Liguria in northwestern Italy is depicted by a craggy, rugged coastline behind which thrive acres of olive groves.
Begin your journey at Genoa, the regional capital, whose rich past is characterised by elegant 16th and 17th century palaces and a port that is both legendary and welcoming.
Then head for the hilltop villages of the hinterland which look down on sparkling San Remo and the Ponente Riviera to the west of Genoa. To the east, the Levante Riviera winds leisurely past stunning landscapes and well-controlled urban developments. For example, Italy's jet-setting seaside resort, Portofino, is surrounded by a beautiful natural park.
Beaches of pebble stones and fine sand alternate as far as La Spezia and the awe-inspiring Cinque Terre coastline, which is dotted with vineyards and the occasional fishing village.