Here, however, the shore is littered with fishing villages, some of which, like Portofino or Forte dei Marmi, have achieved super-chic status; others, like the island of Elba or Cinque Terre, retain an authentic salt crust on their tumbling technicolour buildings.
There are plenty of extraordinary coastal walks, sheltered bays, secluded beaches and lofty cliffs, but what makes the Italian charter experience so special is that it fuses maritime tradition with 21st century luxury to better effect than anywhere else in the world. The calm waters surrounding the area make it ideal for snorkelling, kayaking and windsurfing. Relish in the delectable specialities of Ligurian cuisine paired with a fine Italian wine. True culinary heaven.