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Homes in Liguria

Gilded beaches, gaily coloured buildings and serene, leafy hills have long made Liguria beloved by international homebuyers. With property prices at a temporary nadir, now is the optimum time to buy, says Fleur Kinson.

LIVING ITALIA!

The Italian Riviera is lined with hotspots like Rapallo

Hugging the Mediterranean in the northwest corner of Italy, Liguria forms a rainbow-shape on the map. You might know its heavenly seaside as ‘the Italian Riviera’, a name reflecting its connection with ‘the French Riviera’ – Liguria directly continues the line of celebrated beaches and resorttowns begun on the Côte d’Azur of southern France. Both exalted coastlines share a similar cosmopolitan sophistication, a dreamy sensuality and vivid beauty, but the Italian side is by general consensus a bit friendlier and more welcoming, with rather less of an air of glitzy exclusivity.

Behind the beaches, as you step back into Liguria’s hinterland, the land rises quickly into prettily wooded hills and steep slopes – a clean, serene world away from the region’s populous coast. Up here, olive, pine and chestnut trees soak in the sun, wild boar and deer hide shyly in the shade, and fireflies fill summer nights with their warm, winking lights. Settlements are small and ancient, medieval villages often appearing as a swirl of terracotta rooftops around a delicate campanile.

It is this juxtaposition of two very different worlds – the bright, excitable coast and the peaceful, leafy highlands – that makes Liguria so irresistible. Physical geography is one of the region’s chief assets. And it’s responsible for its delightful climate, too. Liguria hugs a warm sea for 150 miles (from the edge of France to the edge of Tuscany) while the steep Maritime Alps rise all along its northern back. The effect of this is a microclimate that sees cold air from the actual proper Alps (100 miles to the north) prevented (by the obstructive Maritime Alps) from whooshing down onto Liguria’s coast. So winters are remarkably mild and benign. At the same time, gently cooling air from the Maritime Alps means that summers tend not to be too savagely hot. All extremes are moderated, making Liguria wonderfully pleasant for much of the year.

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About Italia!

Our cover star, Ravello, clings to the cliffs above the panoramic Amalfi Coast and is a perfect starting point for our travels this month. Take a stroll through this vibrant town to discover a place where faith, music and creativity flow.