Italian Riviera

Welcome to the Grand Italian Riviera! This place must have been amazing sometime between the 1920s and 1950s, but it seems they didn’t develop much since then… We stayed in Rapallo. I’m not sure if it was just a weekday or if we were “off-season” by going in the early Summer, but the place was pretty deserted. The view of the beach and harbor is nice with a cute little fort sitting right in the water, but the people in the town all seem a bit on the older side (think Florida with the happily retired elite). Like in the Amalfi coast, there seems to be no nightlife, and this town in particular seems to be filled with a bunch of pastel colored houses in serious need of repair. This area reminds me of the Côte d'Azur in France but more run down. Instead of the charming ‘trompe l’oeil’ outdoor frescos you find in Cannes, the Italian twist on the tradition attempts to create the illusion that the houses are more embellished than they truly are. Unfortunately, the painted pediments, shutters, and window frames are all peeling and fading off the walls, braking the illusion of the façade. We visited the glamorous town of Portofino and the neighboring Santa Margherita, but after that we were happy to skip Cinque Terre, leave the Liguria region behind and return to Tuscany to visit Lucca and Florence.