Liguria is almost as famous as Tuscany in the American traveler’s mind for the magnificent and almost over-heralded Cinque Terre, a stretch of five towns unreachable by road, along a spectacular stretch of coast well-traveled by the college degree-and-backpack-in-hand crowd, located about half an hour south of the famous Portofino and about an hour and a half southeast of the border of France. Follow the coast to the west to Savona, one of the peninsula’s largest port towns.


Twenty-five miles west of Genoa and 95 miles east of Nice, Savona has long been the area’s industrial hub, a launch point for automobile exports. The city was also the home of Christopher Columbus and many buildings in the area are associated with the famed Italian explorer.