Portofino: 38km (24 miles) E of Genoa

Hugged by mountains that plunge into the sapphire-colored sea, the coast east of Genoa, the Riviera di Levante (Shore of the Rising Sun), is more ruggedly beautiful and less developed than the Riviera Ponente. Three of the coast’s most appealing towns are within a few kilometers of one another, clinging to the shores of the Monte Portofino Promontory east of Genoa: Camogli, Santa Margherita Ligure, and little Portofino.

is almost too beautiful for its own good—in almost any season, you’ll be rubbing elbows on Portofino’s harborside quays with day-tripping mobs who join Italian industrialists, international celebrities, and a lot of rich-but-not-so-famous folks who consider this little town to be the epicenter of the good life. If you make an appearance in the late afternoon when the crowds have thinned out a bit, you are sure to experience what remains so appealing about this enchanting place—its untouchable beauty.