one hour.


Cantina di Miky- Located in the heart of Monterosso, a family-owned restaurant. Renowned for its exceptional menu crafted from locally sourced, km0 ingredients: selection based on the day's fresh catches and offerings from nearby farms. Owners Christine and Manuel, brimming with passion for their region and its culinary heritage, extend warm hospitality, making diners feel right at home

Nessun Dorma - A dreamy place to sip an Aperol spritz and to watch the sunset and enjoying the slow life from above Manarola. Perhaps one of the best places of the Ligurian coast.

Text and image from Italy’s Segreta, my go to source of inspiration!



Please let me know if you have any other favorite places along the Riviera di Levante., which should be added to the guide. If you would like to receive my guide on PDF, please email me at

Next week all be sharing my favorite spots in the other part of Liguria, the province of Imperia, which I visited with my friend and talented photographer

Emma Peijnenburg

last October.





Shari Wijnhoud