Italian Riviera Luxury Yacht Charter Guide

The Italian Riviera Luxury Yacht Charter Destination Portofino Photo Stan Shebs

“A man who has not been in Italy, is always conscious of an inferiority.”

– Samuel Johnson

The Italian Riviera Luxury Yacht Charter MapItalian Riviera, that enchanted length of coastline stretching from the French Riviera, or Côte d’Azur, to the Gulf of La Spezia, has been the playground for the rich, famous, and fabulously chic since the late 19th century. While once a cluster of small fishing villages, these ports on the Italian Riviera have become the most exclusive locations on the Ligurian coast. Yet despite all that glitz and glamour, local culture, history, traditions and gastronomy are ever present in this uniquely captivating destination.

The Italian Riviera Luxury Yacht Charter Destination Alassio Photo: Incola
Alassio Photo: Incola

Genova is at the center of the Italian Riviera. The Riviera di Ponente or, the coast of the setting sun, extends westward to the French border. The Riviera di Levante or, the coast of the rising sun, runs east from Genova to Capo Corvo, just south of La Spezia. Cruise along a coastline of breathtaking landscapes. Visit quaint harbors and charming seaside towns with fascinating archeological and historical sites, stunning works of art and architecture, delicious regional delicacies and renowned wines. On a luxury yacht charter your customized itinerary may include the legendary cities of Sanremo, Savona, Portofino, Genova, Cinque Terre, Santa Margherita and La Spezia.

The Italian Riviera San Remo Photo: Dr. Gert Blazejewski
San Remo Photo: Dr. Gert Blazejewski

Sanremo: Italian Riviera Mountain Port

Sanremo or San Remo is nestled at the base of the Maritime Alps with peaks that rise a dramatic 1,300 meters above the Mediterranean Sea. Known for a year around spring climate, San Remo offers upscale shore excursions for pro golf, horseback riding, and tennis, boutique shops, galleries and fine restaurants. Sanremo Portosole Marina has a variety of shops, bars and restaurants, boat repair workshop, a ship chandler, qualified outlets for on-board electronics and yacht upholstery and laundry services.

Night life in this highly cultured city includes performances by the Symphony Orchestra, Municipal Opera, theater groups and hosts many popular events including the spectacular Firework International Contest during the second week in August.

Bussana Vecchia, a traditional Italian hill village near San Remo, came to an end at 6.21 am on the morning of Ash Wednesday 1887. The ghost town was home only to wild cats until the 1960s when Clizia, an artist from Torino, conceived the Colonia Internazionale degli Artisti, where painters, sculptors, writers, musicians, dancers, poets, potters, could find space to both live and work. Patrons, collectors and humanities enthusiasts, this excursion should top your list.

Savona: Italian Riviera Historic Port

Savona is particularly appealing to history buffs, with sites including a a medieval fortress and several cathedrals that date largely from the 15th and 16th centuries. Two sculpture museums and an archaeological museum are located at the fortress. A short walk brings visitors to another of the town’s rare, preserved 16th-century buildings, the ornate Cattedrale di Nostra Signora Assunta. Nearby, the Pinatoca Civica Savona museum has an impressive collection of 14th and 15th century religious art, as well as two Picasso paintings.

Italian Riviera Luxury Yacht Charter Destination Genova Photo: Cristina
Genova Photo: Cristina

Savona is also known as the childhood home of Christopher Columbus and his family.  Stroll through town to explore the art galleries, fine boutiques, artisan shops and appreciate the vibrantly colored seaside homes.

Genova: Italian Riviera Urban Port

Genova is a sprawling city where the old and new live together in chaotic harmony. With pastel-colored terracotta-roofed houses, ornate churches, alluring seaside villas, luxury boutiques and galleries and excellent restaurants, Genova is the quintessential Italian city on the Italian Riviera.

The Italian Riviera Luxury Yacht Charter Destination Portofino Photo Stan Shebs
Portofino Photo: Stan Shebs

Visit the historic center, a medieval maze of squares and narrow alleys, home to structures of varying centuries and styles, from ancient to modern. Most of the city’s important monuments have been painstakingly restored. Genova is designated both as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and as the European Capital of Culture. Genova also boasts one of Europe’s biggest aquariums. An event of interest to yachtsmen is the Genova International Boat Show inaugurated in 1962, this event has evolved into one of the largest annually recurring events in Genova.

Portofino: Italian Riviera Picture Perfect Port

Portofino is a picture perfect setting that has served as inspiration to an international set of artists and architects for centuries. Any luxury charter yacht on the Italian Riviera should include this prototypical Italian fishing village, where the waterfront tableaux features a continuous ring of shops, restaurants and cafés crowded around the diminutive harbor. This idyllic seaside town is familiar even to those who have not

The Italian Riviera Private Luxury Yacht Charter Destination Portofino Christ of the Abyss: Photo: Francesca KIX D'Errico
Christ of the Abyss Photo: Francesca KIX D’Errico

been here, reproduced in countless paintings as well as full scale settings that include Tokyo DisneySea, and Universal Orlando Resort.

Portofino is also popular with divers who visit the submerged bronze statue of Christ of the Abyss, which in 1954 was placed offshore in 60 feet of water for the protection of fishermen and scuba divers. There are lovely beaches in both directions along the coast. Drop anchor and sunbathe, swim and snorkel in the amazingly clear water.

The Italian Riviera Corniglia, Cinque Terre Photo: Bernd Gehrmann
Corniglia, Cinque Terre Photo: Bernd Gehrmann

Cinque Terre: Italian Riviera World Heritage Port

Cinque Terre is a panoramic phenomenon that can be visually best appreciated from the sweeping deck of a luxury charter yacht. The Cinque Terre comprise five villages and the surrounding hillsides and beaches and are part of the Cinque Terre National Park and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Over the centuries residents have constructed precarious houses by terracing the steep cliffs overlooking the sea. To this day, these uniquely striking villages cannot be reached by car, the inaccessibility further adding to their distinct charm.

The coast along the Cinque Terre is characterized by high cliffs, caves, bays, tiny beaches and cleft rocks. Rich and varied marine life in the stretch of the coast is protected in the Pelagos Sanctuary for Mediterranean marine mammals, an international protected area that includes territories of France, Monaco and Italy. Cinque Terre shelters some very rare species, providing a unique opportunity for divers.

The Italian Riviera Private Yacht Charter Destination Santa Margherita Ligure
Santa Margherita Ligure

Santa Margherita Ligure: Italian Riviera Resort Port

The small, seaside resort town and palm-lined harbor of Santa Margherita Ligure is friendly and unpretentious, delivering an authentic Italian experience. The waterfront marinas are a colorful mélange of  private pleasure craft, luxury charter yachts and fishing boats. Popular local cafes are the social focus of the town’s two seaside squares, Piazza Martiri della Liberta and Piazza Vittorio Veneto. For art enthusiasts, a crucifixion by Van Dyck in the nearby church of San Michele is worth the short stroll.

A luxury yacht charter from Nice to Monaco includes some enticing towns and anchorages such as Villefranche, St Jean Cap-Ferrat, and Beaulieu. The Principality of Monaco with its enthralling glamorous aristocracy, famous hotels and casino, glistening yachts, and luxurious boutiques, is a true experience. Exotic Gardens, a Royal Palace, an Aquatic Museum, and the Monte Carlo Grand Prix all add to the fame and intrigue. Heading further east can provide one last French stop in Menton, before reaching the charming town of San Remo on the Italian Riviera.

The Italian Riviera Charter Destination Monaco Photo: Georges Dick
Monaco: Photo Georges Dick

Contact Select Yachts and let our knowledgable charter experts assist you in planning the perfect itinerary and chartering the ideal yacht and crew for yacht charter on the Italian Riviera and destinations worldwide.


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