Tracing a slow arc southwest of Genoa, the Riviera di Ponente (Coast of the Sunset), is Liguria’s most built-up stretch, home to practical, unpretentious resorts, functional towns and the occasional attractive medieval quarter. The beaches are sandy and the prices relatively low, making it a popular holiday spot for Italian families. Almost every settlement along the coast from Genoa to San Remo is a resort of some kind, and extremely busy during July and especially August, when prices are at their highest. But there are some gems among the run-of-the-mill holiday towns, not least the likeable resort of Finale Ligure, nearby Noli, with its alley-laden old centre, the medieval centre of Albenga and the grand old resort of San Remo, which can also make a good base for exploring sections of the Alta Via dei Monti Liguri.

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Genoa is way off most travellers’ itineraries, but it’s time this northern Italian beauty – and its outstanding local cuisine – gets the recognition it …

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