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The Liguria Region of Italy


Liguria is a coastal region of north-western Italy, the third smallest of the Italian regions. Its capital is Genoa. It is a popular region with tourists for its beautiful beaches, picturesque little towns, and good food.

Liguria borders France to the west, Piedmonte to the north, and Emilia-Romagna and Toscana to the east. It is located on the Ligurian Sea. The narrow strip of land is bordered by the sea, the Alps and the Apennines mountains. Some mountains rise above 2000 m; the watershed line runs at an average altitude of about 1000 m.

Liguria measures just 5,422 square kilometres of which 3524.08 kilometers are mountains and 891.95 are hills.

The coastline is generally not very jagged, and is often high. The only two exceptions are Portovenere and Portofino. There are small beaches, but there are no deep bays and natural harbours except for those of Genoa and La Spezia.



The hills that immediately circumvent the coast together with the sea account for a mild climate year-round. The average winter temperatures are 7 to 10 °C (45 to 50 °F) and summer temperatures of 23 to 24 °C (73 to 75 °F), making for a pleasant stay even in the dead of winter. Rainfall can be abundant at times, as mountains very close to the coast create an orographic effect. Genoa and La Spezia can see up to 2,000 mm (79 in) of rain in a year; other areas instead show the normal Mediterranean rainfall of 500 to 800 mm (20 to 31 in) annually.



Liguria's geography is mainly mountainous and hilly, with narrow strips of flatland along some stretches of coast and in some low flood valleys. Liguria is divided into four provinces: GenovaImperia, La Spezia, and Savona. Genova is the capital and an important seaport. Liguria's surface consists of mountains and hills, teeming with woods. Both the Alps and the Apennine mountains run through Liguria's 2,092 square miles of land.


Because of its isolated coastline, Liguria has been inhabited since the 5th century BC by the fiercely independent Ligurian peoples. The Romans were not able to romanize these people for many centuries, and small towns like the Cinque Terre, never really conquered by Rome. After the fall of the Empire the region was ruled by Byzantine and Lombard factions, but because of its inaccessibility by land it maintained a level of autonomy that was always at risk from invasion by Saracens, Normans or Pirates. By the Middle Ages Genoa ruled the entire Ligurian province because it was a powerful maritime republic, more powerful than its rivals in Pisa and Venice. It was in the wars with Venice that Marco Polo was captured, and dictated his adventures while in a Genoese prison. Liguria was later annexed by Napoleon and given to the House of Savoy after his final defeat. This loss of independence led to Ligurian patriots like Mazzini and Garibaldi (from the Savoy city of Nice), to start the Italian Risorgimento and the final goal of the modern nation of Italy.




Mountains and steep cliffs that rise loftily out of the Ligurian Sea in the most northerly part of the Western Mediterranean makeup the fascinating landscape that impresses people on their journey through this historically rich and dynamic region. The capital Genoa, one of the most important ports in the Mediterranean and home to Christopher Columbus, was already a powerful maritime state in the Middle Ages. Today one finds impressive buildings, elegant mansions, and wonderful churches — all of which bear witness to Liguria's glorious past and blend in perfectly with the modern city. In other parts of Liguria, there are also numerous historical treasures. An intact and luxuriant Mediterranean vegetation exists in the mountain regions of Portofino and Cinque Terre. Portovenere is a small jewel on the Mediterranean coast. Sanremo is one of Italy's most famous bathing resorts and the place where the annual Italian pop music festival takes place. The beautiful Benedictine monastery of S. Fruttuoso merits a special visit. There are many other important historical monuments to be explored.
Liguria is where pesto originated, one of the most popular sauces in Italian cuisine. Seafood is a major staple of Ligurian cuisine as the sea is an integral part of the region's culture. Another important feature is the beach. Tourists have been flocking to the Italian Riviera for decades to experience its calm, deep blue water.



The Official Website of the Region of Liguria

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