5 Beautiful Towns in Liguria (Beyond Cinque Terre)

Before I begin, I have to say that this post is not written to criticize The Cinque Terre because I absolutely love those 5 villages even if they are VERY touristy. But instead I wanted to highlight that there’s more to Liguria than JUST THE CINQUE TERRE! 

I know most of you on Italophilia are regular travelers. And so many of you have requested to share more places from my past travel to Italy- a country that baffles me every time I visit. So here is a list of beautiful towns in Liguria that will give you more Italian wanderlust and ideas for your upcoming travels!

Here are the 5 towns beyond the Cinque Terre:

CERVO:

Cervo is a living Ligurian dream and a place I would gladly return to! Located in the province of Imperia in Liguria, Cervo is a quaint and colorful town overlooking the sea. It is surrounded by pretty doors and pastel colored homes in tiny mysterious alleys that promise to lead you somewhere…..!

Cervo is also a summer destination for the locals and is full of bars with a fabulous view of the sea!

The highlight for anyone visiting Cervo though is Chiesa di San Giovanni Battista that overlooks the sea and is gorgeous inside out.

My friend Adriana aptly said, “I can’t imagine how it must be going to Sunday Mass and seeing that view every time.”

Fun Fact: Cervo is also part of “The Most Beautiful Villages of Italy” list.

Closest train station: Diano

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Cervo: 5 Beautiful Towns in Liguria (Beyond Cinque Terre)
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Cervo: 5 Beautiful Towns in Liguria (Beyond Cinque Terre)
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Cervo: 5 Beautiful Towns in Liguria (Beyond Cinque Terre)

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DOLCEACQUA:

Only a few kilometers from the sea is the ancient village of Dolceacqua in Liguria.

This town is unique in it’s own even though hundreds of Italian towns  with an old bridge and faded homes, might look the same.

Dolceacqua has a humpback bridge, an alley filled with umbrellas, a medieval castle and a grape that is unique to the area!

What I most loved about it was that it was literally devoid of tourists! The famous grape that produces red wine in this town is called Rossese di Dolceacqua or quite simply Dolceacqua. It should be tasted when you are there!


Closest train station: Ventimiglia

Fun Fact: Dolceacqua’s bridge and castle (pic below) is from the 12th century and was painted by Monet in 1884. This characteristic old village had Monet smitten. 

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Dolceacqua: 5 Beautiful Towns in Liguria (Beyond Cinque Terre)
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Dolceacqua: 5 Beautiful Towns in Liguria (Beyond Cinque Terre)
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Dolceacqua: 5 Beautiful Towns in Liguria (Beyond Cinque Terre)

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FINALBORGO:

Yet another Ligurian town beyond the Cinque Terre is Finalborgo. It is part of the “The Most Beautiful Villages of Italy” list and rightly so.

Finalborgo has elegant alleys and well maintained piazze that speak of the class of its residents. There is a castle and an Archelogical museum and beautiful stores around!

Fun Fact: Finalborgo has hiking trails all around it and turns out to be a popular town among hikers from Europe. Hence there are a lot of expensive stores selling mountain gear!

Closest train station: Finale Ligure Marina

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Finalborgo: 5 Beautiful Towns in Liguria (Beyond Cinque Terre)
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Finalborgo: 5 Beautiful Towns in Liguria (Beyond Cinque Terre)
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Finalborgo: 5 Beautiful Towns in Liguria (Beyond Cinque Terre)
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Finalborgo: 5 Beautiful Towns in Liguria (Beyond Cinque Terre)

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LAIGUEGLIA:

A very hard name to pronounce (Laee-guay-lia), Laigueglia is another of the villages that falls under “The Most Beautiful Villages of Italy” category.

Laigueglia faces the sea and is perfect for a beach vacation. Laigueglia is a dream for all you lovers of the Italian Riviera and has the most spectacular views! Look beyond the Cinque Terre and you will find cheaper rates and less crowded towns like this one!

Closest train station: Laigueglia

Fun Fact: It also happens to be the shooting location of the movie Inkheart. (Have you seen it??) 

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Laigueglia: 5 Beautiful Towns in Liguria (Beyond Cinque Terre)
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Laigueglia: 5 Beautiful Towns in Liguria (Beyond Cinque Terre)
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Laigueglia: 5 Beautiful Towns in Liguria (Beyond Cinque Terre)

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VARIGOTTI:

Another classic beach location beyond the Cinque Terre is the tiny village of Varigotti. In the winter I had the town all to myself. Invite me over if you splurge and rent one of these homes, okay?? 😉

Fun Fact: Varigotti is an expensive summer destination and sometimes it’s impossible to find a place to rent for months!

Closest train station: Finale Ligure Marina

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Varigotti: 5 Beautiful Towns in Liguria (Beyond Cinque Terre)
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Varigotti: 5 Beautiful Towns in Liguria (Beyond Cinque Terre)
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Varigotti: 5 Beautiful Towns in Liguria (Beyond Cinque Terre)

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I unintentionally went to a lot of places listed under the “I Borghi più belli d’Italia” or “The Most Beautiful Villages of Italy” and am so thrilled about that because Liguria has so many little gems just waiting to be explored.

I hope you know there is much more beyond the Cinque Terre. And if you need some ideas, start from this list!!


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Featured cover photo clicked by my friend Adriana Oberto


78 thoughts on “5 Beautiful Towns in Liguria (Beyond Cinque Terre)

      1. There is another beautifull place in Liguria, which is officially in the list of Il piu belli borghi d’Italia – 14th century village of Perinaldo, just above Dolceaqua. It is less touristic but way more beautifull and genuine. It is a place where the famous astronomer Cassini was born and local observatory bears his name. The village is also famous for its unique carcioffi di Perinaldo. When you are in Liguria next time, try to visit it, its worth the effort…

    1. Btw I LOVE your book! The paintings are so so gorgeous, they really capture the town very well. Thanks for sharing. Wish you a great day!

  1. What an amazing list! These towns look so beautiful, it never ceases to amaze me just how many exist in the bel paese….each more incredible than the last! It would take a lifetime to explore them all, a lifetime I would love to live. In the meantime, I will take note for future trips! Thanks for sharing this wonderful list!

    1. Right?? I knew you would love this list, Tony. Our list keeps getting longer and longer and that’s what we love about Italy!! This never ending love to explore…. A lifetime indeed. <3 Happy to help 😉

    1. Haha I know what you mean. I saw all of them in a span of 3 days, they are so close to each other 🙂 Happy travels! and thanks a ton.

      1. We spent 5 nights in Vernazza. For me it is the best of the 5 villages. But we saw them all ..and I shall keep in mind the other less known villages you are talking about here. The planet is so big..my bucket list is so long…:-)) have a great week ahead. If you have time you can read my last post on Hong Kong. Have you been there ?

        1. I agree 🙂 The planet is HUGE and Italy, even though it is a small part of it, has so much 😉 I have never been there. I will check your post now x You too!

  2. How is it possible that everything in Italy looks so pretty? Is there a secret to that? It only makes me want to visit it more every time I look at the photos!
    Oh! I had a question for you! If you got the chance to live in Italy for good, would you take it?

    1. I know right?? That’s why the whole pull towards Italy. It is such an intriguing place!! And your question makes me think.. Probably for a short duration of time 🙂 But not forever. x

  3. Ooooh, so lovely, everything, but especially the door in the pink wall. 🙂 I also “collect” the nearby towns from this list of the most beautiful little towns to visit one day. I have not seen any of the towns you mention neither the Cinque Terre. I’m a bit to the south but I can see that the colour scheme continues over here. 🙂 I’m convinced Italy is just beautiful all over and lucky us who get to enjoy it.

    1. Isn’t it?? Thank you. Varigotti was so pretty, I can imagine how it must be in the summer. I hope you can visit them soon, the list never ends. xx

    1. Thank you Coral. I love your blog, you are such an inspiring lady! A very close friend has shifted to Melbourne from India and I’ve passed your blog to her. xx

  4. I totally agree with you Ishita. Liguria is so much more than Cinque Terre. I absolutely fell in love with Dolceaqua on our last visit. It’s such a hidden gem of a town, and these other 4 look just as delightful. Thanks for sharing them. P.S, love your pinterest pin 😉

    1. Very few people have been there, it really is the end of Italy and onwards towards France but I am happy we both did ….. Haha thank you, learning with each passing day 😉

  5. Liguria is my soul region in Italy! I’m going out on a limb saying this because I haven’t been to every region in Italy, but I feel Liguria in my soul 😉 So much still to explore, thanks for the inspiration!

  6. I loved Cervo when I visited it a couple of weeks ago! I must make an effort to go see some of these other villages too! They’re right on my doorstep, and that’s the problem: we always say we’ll go sometime but never quite get there as the routine of life gets in the way. 😀

  7. I am absolutely guilty of going straight to the Cinque Terre (and would do it again in a heartbeat!).
    Thank you for illustrating the other options out there: the architecture and pastel washes of those towns brings back many happy memories.

    1. Thanks so much for the mention! I wonder why I didn’t get notified on tagging. The same happened to me last year too ;( anyway thank you again!

  8. This trip was my first visit to Liguria and I thought it was fantastic! I really enjoyed exploring a new region, although I didn’t see any of the towns mentioned here. Also, my first visit to Cinque Terre, but I was very disappointed. I agree with you, very touristy and so crowded it was impossible to enjoy Vernazza. We did have an amazing lunch, however, with a stunning view of the sea!

  9. Oh my goodness, these photos gave me serious wanderlust! It’s so strange to see how the painted homes and buildings in Liguria are so similar to the painted homes in Calgari. Also, can we talk about how delicious that pasta looks!

    xo Logan
    https://peculiarporter.com

    1. Haha right?? Totally get you on the pasta. Haven’t been to Calgari but I saw google images and it’s true!! Liguria is a dream xx

  10. Hello
    This article is great thanks
    I’m
    A solo traveller and have been to Italy many times often revisiting where I live and then adding a new place or two each time.
    Have a short trip planned in September landing in Nice France for 4/5 days and would like to spend 4/5 nights in Monterosso. Yes I’ve been to Monterosso already and lived the vibe early morning and evenings as well as would like to see the villages better as was a whirlwind first trip.
    So… I fly home from Milan and have booked airport hotel for last night as need to be 6am at airport to fly back to Australia .
    My question is … I have about 5 more nights and I’m
    Keen to fin somewhere to stay either in coast or inland for those days …
    Sanremo? Portofino? Turin( which looks appealing I think)? I would love to hear what u think Please
    Regards Belinda

    1. Buongiorno Belinda! Thank you for reading. I think your travels sound very exciting!! 🙂 Since you have 5 more nights why don’t you explore Turin?? You can even club a day trip to Alba from there and enjoy the wine making region 🍷 keep me posted

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