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The Italian Riviera or Ligurian Riviera (Italian: Riviera ligure; Ligurian: Rivêa lìgure) is the narrow coastal strip in Italy which lies between the Ligurian Sea and the mountain chain formed by the Maritime Alps and the Apennines. Longitudinally it extends from the border with France and the French Riviera (or Côte d'Azur) near Ventimiglia (a former customs post) eastwards to Capo Corvo (also known as Punta Bianca) which marks the eastern end of the Gulf of La Spezia and is close to the regional border between Liguria and Tuscany. The Italian Riviera thus includes nearly all of the coastline of Liguria. Historically the "Riviera" extended further to the west, through what is now French territory as far as Marseille.
The Italian Riviera crosses all four Ligurian provinces and their capitals Genoa, Savona, Imperia and La Spezia, with a total length of about 350 km (218 miles). It is customarily divided into a western section, the Ponente Riviera, and an eastern section, the Levante Riviera, the point of division being the apex of the Ligurian arc at Voltri. It has about 1.6 million inhabitants, and most of the population is concentrated within the coastal area. Its mild climate draws an active tourist trade in the numerous coastal resorts, which include Alassio, Bonassola, Bordighera, Camogli, Cinque Terre, Lerici, Levanto, Noli, Portofino, Porto Venere, Santa Margherita Ligure, Sanremo, San Fruttuoso, and Sestri Levante. It is also known for its historical association with international celebrity and artistic visitors; writers and poets like Percy Bysshe Shelley, Lord Byron, Ezra Pound, and Ernest Hemingway were inspired by the beauty and spirit of Liguria.
As a tourist centre, the Italian Riviera benefits from over 300 days of sunshine per year, and is known for its beaches, colourfully painted towns, natural environment, food, and luxury villas and hotels, as well as for its popular resort facilities, major yachting and cruising areas with several marinas, festivals, golf courses, sailing, rock climbing and scenic views of centuries old farmhouses and cottages.
Industries are concentrated in and around Genoa, Savona, and along the shores of the Gulf of La Spezia. Genoa and La Spezia are Italy's leading shipyards; La Spezia is Italy's major naval base, and Savona is a major centre of the Italian iron industry. Chemical, textile, and food industries are also important.