French Riviera or Italian Riviera – Which is The Best?

Are you asking: French Riviera or Italian Riviera – which is the best?

A very common question that is being asked is French Riviera or Italian Riviera, and which of those two are best.

Unfortunately, there are no good answers out there, so that’s why, in this article, we’ll present pros and cons when contemplating about the French Riviera or Italian Riviera.

Now, before we begin, it’s important to point out that it’s always hard to compare cities, countries, and locations, because most of the time, it will come down to personal preferences.

Plus, asking the question ”French Riviera or Italian Riviera?” and comparing the two can in some cases be like comparing apples to oranges because while they are similar in a number of ways, they’re also very different in many aspects.

This is why we’ll focus on presenting facts, rather than including own opinions, so you yourself can answer the question ” French Riviera or Italian Riviera” at the end of this post.

French Riviera or Italian Riviera – which is best?

Now obviously, which of the two are best depends on what you are after on your vacation.

Some people want absolute calmness and just soak up the sun, and others define a ”good place” based on the standard of the restaurants.

This is why it is always difficult to ask for others opinions when it comes to these kinds of things because everyone has different memories and different criteria of good and bad.

First off, the Italian Riviera is roughly 300km, from the French border and the Tuscan border. This obviously means that one part of the Italian Riviera can be completely different from another part of the Italian Riviera.

The Italian side is known to have two Rivieras:

The Riviera di Ponente between San Remo and Genova.
The Riviera di Levante between Genova and Cinque Terre.
Some people mean that the Italian Riviera has seen better days, as it is somewhat run-down, which is a minus. However, that does not mean all of the Italian Riviera is run-down, of course.

Italian riviera

The French Riviera is known as a center of modern art, ranked among the top places in the world that have the highest density of art museums.

Moreover, for a long period of time in its history, the French Riviera has always had a reputation of glamor and luxury.

This is perhaps not very strange considering that the French Riviera sees many celebrities visit every single year, and an important reason for that is the Cannes film festival, but the French Riviera attracts the rich, famous, and wealthy, for other reasons too.

In fact, at the beginning of the history of the French Riviera, many British, Parisian, and Russian aristocrats found their way here, especially during the winter.

A popular thing about the French Riviera is that it has a wonderful mix of picturesque villages, big cities, and plenty of beaches in all sizes and shapes.

In other words, the French Riviera has a lot to offer, and naturally, that makes the French Riviera capable of serving a larger number of people with what they prefer and seek for a good vacation.

A person on TripAdvisor said, ”We have spent almost a dozen summer vacations on the Cote d’Azur and we consider it still one of the world’s most attractive vacation regions.”

What many people say when people are asking French Riviera or Italian Riviera is that both are well worth visiting, but which you’ll find ”best” will be completely based on your preferences.

Some people argue that the French Riviera is very busy, and that is absolutely true. There are more inhabitants on the French Riviera than the Italian Riviera, and there are also larger cities on the French Riviera.

Nice french riviera

This means that if you don’t like a higher pulse of the place you’re in and want complete calmness, then the Italian Riviera is probably more suitable for you.

However, do note that while the French Riviera, in general, is more crowded and high-paced than the Italian Riviera, that is not to say that there aren’t places that are equally calm as the Italian Riviera.

Something that many people emphasize is that the French Riviera is much more expensive than the Italian Riviera. Some people claim double the cost, and that is true for some things. But yes, the French Riviera is more expensive than the Italian Riviera – generally speaking.

Moreover, another thing you want to have in mind when comparing the two is the time of which you go to the French Riviera or Italian Riviera as this can have a huge effect on how you perceive the places.

If you go in August, both the Italian and French Riviera will be very crowded, and if you’re after a spot on the beach, it will be tricky and close to impossible. to find an uncrowded place.

The French Riviera is also known to be posher than the Italian Riviera. The French Riviera has plenty of large hotels, restaurants, museums, etc. You’ll also find a huge Oceanographic Museum in Monaco, and much more. Obviously, these types of buildings and venues speak more to some people than others, so if you’re a fan of this type of atmosphere, the French Riviera is for you, as the Italian Riviera generally isn’t like that.

The closest you get to the atmosphere on the Italian Riviera is the Amalfi Coast, on places like Positano, Capri, Sorrento or Ravello. These have many luxury shops, something that the French Riviera is known for.

The French Riviera is known to be glamorous, luxury, and expensive, with plenty of luxury shops and rich people, and in a way, the Italian Riviera is much the opposite of that, as it is more described as informal and relaxed.

The Italian Riviera has more sea towns that offer traditional Italian food and an overall relaxed Italian vibe.

French Riviera or italian riviera

On the Italian Riviera, the various accommodation is often run by families as family businesses, with small hotels, private rooms, B&B, etc.

On the Italian Riviera, you’ll find fewer museums than the Italian Riviera, but you’ll find plenty of shops and great restaurants with true Italian cuisine and great Italian wine.

Overall, you might say that the Italian Riviera is more ”down to earth”, and more relaxed, with activities that are more focused on nature, such as hiking, walking in trails, etc, whereas activists on the French Riviera include things like visiting museums and relaxing on the plages.

Now, to answer the question if you should visit the French Riviera or Italian Riviera, the best answer is that you should visit both, and make up your mind based on your own experiences.

However, if you only have time to visit one of them, you really cannot go wrong with either, even though you probably will find one of the each ”better” and more suitable for your preferences if you compare them.

Just know that both are amazing and offer an amazing Mediterranean climate with lots of sun.

If you compare the two based on food, you probably know that both the French and Italian cuisine is amazing. Both offer wonderful wines, mainly rosé on the French Riviera, and white wines on the Italian Riviera.

Now, with all of that said, which of the French Riviera or Italian Riviera do you think is best based on your personal preferences?

Have you ever visited the two before?

Which did you find the best?


  1. I don’t often have the patience to read articles in full, but I found yours interesting.

    I have only ever been to the French Riviera, so I must visit the Italian Riviera soon. The more calm and relaxed nature of the Italian Riviera sounds perfect for me personally.

    Thank you, and all the best.

    Craig Miles

    1. Hi Craig,
      Thank you very much for your comment.
      Glad to hear that you found the article interesting.
      Have a wonderful day and looking forward hearing from you.

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