The Beauty of Liguria
Harbors, picturesque cities on the edges of cliffs, beautiful beaches and great cuisine: all this and more is Liguria. Located in the north-western part of Italy, Liguria is a region that is not very well known abroad, but it has very authentic gems that deserve to be discovered.
A land of commerce and navigators due to its position and having the port city of Genoa, one
of the Maritime republics together with Pisa, Amalfi and Venice, as its capital, Liguria has always been a place of communication with other countries and cultures. The mixing of people, trade and traditions also reflects the geography of the entire region, characterized by mountains, hills and the sea.
What characterize Liguria the most are its beveled shores that find in 'Cinque Terre' their best expression. The little towns erected on the shore are something unusual and stunning at the same time and can hardly be found anywhere else. To seal its magnificence, UNESCO designed Cinque Terre as a World Heritage Site together with Porto Venere and three small islands in the Ligurian Sea (Palmaria, Tino and Tinetto). Porto Venere is probably one of the most beloved spots by those who visit Liguria because of its rocky shores, its beaches and grottos, including Byron's Grotto, named like this because poet Lord Byron used to meditate there.
The capital, Genoa, is a particular city that went through a long history of building and reconstruction. Back in the sixties and seventies, different shades of grey used to color the whole town from the seaport to the ancient center, but at the beginning of the new century, when Italy was facing the Jubilee and Genoa was declared 'City of Culture 2004,' the city invested money and energy into rediscovering its old beauty. Architect Renzo Piano played a very important role in this: he contributed to renew the port that eventually became an important spot for entire families because of the presence of the aquarium and the cotton warehouses. The city found color again and its palaces found their ancient luster.
“Genoa is a very unique and surprising city: it has been an important Republic of the sea and from the second half of the 16h century it was one of the richest cities in the world. It had not only merchants but also bankers. It was in a very important situation and it had a lot of points of contacts with the world. If you come to Genoa, you can see all the palaces where the merchants and the bankers of the city lived. UNESCO decided that these palaces and the center of the city deserve to be a World Heritage Site,” said Anna Castellano, Council of the Department of Communications and City Promotion of Genoa, at an event organized by the Italian Government Tourist Board in New York.
In 2011, the southern part of the region was damaged by a massive flash flood, that put at risk the beauty of the land. “It is all back to normal,” admitted Damiano Pinelli, President of the local touristic system Terra Locale dei Poeti, “it was hard at the beginning but now everything is fixed.” While the coast is always the most known, there are also inland spots that are worth a visit: “We usually organize itineraries that mix the coast with some more hidden places, putting together cuisine and walking, so that everyone can know even this side of the region,” continued Pinelli.
Liguria is one of the most active regions from the north of Italy trying to spread its culture: “We are trying to export our products,” said Angelo Berlangieri, tourism and culture council member of Liguria, “this is our first step and the first of many events. We are trying to bring Liguria in New York.”