Fly or Drive the Italian Riviera
Fly-drive is an increasingly popular way to use some well earned holiday time. Booking a cheap flight from the UK to your destination couldn’t be simpler with so many cheap flights available, you can start off in one destination, take your car hire from Italy and end in another before you fly home, seeing some beautiful cities on the way. The Italian Riviera is the perfect example, not only does it have a vast array of cities to explore, but they are all along the coast and with only 362kms (225 miles) to cover, you will drive a maximum of 5 hours! What a great way to spend a week or ten days worth of traveling time.
Start off your fabulous holiday by landing at Côte d’Azur International Airport in Nice, France. From here you can collect your car hire and set on your journey to our final destination, Pisa in Italy. Why not spend a bit of time in Nice, taking a look at some of the beautiful sights such as The Russian Orthodox Cathedral, a national monument in France or some of the beautiful squares such as the Place Massena which is lined with palm trees and used for summer concerts and festivals or Place Rossetti which is the heart of the old town.
San Remo: Our next stop will be San Remo, the capital town of the Italian Riviera and home to the Sanremo Music Festival, famous since 1951 and the inspiration for the Eurovision Song Contest. Held every year from the end of February to the beginning of March, it is a great few days of music for all. Also called the Town of Flowers which are well known around the world, explore some of the beautiful luxurious gardens and absorb the lovely aromas that fly under your nose.
Albenga: This city is not far from San Remo and is a great stop for any historian. You will be greeted by the Great Towers of Albenga which literally tower over you and next to these towers is the beautiful Albenga Cathedral that has occupied the site since the 4th century. Also visit the Via Julia Augusta, a well kept necropolis form the Roman times.
Savona: This town had the famous inhabitant Christopher Columbus who had farmed land here while on his journeys. Columbus’s House is one of the many sights to see here. When you visit, you must see some of the old towers that had survived the 1528 war with Genoa and where the freedom of declaration for Savona was signed. Also a must see is The Sanctuary of Nostra Signora della Misericordia (Our Lady of Mercy). Built in 1609 – 1611, today the surrounding buildings are a hospice and orphanage.
Genoa: Part of this city is listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Visit the St Lawrence Cathedral or take some time to go to the Old Harbour and have some fun at the aquarium. If you travel at the right time you can catch Europe’s biggest boat show, Salone Nautico Internazionale, which is held here annually. Go to the Castelletto, on the Piazza Portello and head upward to get a great view of the old city.
Chiavari: Near the mouth of the Entella River, this town is surrounded by gorgeous mountains along the coast. Enjoy the views from the mountains of this old town and visit the Castle of Chiavari which was a medieval castle built in 1146. Take a break and enjoy the Palazzo Rocca, the beautiful palace which houses fine Genoese Art. Why not enjoy the sunset from the top of the mountains too before you set off toy our next destination.
La Spezia: Is a city that is also surrounded by mountains, but here is also a major port for the military. Visit St Geroge Castle which dominates the Old Town has going through construction works through all of it’s life. Also visit the Castle of San Giorgio which has been restored recently and is said to have originated from a watch tower. Here you can also enjoy the museum of seals and the National Transportation Museum.
We have reached our destination! Pisa, most famous for it’s leaning tower of the city’s cathedral, a must see when you visit. Before heading home make sure you visit the Monumental Cemetery, Camposanto Monumentale. The legend here is that bodies buried in this ground will rot in 24 hours! This burial ground lies over an old Baptistery of the Church of Santa Reparata. Also a must visit in the Royal Palace as it was here that the famous Galileo Galilei, The Father of Modern Science, showed the Grand Duke of Tuscany the planets he had discovered, which were, in fact, three of the four moons of Jupiter.
The airport, Galileo Galilei International Airport, where you can drop off your car hire, will take you home from your exciting journey, where you can tell your friends and family about the Italian Riviera and all the beautiful things you have seen. It is such a great way to explore the world, you can cover so much more ground in the space of a week or ten days, that taking a camera is a must for the sights you will see when you decide on your car hire in Italy.
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