In the most maritime region, life is a rainbow just like the shape of its territory. In the center, the regional capital. To the west towards France, the Ponente Riviera. Then east towards Tuscany, the Levante Rivera. The coast is the protagonist with its maritime hamlets where you can enjoy fragrant focaccia or a dish of trofie pasta with pesto, with fine sandy or pebble beaches, and sheer cliffs over the waves. But more and more tourists are discovering the appeal of the rugged inland dotted with picturesque villages set in expanses of olive trees, separated by dry walls clinging to steep lands and rows of vineyards of Pigato, Vermentino or the rare Sciacchettrà grapes, eked out of every possible fragment of soil.
From the city of Sanremo, greatly influenced by British tourism from the end of the 1800s onward, it takes 250 kilometers to reach the opposite extremity of the region, where we find the poetical beauty of the Cinque Terre and a coastline towering over the sea. There you can admire a landscape that is truly unique in the world, so much so as to be declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco in 1997. The musical accompaniment is that of the chirping cicadas, the rustle of leaves in the wind, and the pealing of church bells. Five hamlets belong to the group - Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore - all equidistant and facing the sea, clinging to cliffs or nestled in narrow and steep valleys, connected to each other by the railroad (best not to have a car here, which obliges you to use very slow and winding roads) or by a dense network of paths: the most famous is the Way of Love, a picturesque route between Riomaggiore and Manarola.
A paradise for active holidays, the Liguria area offers a variety of diversions for everyone: from aquatic sports, trekking over panoramic mountain trails and mountain biking in nature parks, to free climbing on rockfaces and golf, obviously, with four 18-hole courses.
You must go 160 meters above sea level and travel outside the city for five kilometers to find the Circolo Golf degli Ulivi - Sanremo, chiseled from mountain slopes amongst Val Gogna's picturesque olive tree groves which descend toward the coast. This is one of Italy's historic clubs, dating back to 1931. Stretching 5203 meters of length, this is no course for "hard-hitters", with its very technical and delicate holes which come in succession on different levels taking on the characteristic lay of the terraced cultivations where players must pay the utmost attention. 72 kilometers away, we find the Golf Club Garlenda, opened in 1965 in the homonymous town in a valley behind the beaches of Alassio, which has carved out a niche of enthusiasts thanks to the welcoming feel of its property: elegant and informal like a big country home, luxurious yet without ostentation in keeping with the typically Ligurian attitude of understatement. The difficulty of the course lies in the tiny greens and in the pressing out of bounds, which do not forgive a lopsided shot. Its appeal is instead due to the remarkable difference between one hole and another, never monotonous as they wind through olive trees, oaks and maritime pines, remaining engraved in a player's memory, each with its own special characteristics.
75 kilometers more take us to the Golf Club Genova St. Anna, facing the Beigua Nature Park with views of the sea and continuous ups and downs which are demanding on the body and concentration. A golf cart is highly recommended and is included in the green fee, in particular on the 9 holes known as the Mountain Course, whereas the Sea Course is more level. We travel past the regional capital, Genoa, known as the Superb One, its port being Italy's largest and most important, the aquarium, a must-see, and its picturesque historic district. The Golf Club Rapallo is located only 200 meters from the motorway tollbooth, along the road leading to the near and renowned towns of Santa Margherita and Portofino. The course alternates flat holes with other significantly more undulating ones with the Boate stream as central theme, which manages to make appearances more or less peremptorily on ten holes of the course flowing towards the Ligurian Sea.
Golf packages for this region