First week April 2013: Italian Riviera or Tuscany & Umbria

My husband & I will be in Italy for 17 days. The first part of our trip is dictated by another agenda(Parma,Venice,Verona and ends in Florence). We are free from Sat. before Easter til the following Sat. We are trying to decide if we should spend the time traveling thru Tuscany & Umbria or head over to the Eastern Italian Riviera. We live in Sonoma County, Ca, heart of wine country. My husband has never been to Italy and I have never seen the Mediterranean. Our big concern about the Riviera is the weather at that time of year, 1st week of April.
Any comments would be very appreciated.

Posted by Roberto
Fremont, CA, USA
3297 posts

There is no significant difference in weather between where you (we) live and the weather you'll find in central Italy in early April. It's generally not beach weather, but it could be nice enough for a visit at the cinque terre for a day or two. A week is kind of two long to spend on the riviera in early April, IMO. I would visit Tuscany and maybe include couple of days either on the Tuscan coast, or the cinque terre, which is close enough to Tuscany, if you must see the Med. Quercianella, near Livorno, is a quaint little sea resort town, if you don't want to go all the way to the Cinque Terre. The train goes there, if you have no wheels.

Posted by Ken
Vernon, Canada
17718 posts

Lee, I wasn't sure what you were referring to as the "Eastern Italian Riviera". Could you clarify which area you're thinking of? AFAIK, the Italian Riviera is generally considered to be the area in the north western part of the country in Liguria, on the Ligurian Sea (the same side as the Mediterranean Sea). The eastern coast borders the Adriatic. If you're referring to the Cinque Terre, that area will just be opening for the season around the first week of April, so it should be reasonably "uncrowded". There's no way to predict what the weather will be like, but historically the temperatures in April range from about 52F to 68F, about 8 hours of sunshine per day and about 5 days of rain during the month. Travelling in Tuscany and Umbria would also be good, but since you want to see the Mediterranean, somewhere on the coast might be better. Good luck with your planning!

Posted by Roberto
Fremont, CA, USA
3297 posts

@ ken. I think by Eastern Italian Riviera he meant the area of the Cinque Terre. The Italian Riviera is the Ligurian Coast. The Western side, from Genoa to the French border is called 'Riviera di Ponente' (Ponente=West), the Eastern side, from Genoa to La Spezia, is known as "Riviera di Levante" (Levante=East). Levante comes from Levare (to rise)
Ponente comes from Ponere (to set)

Posted by Ken
Vernon, Canada
17718 posts

@Roberto, Thanks for the clarification on that. I wasn't completely sure what the OP was referring to. Cheers!