Cruise the Riviera Levante from Genoa to La Spezia in Style with Essential Sailing’s luxury yachting holidays.

The western coastline and magical islands of Italy certainly rank among the Mediterranean’s more interesting cruising grounds, offering a supreme blend of art, architecture, history, culture, regional cuisine, world-class scenery and superb summer weather.

These are some of the places of interest on your luxury sailing holiday:

Travel to delightful CAMOGLI

Camogli is a gem. The tall old houses of burnt umber and sienna and the old fishing harbour at the foot of the steep wooded slopes make a visit so worthwhile. Camogli once supported a large trading fleet numbering nearly a thousand vessels, but the coming of steam turned trade and prosperity elsewhere. The large houses around the harbour were built in the heyday in the 19th century and, although the fleet exists no longer, the town still has a strong association with the sea.

Explore charming SAN FRUTTUOSO

On the south side of Punta della Chiappa is the small cove of San Fruttuoso sheltered from all but strong southerlies. A church with a prominent cupola in the abbey of Caodimonte at the head of the cove is conspicuous.

Visit sophisticated PORTOFINO

It has been said that while anyone can visit Portofino, few can stay here. It is an aristocrat of a resort for the rich and a favourite of the jet set. It is beautiful, elegant and sophisticated and as a visiting yacht you will be one of the lucky few who can stay here!!

The castle on the ridge is known locally as ‘Castello Brown’ after a British Consul General at Genoa in the 19th century who bought it and renovated it to live in. It remained in the family until 1960s when it was given to the Commune di Portofino. The Basillica di St Giorgio on the ridge above the harbour is said to contain the body of St George and also offers marvellous views.


Santa Margherita Ligure is an elegant up-market resort – a suburb of sophisticated Rapallo just around the corner. On the slopes above are the villas of the rich and very rich from the northern inland cities. Down around the harbour there is a more workaday atmosphere and it is a thoroughly likeable spot.

The village takes its name either from S. Margherita d’Antiochia whose remains are ensconced in the church of the same name, or, for those of a secular mind, from the white-flowering bush, the margherita, which can be seen everywhere.

Enjoy picturesque RAPALLO

Nestled at the head of the gulf under steep wooded slopes, Rapallo is a picture postcard sort of place. The original medieval village has been overlaid with Baroque and Rococco and neo-Baroque, though all in the most genteel way, all this framed by green slopes and rock faces on three sides and by the blue Mediterranean on the other side.

It was discovered by the wealthy after the First World War and became a popular resort with them. At this time Rapello was also in the news as an international meeting place: in 1917 the wartime allies conferred here; in 1920 Italy and Yugoslavia debated and settled territorial rights here; and in 1922 Russia and Germany signed a peace pact.

Relax in peaceful SESTRI LEVANTE

The promontory with a public garden on top, and the old town straddling the isthmus, combine to make this an appealing and attractive place. It is surprisingly peaceful, even in the summer, and of an evening the promontory is a marvellous place to take a post-prandial stroll, especially if there is some swell working its way around into the bay causing you to roll at anchor. In the tower on the promontory, Marconi conducted his early experiments with radio transmissions, hence its name: Torre Marconi.

Discover exquisite MONTEROSSO AL MARE

The village of pastel houses and twisting lanes under steep slopes is exquisite and the mountainous backdrop grand, to make this well worth a visit.

Stay in attractive VERNAZZA

Lying at the mouth of a steep-sided valley, Vernazza is another gem of the Cinque Terre. On one side of the harbour are cliffs, and on the other side, the pastel houses of the hamlet are interrupted by the stark Gothic church of Santa Margherita d’Antiochia.

See photogenic PORTOVENERE

The village and harbour are picturesque, although the slate grey buildings and castle on slate grey rock take on an aspect of a black and white photograph – especially at dusk!! On closer inspection, the tall houses are painted in subdued pastel hues but the two churches are black and white striped marble affairs. 

Be Bewitched by Atlanta in LA SPEZIA

Although La Spezia town is fringed by commercial and military docks, the town itself is a bustling pleasant place. It has an excellent naval museum containing a large collection of maritime exhibits, among which is Atlanta, a bare breasted figurehead found floating in the Atlantic in 1864. She is said to bewitch sailors who gaze upon her head and to have caused four suicides to date, the last a young German naval cadet in 1944.

Choose The Best Holiday For You

Couples Cruise

Your luxury sailing holiday will be such a special and exciting time and we know you want it to be uniquely personal, inspiring and memorable. You can find out more here.

Family Holiday

When you’ve got older children it can be so difficult to find a family holiday with enough happening and enough variety to keep everyone happy! Discover more about our luxury sailing holidays here.

Group Vacation

Whether you fancy taking the helm, sipping champagne on the sun deck, seeing the sights or mooring in exclusive resorts, you can do it all on an Essential luxury sailing holiday.


Your honeymoon will be such a special and exciting time and we understand you want it to be uniquely personal, inspiring and memorable; it’s your forever holiday.


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