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The beautiful landscape and beaches make the Italian Riviera a place where the kids are bound to have fun. Here are Forbes Travel Guide’s picks for the best things to do with kids in the Italian Riviera:
1. Visit Portofino Regional Park. Overlooking the Gulf of Tigullio and Portofino's cape, the park includes miles of trails for all levels of difficulty. Easy ones are Punta Chiappa and Cala dell’Oro. Some trace the old steps of the pilgrims on their way to visit the abbeys of San Fruttuoso, San Nicolò and San Gerolamo della Cervara. The park is also home to the peregrine falcon.
2. Take the 20-minute boat ride from Portofino to the tiny island of San Fruttuoso. From the boat, you can see, 55 feet below the surface is the bronze statue of the Christ of the Abyss, the patron saint of scuba divers. Once on the island, visit the Benedictine abbey of San Fruttuoso di Capodimonte. There is also a beach where the kids can swim.
3. Trek on Isola Palmaria. It's the island just off the coast of Portovenere — easily walkable in three hours. Isola Palmaria especially known for its marine caves; don’t miss the Grotta Azzurra, Grotta Vulcanica and Grotta dei Colombi.
4. Walk the trail or hop on a boat to see the five Cinque Terre towns. The Sentiero Azzurro is the trail connecting all five towns; but if you only want to walk through a portion of Cinque Terre, make it the mostly flat Sentiero dell’Amore, which connects Riomaggiore and Manarola. The sheer coast of Cinque Terre, with the steep terraces planted with vines and olive trees, offers spectacular views.
5. Visit the Genoa Aquarium. The largest aquarium in Italy and second largest in Europe is located in the ancient port area of Genoa. The two-and-a-half-hour tour shows the living environments of all marine life and reptiles. Particularly worthy are the three big tanks filled with dolphins, sharks, seals and tortoises. Your kids can even touch the fish in some of the tanks — not the sharks, of course.