Located in the province of Imperia, in the heart of the Riviera dei Fiori, Diano Marina is a quiet seaside town nestled in the Dianese Gulf and boasts an extraordinary waterfront and a tourism tradition dating back to the late 1800s.
Diano Marina is undoubtedly one of the most popular towns on the entire western Ligurian Riviera along with Bordighera and Alassio. Diano Marina’s main feature is its long sandy beach perfect for relaxing tanning vacations with the whole family. Its calm waters are ideal for children and water sports.
While the beaches are unmatched, Diano Marina also features verdant landscapes, especially olive groves. These picturesque patches of green are perfect for a serene stroll or a bicycle escapade. By the way, the town is located on the Ligurian Riviera bike path, offering a unique opportunity to explore the region’s beauty on two wheels.
Whether you are a history buff, a taste traveler or a beach lover, Diano Marina offers something exquisite for everyone.
Diano Marina Beaches
Diano Marina’s main beach is the beach of the same name, famous for its smooth, golden sand spread along the Dianese Gulf. Along its 3Km, the beach offers many services such as sunbeds, umbrellas and sports equipment.
The beach has plenty of bars and restaurants for when you want to take a break from sunbathing.
The shallow, calm waters make this beach a safe choice for families with children or those who enjoy a gentle swim.
What to see in Diano Marina
The municipality of Diano Marina hides within its borders numerous attractions and places of interest, including:
MARM Civic Museum
Prepare to be transported to the past as you enter the MARM Museo Civico di Diano Marina, a treasure chest that holds the history, culture, and traditions of the Ligurian Riviera. Let your imagination wander through the fascinating artifacts, exhibits and stories just waiting to be discovered in this cultural gem in Diano Marina.
Nestled in the charming town of Diano Marina, the MARM Museo Civico allows visitors to explore local historical and artistic developments through the centuries. The museum boasts distinct sections, each devoted to different aspects of the region, including archaeology, paleontology, and ancient Ligurian art. Located inside the Park Palace, the museum immerses visitors in a richly textured narrative.
A journey through Roman history awaits you at the MARM Civic Museum: it offers a glimpse into the origins of the city and its progression through time. A collection of objects found in the region shows the history of the area, telling the story of the lives of early settlers and revealing artifacts that provide information about Liguria’s fascinating past. From ancient pottery and coins to fragments of murals that once adorned the walls of a vanished villa, history truly comes alive inside the museum.
What did the Ligurian Riviera look like millions of years ago? The museum’s paleontology section boasts a captivating exhibit that showcases ancient fossils and reveals the region’s prehistoric landscapes. Go back in time and discover the creatures that once roamed the area long before humans set foot in Liguria, from ancient mollusks to long-extinct aquatic life.
Fort St. Elmo
Strategically perched on a hill overlooking Diano Marina, Forte Sant’Elmo is a majestic fortress dating back to the 16th century. Its imposing structure and fascinating history make it a must-see destination for history buffs and anyone who wants to enjoy a beautiful vantage point over the Dianese Gulf.
Originally built to protect the region from pirate invasions, the fortress has stood the test of time to become a testament to the region’s legendary history.
Fort St. Elmo’s location offers panoramic views of the Ligurian Riviera that are nothing short of breathtaking. Surrounding the building is a large garden with a nice variety of native plants such as pines, agaves, and palms, with gravel paths leading down to the sea.
Villa Scarsella Park
Originally built in the 17th century and carefully restored in the 19th century, Villa Scarsella forms the focal point of the park. This remarkable cream-colored building is rich in history and elegance.
Villa Scarsella was used as a convent, then turned into a colony During the Fascist years.
Purchased by the Roggeri family, the property was converted into a noble villa, but since the 1970s it has been an elementary school.
Inside the Gardens There are basketball courts, volleyball courts, and various outdoor events are held during the summer.
Built in the early 18th century, the magnificent Palazzo Ardoino bears witness to the aristocratic grandeur that defined Diano Marina’s past. The palace exemplifies the Italian Baroque architectural style, adorned with elaborate frescoes, intricate stucco work and majestic columns. Palazzo Ardoino has been at the center of many historical events and has been a meeting place for high society, hosting lavish parties and cultural gatherings.
Built in the early 19th century, Palazzo Maglione is another of Diano Marina’s architectural gems. The building is characterized by its distinctive Genoese-style facades, which blend perfectly with the surrounding landscape. The building has played a significant role in the city’s history as a center of art and culture, housing an impressive collection of antiques, books and artwork.
Built in 1920, the majestic Palazzo Muzio was designed as an exhibition pavilion for flower shows.
In terms of architectural forms, the structure of the main elevation and the imposing colonnade topped by a tympanum are reminiscent of a theater backdrop, while the overall image echoes that of a Palladian villa.
Villa Paradiso, dating from the early 20th century, is a prime example of the Art Nouveau architectural movement. With its extravagant curves and dreamy details, the villa features lush gardens and enchanting terraces, offering serene spaces for contemplation. Villa Paradiso’s illustrious past includes periods as a private residence for high-profile families and an exclusive venue for lavish social gatherings.
Sports in Diano Marina
Diano Marina is a playground for sports enthusiasts of all kinds. Whether you are a fan of leisurely strolls, a thrill-seeking cyclist, or an adventurous water sports enthusiast, this charming city is for you.
Walking and Trekking
Diano Marina offers numerous walking and hiking trails offering beautiful views of the Mediterranean Sea, vibrant vineyards and olive groves. The trails range from easy to moderate, making them perfect for both beginners and experienced hikers.
Cape Berta is a circular trail that starts from the village and climbs to the summit of Cape Berta, offering splendid panoramic views. This mid-level trail stretches for about 5 kilometers and passes by Villa Scarsella, a 17th-century villa with a beautiful park.
The Pizzo D’Evigno loop is reserved for more experienced hikers. This challenging 9.5-kilometer route winds through dense Mediterranean scrubland, culminating in an extraordinary view of the Dianese Gulf.
Always remember to bring enough water, wear appropriate shoes and check the weather before you start your hiking adventure.
There is no shortage of paths for relaxing walks: the waterfront, Cavour Pier, and Turtle Pier.
The Diano Marina – Imperia promenade is a bicycle and pedestrian road that runs along the coast and is known as “unfinished.”
Whether you prefer road biking or mountain biking, Diano Marina offers plenty of options. The region is known for its scenic bike trails, which balance physical challenge with visual enjoyment.
The Diano Marina-San Remo bike path is ideal for road cyclists. This 90-kilometer route features moderate climbs and beautiful coastal views.
For mountain bikers, the Pizzo D’Evigno trail offers rigorous pedaling through various terrains, including forest trails and rocky slopes.
Cycling enthusiasts can rent bikes from local stores, such as Bike Rent Diano Marina, which offers road bikes, mountain bikes, and e-bikes, suitable for all types of cyclists.
Diano Marina is a paradise for water sports lovers. The calm, crystal-clear waters of the Mediterranean are perfect for kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, and windsurfing.
Safety should always come first; never venture out alone if you are inexperienced, always wear life jackets and check the sea conditions before going out.
Where to sleep in Diano Marina
In Diano Marina there is a wide choice of hotels, many B&Bs, room rentals, vacation homes and apartments for tourists.
This makes Diano Marina’s hotels and apartments popular especially when it comes to sea view rooms.
Here too, as in many places in Liguria, it is definitely advisable to book early to have the best possible choice.
How to get to Diano Marina
Reaching Diano Marina is very easy.
Along the A10, the Genoa-Ventimiglia highway, it is advisable to take the San Bartolomeo al Mare exit. From the toll gate, the town center of Diano Marina can be reached in a few minutes.
The train is just as comfortable. Virtually all regional trains on the Genoa-Ventimiglia Line stop at Diano Marina. The station that until a few years ago was in the center of town has been moved further inland. Since it is also close to the villages of Diano Castello and Diano San Pietro, the station’s official name for railways is “Diano.”
The nearest airport is Nice, and by car, without traffic, it is just 1 hour and 20 minutes away. To reach the airport, the city’s cabs (cheaper than French cabs) and the extremely professional chauffeur-driven car rental services are recommended.
The most convenient airport is Genoa.
ACCOMMODATION IN DIANO MARINA
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