Levante vs Ponente, what is the difference?

I have been asked this question many times before: What is the difference between Levante and Ponente? And another one, even more frequent: what are Levante and Ponente in Liguria??? In fact, it is one of the most important information about Liguria. That’s why I decided to explain this Ligurian, peculiarity πŸ™‚

LEVANTE & PONENTE what do they mean?

As you probably know, Liguria is very thin and very long Italian region. It extends along the Ligurian sea from the French border to the border with Tuscany region. That extended shape caused the division of Liguria into the two principal parts: the eastern part=Levante and the western part=Ponente. And in the middle, you find the most important city of Liguria, Genoa.

So to sum up everything: Levante Ligure is eastern Liguria, and Ponente Ligure is western Liguria πŸ™‚

However, there are much more differences between these two parts of Liguria. Not only the names:


Levante Ligure has very rocky and precipitous coastline. It is also much more savage.

Ponente Ligure is much milder. The mountains are lower (at least those close to the sea) and the coastline has more plain grounds.


I noticed a rule (it is my personal theory) that when you get close to Genoa the people become more reserved and cagey. And when you get distanced from the capital of Liguria (on west or east) Ligurian people become nicer and more outgoing. Maybe it is Genoa’s influence or something πŸ˜‰


Levante Ligure is very popular with the tourists, especially with foreign tourists. They are more numerous here than in Ponente Ligure. Levante Ligure is popular also with Italian tourists so it means that during summer season this part of Liguria is very crowded.

Ponente Ligure is almost unknown with foreign tourists. Here come some French tourists and some German tourists … and that’s all. Apart from them, many tourists from Milan and Turin that have their holiday houses here. In any case, I believe that Ponente Ligure is a little less crowded than Levante Ligure.

However, you have to remember that in summer season both parts of Liguria are full of people.


I live in eastern Liguria and I must admit that Ponente Ligure is cheaper than Levante Ligure (unfortunately for me).


It is a quite important characteristic. The sunset in Ponente Ligure starts very early. Sun goes behind the mountains very early and local beaches remain in the shadow already at 3.00 pm/4.00 pm…

Levante Ligure doesn’t have this problem. Here the sun remains until the end of the day. So during the longest days, you can get a sunbath even till 8.30 pmΒ  (!!!).

So, who loves sunbathing: Ponente Ligure you get sun in the morning, Levante Ligure you get the sun all day long πŸ™‚


In Liguria, you will find all types of beaches. From sandy and gravely to pebble and rocks. I after years in eastern Liguria prefer rocks and pebble beaches because sand that sticks to everything makes me crazy. But I know that there are many persons that love only sandy beaches … that’s why it is so important to know where you find the RIGHT beach πŸ™‚

Levante Ligure has principally pebble and gravely beaches. In some places, you can find even sandy beaches, but all the rest are rocks and stones.

Ponente Ligure is much milder. Here all sandy beaches lovers will be delighted. It is the paradise of long, wide, sandy beaches.

Cinque Terre

They are crowded, overpopulated but at the same time the most popular in Liguria. Who wants to visit them has no choice … has to come to Levante Ligure πŸ˜‰

After this post, I hope you make good choicesΒ πŸ™‚ Good luck!


4 Replies to “Levante vs Ponente, what is the difference?”

  1. I can’t say I have noticed the sun going off the beach in early afternoon. It certainly does higher up the mountains. Certainly in my garden, up above Triora the sun has gone by 4pm. But in August, it means the house is cool at night. Bliss!

    1. That's Liguria! says: Reply

      Dear Krysia, the thing I intended was that Levante’s coast is exposed to the west so that means the sun reaches the coast to the end of the day. Ponente is exposed to the east and the sun in the majority of locations hides there behind the mountains earlier than in Levante. In any case, have a garden in Triora and stay there during the cool nights in August has to gorgeous! Cheers!

  2. Thanks, Nicely presented information easily understood. Planning for a winter stay in the western Italian Riviera in early 2020. Your posts have been helpful. I like the idea of the western part around Allessio because of less tourists. Will visit Genoa also.

    1. That's Liguria! says: Reply

      Hi Christophe, it is a very nice idea to visit Liguria in low season! Usually, in January and February, the weather here is gorgeous, with sunny days and warm weather (even 17Β°C). However, be prepared that many restaurants and shops in Riviera will be closed due to the low season. But surely you will see very authentic Liguria! Enjoy! Agata

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