What Is the “Riviera of Flowers” and Why You Should Go There

Flowers blooming on the Italian "Riviera of Flowers" during a culinary vacation in Italy with The International Kitchen.The northwestern coast of Italy is shaped a bit like a gently curving upside-down “U,” with the western-most part slanting southward toward France and Monaco. It is here that you stay during our amazing Sojourn in Sanremo culinary vacation in Italy.

A map of Italy with the Riviera dei Fiori in Liguria highlighted, including Sanremo and Imperia.This western part of the Liguria region is known more specifically as the “Riviera di Ponente” (Western Riviera or Riviera of the Setting Sun), and the western-most part of it is called the “Riviera dei Fiori,” or Riviera of Flowers.

What could be better than a coastline that is so colorful its very name evokes beauty?

In fact, for centuries this part of Italy has been the inspiration of artists, from Claude Monet to Nobel-prize winning poet Eugenio Montale, who immortalized it in words.

Discover all our cooking vacations in Liguria.

bastano pochi stocchi d’erbaspada
penduli da un ciglione
sul delirio del mare…
-Eugenio Montale

Sea shores,
a few blades of sword-grass will do,
dangling from a bluff
above the raving sea…

A view of stunning Dolceacqua in Liguria, on a cooking vacation in Italy.The name of the Riviera dei Fiori does, of course, refer to the amazing, temperate climate that is responsible for the proliferation of not only flowers but also olive and citrus groves, not to mention vineyards.

But the region is not only know for its flowers. It has some of the most beautiful beaches in Italy, alternating with steep cliffs and picturesque villages. If you head into the hinterland, you will find more gorgeousness, including villages such as Dolceacqua, which boasts a Doria Castle, and Apricale, considered one of Italy’s most beautiful villages. In short–so much to explore during our culinary vacation on the Riviera of Flowers!

A view of Sanremo in Ligurian on a cooking vacation in Italy with The International Kitchen.Nestled within this beautiful area is the wonderful city of Sanremo.

Learn more about the Italian Riviera. 

Sanremo is an ancient city with a young heart. It was founded in Roman times, but it is now one of the most popular coastal resort destinations. It is most famous for the annual music festival that has taken place there since 1951, the “Festival Sanremo” with its famous European song contest. This is where the popular Italian song “Nel blu dipinto di blu (Volare)” was premiered back in 1958.

A street in the historical center of Sanremo, Liguria, on an Italy cooking vacation.But even outside of festival time, Sanremo has much to enjoy during our Italian Riviera culinary vacation, whether you want to explore and shop among the historical center, lounge on the beach, experience the many famous cycling routes, or even try your luck at the casino (much as you would in nearby Montecarlo).

The cuisine in the area is, of course, profoundly Ligurian, with homemade focaccia, pastas, fresh seafood, pesto, citrus, and plenty of olives and olive oil. Among the specialties of Sanremo are farinata, a type of chick-pea flour crepe found throughout Liguria, and sardenaira (or sardenara), a cheese-less pizza or focaccia with anchovies and tomato sauce (although you will also find it without the tomatoes). Other local favorites to try while visiting Sanremo on a culinary vacation are buridda, a Ligurian fish stew, and torta verde (“green pie”), a savory pie made with rice and vegetables (usually zucchini and sometimes chard).

Delicious focaccia from Liguria on an Italian Riviera cooking vacation.Try a recipe for tomato-herb focaccia.

If you dream of a true seaside culinary vacation full of colors and Mediterranean flavors, our Sojourn in Sanremo on the Riviera dei Fiori is the place for you! Book it on its own, or pair it with our wonderful Taste of the Italian Riviera: Genoa & Portofino culinary vacation. Contact us to learn more!

By Peg Kern

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