Martha's tips for visiting the Italian Riviera
Avoid driving as much as possible. Parking is limited in most Italian Riviera towns and the roads can be very congested. Trains stop in many towns and from late spring through early fall, ferries run between towns, too. Except for Portofino, my recommended towns to visit are all on the rail line.
Sundays are the most crowded days on the coast, when Italians often spend the day by the sea.
Fresh basil is grown along the Riviera and pesto originated in Genoa, so be sure to eat some with your pasta.
Spend a day exploring inland towns and villages that are less touristy and have a much different feel than the coast. The large port town of Genoa is also worth a visit and if you're traveling with kids they may enjoy Genoa's Aquarium, the second largest in Europe.
If you're going to spend a day at the beach, consider paying to use one of the beach establishments that have changing rooms, umbrellas, chairs, a WC, bar, and lifeguard.