The Italian Riviera, or Ligurian Riviera (Italian Riviera ligure) is the narrow coastal strip which lies between the Ligurian Sea and the mountain chain formed by the Maritime Alps and the Apennines.
Longitudinally it extends from the border with France and the French Riviera (or Côte d'Azur) near Ventimiglia (a former customs post) to Capo Corvo (also known as Punta Bianca) which marks the eastern end of the Gulf of La Spezia and is close to the border with Tuscany. The Italian Riviera thus includes nearly all of the coastline of Liguria. (Historically it extended further to the west, through what is now French territory as far as Monaco.)
The Riviera is centred on the port of Genova, which divides it into two main sections: the Riviera di Ponente, extending westwards from Genoa to the French border; and the Riviera di Levante between Genoa and Capo Corvo.
It is famous for its particularly mild climate which, together with the charm of its old fishing ports and the beauty of its landscape, has made it a popular destination for travellers and tourists since the time of Byron and Shelley.
Many villages and towns in the area are internationally known, such as Portofino, Bordighera, Lerici, and the Cinque Terre.
The part of the Riviera di Ponente centered on Savona, is called the "Riviera delle Palme" (the Riviera of palms); the part centered on Sanremo, is called the "Riviera dei Fiori", after the long-established flower growing industry.
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