The Riviera: one of those magical appellations that make eyes light up with delight whenever it is mentioned, conjuring images of blue sea, bright skies and exotic, beautiful terrain. While the glamorous French Riviera attracts most attention from discerning travellers, its Italian neighbour is equally as alluring, if not more so. So hop into the seat of a luxury supercar rental and live out your fantasy on a 400-kilometer road trip to some of the most gorgeous locations along this blessed stretch of land.
Start from the SP51 near the Cinque Terre on the far Eastern end of the Italian Riviera. Although difficult to access, the iconic Cinque Terre is a must-visit chain of destinations in close proximity to Rapallo. The ensemble of five colorful fishing villages has been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its unique appeal and aesthetic beauty. During the summer months, the towns of Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore are awash in tourists, so visiting out of season is advisable. Train or foot are the best means of reaching some towns, such as Vernazza,, yet there are roads to most tourist spots. From the Cinque Terre, travel north past Sestri Levante and Rapallo.
Admire the spectacular views over the Mediterranean Sea as you cruise along the coastal road. The charm of Italy is best enjoyed in a Ferrari rental: the supercar is a masterpiece of automobile craftsmanship, handling smoothly and taking the narrow and winding roads of the Apennine with unbridled energy and enthusiasm. Its stylish design and indulgent interior emulates the region’s beauty.
The Gulf of Genoa
The Gulf of Genoa is known by many descriptive names: ‘Paradise Gulf,’ ‘Siren Bay’ and ‘The Bay of Fairy Tales.’ Legends and lore abound along this dramatic coastline where, over the course of three millennia, many conquerors have left their imprint on culture, civilisation, architecture, and food. The best witness to this region’s eventful history is the central port city of Genoa, which is a melee of cultural influences. Romantic, bustling, and progressive, the Gulf of Genoa is described by Gustave Flaubert as possessing “a beauty that tears the soul.” Continue the Italian theme in a Lamborghini Aventador Roadster, a masterfully crafter vehicle of beauty.
Savona, Albenga, San Remo and Bordighera
You may want to linger in Genoa but many enticing destinations lay ahead: Savona, Albenga, San Remo and Bordighera are awaiting us, each eager to showcase its history and thriving culture. The closer you get to the French border, the more you feel the influence of the affluent expat community.
Menton is one of the lesser-frequented towns of the French Riviera but certainly not for want of beauty. Its harmonious, cream-coloured, turn-of-the-century architecture, which is interspersed with splendid gardens, bears witness to the presence of English nobility since Queen Victoria’s reign and earned the town the nickname ‘the Pearl of the Riviera.’ Rent a Porsche and enjoy the beauty of its sleek lines, the purring of its engine, and the effortless power under its hood as you follow the scenic French coastline. The supercar’s German heritage has enhanced its precision engineering; the vehicle is seemingly designed for the Corniche roads, which are suspended between the sea and the sky.
Here, at the foothills of the Alpine mountain range, the light becomes softer and more sensual, enveloping the landscape with that incomparable golden hue that has attracted so many great artists. Unlike its more discreet sister to the east, the Côte d’Azur unabashedly shows off its glamour. But how could it not, with Monaco adorning the banks of the turquoise Mediterranean Sea like sparkling jewels on a necklace? Follow the bends of the most famous Grand Prix course in the world around the streets on Monte Carlo in a Bentley Mulsanne.
Life is sweet is Eze. The quaint medieval town sits perched on a mountaintop, and attracts visitors from near and far due to its idyllic setting and its panoramic views of the Mediterranean Sea. You may wish to explore the narrow passageways that seem to wind in an endless loop, or you may wish to remain in the seat of your luxury Land Rover rental – the most suitable vehicle for the region’s steep mountain roads.
Arrive in Nice, the capital city of the French Riviera. Here, the Mediterranean Sea has a vividly blue appearance, and the terracotta-tiled roofs characterize the historic settlement. Dine at the Negresco Hotel’s famed Chantecler restaurant before heading west to discover other gems of the French Riviera. Rent a Rolls Royce Drophead to travel in sophistication.
Complement your luxurious traveling choice with a night at the luxurious Eden Roc hotel in Cap d’Antibes, a round of golf in Mougins, and shopping on the elegant Croisette in Cannes, rubbing shoulders with members of the social elite.
Whichever region you prefer, it is undeniable that both the Italian Riviera and the French Riviera are best enjoyed from behind the wheel of your preferred luxury supercar.