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Riviera Collection

History Archive - Riviera Collection

The Riviera is the narrow belt of coast which lies between the mountains and the sea all round the Gulf of Genoa in the north of Italy, extending from Nice on the W. to Spezia on the E. It is usually spoken of as Riviera di Ponente ("the coast of the setting sun"), the portion between Nice and the city of Genoa; and as Riviera di Levante ("the coast of the rising sun"), the portion from Genoa to Spezia.

All this district, being open to the S. and sheltered from the N. and E. winds, enjoys a remarkably mild climate (winter mean, about 49° Fahr.); so much so that the vegetation in many places partakes of a subtropical character (e.g. the pomegranate, agave, prickly pear, date, palm and banana). Large numbers of flowers, especially roses, violets, hyacinths, &c., are grown near Nice, Mentone, Bordighera and other towns, and sent to the London and Paris markets.

Bordighera is particularly noted for its noble groves of date-palms, one of the few places in Europe where these trees grow. The uncommon mildness of the climate, conjoined with the natural beauty of the coast scenery, - the steep sea-crags, the ruined towers and the range of the Maritime Alps, - attracts thousands of invalids and convalescents to spend the winter in the chain of towns and villages which stretch from the one end of the Riviera to the other, while these resorts are frequented for sea-bathing in summer by the Italians.

Proceeding from W. to E. the following are the places to which visitors principally resort: Nice, Monaco (an independent principality), Monte Carlo, Mentone (the last town on the French Riviera), Ventimiglia, Bordighera, Ospedaletti, San Remo, Porto Maurizio, Oneglia, Diano Marina, Alassio, Arenzano, Pegli (in the Riviera di Ponente), and Nervi, Santa Margherita, Rapallo, Chiavari, Sestri Levante, Levanto, Spezia, and San Terenzo (Lerici) in the Riviera di Levante.

The Riviera labours, however, under the grave drawback of being liable to earthquakes. In the 19th century there were four such visitations, in 1818, 1831, 1854 and 1887, which especially affected the western Riviera. A railway runs close along the shore all through the Riviera, the distance from Nice to Genoa being 116 m., and the distance from Genoa to Spezia 56 m. In the latter stretch the line burrows through the many projecting headlands by means of more than eighty tunnels. The pearl of the eastern Riviera is the stretch (6 to 7 m.) between Rapallo and Chiavari.

Lord Byron and Shelley both lived and wrote on the shores of the Gulf of Spezia, and Dickens wrote The Chimes at Genoa.


1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica, Volume 23.

Available Books


Image Name
Back Cover
The International Regattas
Capri from the Villa Jovis
La Penisola, Sestri Levante
The Naval Battle of Flowers
Arles from the Rhone
Old Bastion, Sarzana
Santa Croce, near Alassio
In the Valley of the Mills, Amalfi
Bastion on the Shore, Ceriale
The Market at Nice
The Estrelles, from the Beau Site, Cannes
Street in Grasse
Monaco, vom Cap Martin bei Mentone gesehen
Front Cover
The Golf Club
Temple of Augustus and Livia at Vienne-en-Dauphine
Bas-Reliefs found in Ruins of Ligurian
Villa Franca Harbour
The Caverne du Prince
Title Page
The Carouba
The "Tete de Chien," from S. Jean
Evening at Amalfi
Genoa, from the Corso Magenta
Entrance to Toirano
Church of Perti, near Castello Gavone
Olive Mill, Dolcedo
Monte Carlo from the West
On the Shore, Bordighera - Early Morning
Front Cover
S. Salvatore
The Newest And Private Part of the Casino
The Forum, Pompeii
In the Villa Piuma, Sestri Levante
Midwinter Sun Bath on the Casino Terrace
Monte Carlo from the East
In the Blue Grotto, Capri
An Old Street in Monte Carlo
Old Walls, Ventimiglia, and Church of S. Michele
Villa Colombe : Early Structures, about 1870, at Monte Carlo
Amalfi : Piazza and Duomo
View of Cannes from La Bocca
Old Church, Hyeres
Gulf of Frejus and Valley of River Argens with View of Mont Roquebrune
The Monte Carlo Opera: A Scene from
Front Cover
Between Finale and Noli
The Strand at Sestri Levante
Gallell's Painting of Water
Road near Castellamare
Back Cover
At Loano
Ischia from Castellamare (Sunset)
Dolceacqua, with the Castle of the Doria
Illustrated Title Page
Apricale, from the West
La Casa dei Vettii, Pompeii
Cagnes - Evening
Vicolo del Ponte, Villa Nuova di Albenga
Valley of the Var, from St. Romain
La Roquette, in the Var Valley
France and Italy. On the Shore, Mentone, looking towards Bordighera
On the Shore, Sori
Roman Milestone in Valley of Laghet, near Nice
Ravello : Il Duomo
Chiesa dell'Oregina, Genoa
A Capriote Fisherman's Wife
Church of S. Pons, Nice
Laigueglia, near Alassio
L'Hirondelle II. Ready to be Launched
Title Page
Ancient Wall and Raised Footway at Entremont
The Prince Tells the President One of His Best Jokes
The Anthropological Museum
The "Castello Brown," Portofino
Old Tower, Rapallo
Strand bei Nervi
Croupiers at Monaco Watching for the Arrival of Players
S. Cassien, near Cannes
Pass of San Bernardo in the Apennines behind Albenga
Vesuvius and the Bay of Naples
Monaco, from the Eas
Monaco Town and Rock
Antibes from the West
The Salle Touzet
At S. Michele, Rapallo
Mediaeval Bridge, Replacing Roman Pons Argenteus
The Principality of Monaco
Lieutenant Bouree Takes A Colour Photo-Graph Of The President Of The French Republic
Back Cover
Mont Sainte Victoire and Environs of Aix-en-Provence


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