All the Rivieras

  • Those of you who had read Ms Janoski’s piece on Malta, may have noticed that she wrote: Why Malta?  I consider this lovely country to be the “poor man’s Riviera.” Many years ago, I was conned into going to the Outerbanks in North Carolina. I hated it and dubbed it the Redneck Riviera.

So, what does Riviera mean? I found two definitions.
1.    A narrow coastal region between the Alps and the Mediterranean Sea extending from southeast France to northwest Italy. The Riviera, known as the Côte d’Azur in France, is a popular resort area noted for its flowers grown for use in perfumery (also identified as a resort area along the Mediterranean coast, extending from Saint Tropez, in SE France, to La Spezia, in NW Italy).
2.    any similar coastal resort area: the Florida Riviera.

The second explains why there is French Riviera, Italian Riviera, Croatian Riviera and, now according to Ms Janoski, a Poor Man’s Riviera and my Redneck Riviera.

French Riviera
I do not write about places that I have not visited, and will only acknowledge the existence of this playground of the very rich and jet set society. The Côte d’Azur, often known in English as the French Riviera, is the Mediterranean coastline of the south eastern corner of France, extending from Menton near the Italian border in the east to either Hyères or Cassis in the west. I doubt that I will ever visit as it would appear to be exceptionally expensive.

Italian Riviera
It extends from the border with France and the French Riviera (or Côte d’Azur) near Ventimiglia (a former customs post) to Capo Corvo (also known as Punta Bianca) which marks the eastern end of the Gulf of La Spezia and is close to the border with Tuscany. Thus, it includes Levanto, that wonderful town at the end of Cinque Terre. I told you about sitting at Nadia’s Bar, overlooking the ocean and noticing the two topless ladies on the beach. According to this definition it will also include the Cinque Terre, and I am not that sure about that … nevertheless, if it makes the Italians happy, so let it be. I was told (by the locals) that Levanto was the starting point and that it extended to the French border where the French Riviera starts.

italian rivieraItalian_Riviera2talian_Riviera_Picture

Croatian Riviera
I always believed that the most beautiful road to travel was what is known in South Africa as the Garden Route. Until I visited Croatia and traveled from Dubrovnik to Split by bus. A 6-hour ride filled with such natural beauty that even the hardest and biggest of grown men will choke up when they experience this. Students, of course, will freak out when they see the beaches.

Words cannot express this beauty. Pics cannot, or will not, do justice to this beauty. One simply has to experience it personally. My guess is that the area between Dubrovnik (south) and Rovinj (north) will classify as the Croatian Riviera … this area will include (from south to north, after Dubrovnik and before Rovinj) Makarska, Split, Zadar, Rab, Rijeka, and Pula. Trust me, I intend to visit this area during my visit the 2010 summer (D.V.)


I have recently learned that there is, yet another riviera.  The one in Montenegro. I wrote about how I “discovered” Montenegro elsewhere and that I intend to visit the summer of 2010. Will report back then!


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