Tucked away on the northwest coast of Italy, Savona stands on the Riviera del Ponente, the stretch of coast curving eastwards from France. Once heavily industrialised, it’s a better bet today and a good base for the nearby beaches of Albissola. The town itself, well-heeled and bursting with civic pride, focusses round the harbour area and the centro storico. Here, narrow alleys contrast with the elegant Via Pia and Via Paleocapa, a long stretch of porticoed streets that offers upmarket shopping, restaurants and bars.
Nearby, take in the Museo All About Apple, where over 9,000 Apple Mac products tell the story of this iconic tech brand. Elsewhere, step back in time to admire the massive 16th-century Fortezza del Priamar, the earlier Torretta, the cathedral and art gallery. Near the Cathedral is the Cappella Sistina, built by Pope Sixtus IV, whose full-blown Baroque interior is a riot of stucco, gilding, marble and fresco. Also worth visiting is the splendid Museo della Ceramica, home to a colourful collection of Italian maiolica.