Riviera rĭvēâr´ə [key], narrow coastal strip between the Alps and the Mediterranean, extending, roughly, from La Spezia (Italy) to Hyères (France). Famous for its scenic beauty and for its mild winter climate, and dotted with fashionable resorts, hotels, and villas, the Riviera is a major international playground. Genoa is the center of the Italian Riviera and divides it into the Riviera di Levante (east) and the Riviera di Ponente (west). Among the well-known resorts on the Italian Riviera are Bordighera, San Remo, Portofino, and Rapallo. Also noteworthy is the rugged Cinqueterre coast near La Spezia. The French Riviera, also called the Côte d'Azur [azure coast], has the famous resorts of Nice, Cannes, Saint-Tropez, and Monte Carlo (in Monaco). Flowers for export and for use in the perfume industry are grown throughout the region, particularly at Crasse (near Cannes). A panoramic highway runs along the Riviera from end to end; its section, the Corniche du Littoral, between Nice and Menton, France, which hugs the red cliffs of the coastline, is particularly famous.
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