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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
Monaco, from the Eas
The Vegetable Market, Nice, looking West
Villa Franca Harbour
Street in Falicon
Pont St. Louis
The First Casino at Monte Carlo : Northern Aspect in the Sixties
Finale, from the East
Letter from Oliver Cromwell
The Mouths of the Rhone
The Carouba
Street in the Old Town, Nice
The Garnier Theatre: View from the Stage
Valley of the Var, from St. Romain
Cap Martin
La Penisola, Sestri Levante
A Street in Ravello
The Garnier Theatre and the Terraces
Title Page
A Corner in Genoa
Title Page
The Monte Carlo Casino : Ball and Concert Room before 1878
Monaco - Evening
Roman Bridge, on Via Julia Augusta, between Vado and Cadibona - The Village seen through the Arch
Autumn Tints in the Cypress Valley
A Rose Garden, Bordighera
Front Cover
The Old Castle, Levanto
The Newest And Private Part of the Casino
La Piazza, Sestri Levante
The Hydropathic Establishment
Tower at Bergeggi
The Promenade, Nervi
Afternoon, Sorrento
Monastery of the Annonciade, Mentone, from the South
The Greengrocer Shop
Italy and France. Mouth of the Roya
Capri from the Villa Jovis
On the Shore, Alassio
Monaco, vom Cap Martin bei Mentone gesehen
Church of Perti, near Castello Gavone
The Oceanographic Institute in Paris
At S. Michele, Rapallo
Strand bei Nervi
A Street Corner, Cagnes
Vai di Sasso bei Bordighera
Albenga from the Centa
Village of
The Golf Club
Back Cover
Mentone, from Caravan
The Old Town, Cannes
View of Cannes from La Bocca
Back Cover
Back Cover
Behind Bordighera
Street in Cervo San Bartolommeo
Street in Villanuova, near Albenga
Croupiers at Monaco Watching for the Arrival of Players
Ancient and Modern Frejus
At Loano
The Caverne du Prince
The Tete De Chien Mountain, The Prince's Palace And The Condamine
Old Tower, Rapallo
Santa Croce, near Alassio
Entrance to the Villa Centurione, S. Margherita Ligure
Vesuvius and the Bay of Naples
Chiesa dell'Oregina, Genoa
Bastion on the Shore, Ceriale
The Vegetable Market, Nice, looking South
Lieutenant Bouree Takes A Colour Photo-Graph Of The President Of The French Republic
Mediaeval Bridge, Replacing Roman Pons Argenteus
Title Page
Faraglioni Rocks, Capri
Illustrated Title Page
The Romanesque Church at Albenga
Monte Carlo from the West
The Principality of Monaco
Back Cover
La Murtola
The Salle Touzet
Church near Vallauris
Dreams : A Ceiling by Galleli
The Neolithodes grimaldi
Monte Carlo, from Monaco - Early Morning
Gallell's Painting of Water
The Gorgonocephalus agassizi
The Prince Tells the President One of His Best Jokes
San Remo, Ancient and Modern
View from Santa Croce, looking towards Albenga - Early Morning
Title Page


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