Chiavari, Europe, Italy

Spotlight on Italy – Chiavari in Photos.

April 21, 2014
Chiavari Italy Photos

What do I remember most about Chiavari?

Chiavari Italy Photos

There were bright and colourful palatial villas that looked like they belonged in an episode of the Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous. Did anyone live in them, I wondered? Were they a lingering tribute to a glamorous life long past? Perhaps, they were now museums.

Then I remember strong feelings of melancholy walking through the town on an unseasonably warm October day. Wandering aimlessly, I took photos of the mostly empty streets and felt a sense of loneliness. I pondered whether or not Chiavari came to life during the spring and summer months, when tourists come to experience the Ligurian coast and swim in the clean, blue waters.

And I tasted wine so unbelievably good that I wanted to cry tears of joy. Not knowing when I’d try something so perfect again, I kept drinking more, even though my liver was already at its limit.

Finally, I discovered the most romantic place in Italy to watch the sunset over the Mediterranean. Golden blue hues, sunrays bursting through the clouds, light reflecting off the sea: a moment so beautiful that I was rendered speechless.

Spotlight on Chiavari, Italy

Chiavari Italy Photos

Just over a year and a half ago, I toured through Liguria and created a series of Instagram destination features that included Porto Venere, Varese Ligure, Chiavari and Camogli. Each town was delightfully unique and it was hard to pick a favourite.

I always thought that Porto Venere had won my heart over all the others. I even wrote about Porto Venere, as seen from the sea. I often dreamed of visiting there again, walking in the footsteps of Lord Byron, eating more of their locally harvested mussels, wandering through the castle by the sea and pretending that I was an extra in a scene from Game of Thrones.

Then sorting through my photo archives, I came across my travel photos of Chiavari and felt a certain joy revisiting my images. I was immediately compelled to share them here.

The Colourful Streets of Chiavari

Chiavari is a small fishing town on the Ligurian coast. Its streets are cheerful, full of colour and character. Almost seems like a perfect location to film a Pharrell Williams Happy inspired video.

Chiavari Italy Photos

Chiavari Italy Photos

Chiavari Italy Photos

Chiavari Italy Photos

Stereotypical Italy in Chiavari

What’s an Italian town if it doesn’t embody some of the country’s most stereotypical clichés? Narrow cobblestoned streets, cathedrals, laundry hanging outside to dry and parked vespas …

Chiavari Italy Photos

Chiavari Italy Photos

Chiavari Italy Photos

Chiavari Italy Photos

Chiavari Italy Photos

Chiavari Italy Photos

Fancy Pants Villas in Chiavari

Apparently, citizens of Chiavari were ardent explorers who made their way to South America in the 19th century. They later brought home their wealth (and ostentatious tastes) and built these palatial villas.

Chiavari Italy Photos

Chiavari Italy Photos

Chiavari Italy Photos

Chiavari Golden Hour

While you may be expecting photos of that sunset I described, I’m saving that for a later article. For now, enjoy these dreamy filled urban photos of Chiavari.

Chiavari Italy Photos

Chiavari Italy Photos

Chiavari by Night

At night, my friends and I walked through Chiavari and found it to be virtually empty. It was certainly so different from Genoa where locals crowd the streets at night, chatting, drinking and celebrating life. Perhaps it was the time of year or day of the week. Maybe it was Italy’s rather sombre economic plight.

While the night walk was a bit eerie, the town was truly stunning by night.

Chiavari Italy Photos

Chiavari Italy Photos

Chiavari Italy Photos

The Final Word

So is Chiavari worth a visit? Heck, ya! Or as Walter White of Breaking Bad would say …

It’s a gorgeous town, as most places in Italy actually are. Like me, you can wander and feel the spirit of the place. The regional wine is top notch. It has less tourists than Cinque Terre, which means it’s probably cheaper. There’s no way you can go wrong.

Good To Know

  1. Random fact – the town is famous for its Chiavari chairs and created an entire industry around it.
  2. While in Chiavari, I stayed at Hotel Monte Rosa, a family-run hotel that’s been around since 1909.
  3. I had that unbelievably good wine and equally good dinner at the Lord Nelson restaurant.
  4. Grab a seat near the waterfront during sunset to have one of the most incredibly beautiful experiences of your life.
  5. Read more about day-to-day life in Chiavari on the travel blog This Italian Life. Or watch this video clip about Chiavari.
  6. Ligurian towns like Chiavari are a great alternative to Cinque Terre where you can take romantic seaside walks and see flower petals line the streets of Riomaggiore.

Location

* Disclosure – My time in Chiavari was complimentary, courtesy of Liguria Tourism. Any opinions expressed about my love for wine, sunsets and fancy pants villas are entirely my own. 

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18 Comments

  • Reply Gran Canaria Local April 21, 2014 at 12:49 PM

    When we used to imagine Liguria, we remembered lazing on the beach at Levanto and enjoying melt-in-the-mouth gnocchi in Finale Ligure. Now we picture Chiavari. A return is already overdue.

    • Reply Cheryl Howard April 21, 2014 at 12:51 PM

      Thank you! It’s a beautiful city that’s well deserving of more visitors.

  • Reply Jenna April 21, 2014 at 1:14 PM

    This looks like a nice place to spend a couple of days and see something a little different. I love learning about lesser-known places in Italy. There are so many places to add to my wishlist for my next trip to Italy!

    • Reply Cheryl Howard April 21, 2014 at 1:20 PM

      Jenna – It was really nice there! I think it’s a family friendly destination as well.

      I know what you mean, I’m dying to see soooo many other parts of Italy. 🙂

  • Reply EuroTripTips April 22, 2014 at 10:28 AM

    Gorgeous photos, Cheryl. I love the colourful villas!

    • Reply Cheryl Howard April 22, 2014 at 12:52 PM

      Thanks so much for the kind comment. 🙂

      Yeah, those villas are amazing. Each one is so unique!

  • Reply Andrea April 22, 2014 at 3:21 PM

    Very pretty! And those villas are so unique! So colorful…

    • Reply Cheryl Howard April 22, 2014 at 3:27 PM

      That yellow and purple villa really stands out! 🙂

  • Reply Muza-chan April 29, 2014 at 3:14 AM

    Beautiful photos 🙂

  • Reply Al Wasl Yacht Charters Dubai April 29, 2014 at 7:21 AM

    What a stunning place to explore, i definitely want to go to there!

    • Reply Cheryl Howard April 29, 2014 at 8:58 PM

      I encourage you to visit! Chiavari is truly a special place that deserves more attention.

  • Reply Suki F April 29, 2014 at 9:22 PM

    I love to visit places as colorful as Chiavari. But for now your beautiful photos will have to do.

    • Reply Cheryl Howard April 29, 2014 at 9:25 PM

      Suki – please head to Chiavari ASAP! 🙂

      And if that’s not possible, I hope you enjoy my travel photos in the meantime.

  • Reply Dale May 1, 2014 at 2:50 PM

    Chiavari in the day looks great, but Chiavari at night looks soooo much better.

    • Reply Cheryl Howard May 2, 2014 at 7:23 AM

      Dale – it was a little spooky actually! My favourite time was sunset. 🙂

  • Reply Marco Nunziati October 22, 2016 at 1:36 AM

    Unless you go to the boardwalk bay the sea Chiavari is kind of dark and too much city like …… but great for shopping….personally I prefer Sestri Levante more open with two beautiful bays.

    • Reply Cheryl Howard October 22, 2016 at 1:03 PM

      Hey Marco –

      Always good to know of other people’s impressions! I love to see Sestri Levante on a future visit. 🙂

      Cheryl

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