Liguria usually makes you think of the sea and its shores. Only later does one remember that there is also a very interesting hinterland to visit, made of hills crossed by paths, large green areas and even some mountainous areas.
Have you ever thought of travelling its routes by motorcycle? There are many, all with breathtaking scenery. You might appreciate the beauty of this region, sometimes rough, from a whole new perspective. You will run into medieval villages, riding along roads that are at times winding, although not all of them are exciting from the point of view of driving, but here the beauty lies in the landscape.
Here are some of our suggestions of itineraries to follow, starting from the western area.
The Maritime Alps
The route is not long, but it is challenging as it takes place on narrow, winding mountain roads, only in some parts can you increase your speed.
You start from Imperia and climb towards Costarainera, from where you can look out over the sea, and then you continue on towards Taggia. You will see many cultivations of olive groves; in fact, this is the land of the “taggiasca” olive, a particular type from which an oil is made that is famous for its low amount of acidity.
From here the road climbs gently along the riverbed of the Argentine torrent.
Badalucco is the first village you will come across, with its village center characterized by narrow lanes, and dominated by the fortress. From up there the breathtaking view is really enchanting.
Fifteen kilometers away is Molini di Triora, before which you will meet very few houses. For motorcycle lovers this is an interesting stretch of road, made up of curves and counter-curves.
As soon as you leave Molini, you will find a slate quarry; this material has made the Argentina valley famous all over the world: most of the billiard tables in circulation have the top under the green cloth made of this slate.
The next stop is Triora, a small village with houses clinging to each other, where you will find the slate again: many architraves of the houses are made of this material, on which dates or coats of arms are engraved. In addition to the historical center, stop to visit the Museo delle Streghe (the Museum of the witches); Triora is famous for the legends about these characters.
After Triora you will cross meadows and forests, until you reach the Teglia pass, at 1,387 meters above sea level. The road continues on, still winding, but panoramic at the same time, until it runs into highway 28, where you will have to head towards Pieve di Teco, another village with characteristic stone constructions with porticoed streets, and then on towards Colle di Nava.
Along the course of the river Tanaro you will reach Ponte di Nava and after a few kilometers Ormea, a beautiful medieval village located under a rocky spur.
Garessio, where you will arrive later, is another settlement of medieval origin, partly still surrounded by walls, also famous for its baths. The local nature museum is also interesting.
At this point, you return to the sea, heading towards Castelvecchio di Rocca Barbena. Stop at the San Bernardo hill to enjoy the views of the Piedmont mountains and the Ligurian hills.
From Castelvecchio di Rocca Barbena the road becomes narrow and before reaching the coast, in Albenga, you could stop in Zuccarello.
San Bartolomeo al Mare – Ventimiglia
This route is extremely fascinating, because almost all of it is along the seafront, crossing famous places such as Diano Marina, San Lorenzo and San Bartolomeo al mare, Arma di Taggia.
You will have to head towards Sanremo and, of course, stop to visit it. There are the medieval and civil architectural styles of the historic center to be admired, a real mix of styles that will delight art history enthusiasts. And then stop in at the Municipal Casino.
We suggest you do this tour: After walking through the City of Flowers, head to Ceriana and then Baiardo, Apricale, Isolabona, Dolceacqua.
It is just a short distance off of the seafront and its scenarios, but it will be worth it, because all these villages are real gems. Dolceacqua is famous for its castle and Rossese wine. Apricale is a little village perched on a hill, with its craft brewery, and it has already been decreed as one of the most beautiful villages in Italy. Baiardo and Isolabona are less known, but these two other pearls will not disappoint you.
The last stop of the itinerary is Ventimiglia. We suggest you walk around the old part of town; if you happen to be there on a Friday you can browse through the stalls of the big street market.
From Savona to Albenga
This is a short journey, but no less beautiful than the others.
It is certainly less demanding than others, because you have to follow Via Aurelia, even if there are many curves right on the seaside.
Among the most important centers we recommend that you make a stop at Vado Ligure; it is an absolute must for you to visit its Forte San Giacomo and Finale Ligure, with the medieval historical center, which is evidence of the Marquisate of the Finale, an ancient state founded in the Middle Ages.
The second part of the route has fewer curves than the previous one, but there are plenty of places worth stopping at for a walk, such as the castles of Pietra Ligure and Borghetto Santo Spirito.
On a motorbike around Celle Ligure
Depart from Celle Ligure, at the exit of the A10 motorway and continue towards Savona, crossing the whole city up to the bridge over the stream. Head towards the Sanctuary, then you will start to climb towards Mount Ombre. Along the way, you will come across the beautiful Villa Doria, which belongs to the ancient noble Ligurian family and Mount San Giorgio.
This is another stretch of road for the expert motorcyclists to go crazy over: Perfect asphalt and tight bends, where you have to dose your gas well. After a bit ‘of hairpin bends you will arrive at Montenotte; here the road begins its descent towards Pontinvrea. Do not miss the view at this point: you are in the Natural Park of Piana Crixia. Afterwards, take a break at Ponte Erro, to taste the soft amaretti, the specialty of the place.
Then you hit the road again to go back to Celle Ligure.