One of the smallest regions in Northern Italy, Liguria is enclosed between the sea and the mountains. It offers its visitors unforgettable experiences and a several activities to enjoy.
The name 'Liguria' is quite recent, as until the beginning of the 19th century this maritime republic was called 'Genovesato' and its inhabitants were called 'Genovesi'. The sea in front of Liguria is called the Ligurian Sea and it is an extension of the Mediterranean Sea. It includes the Gulf of Genoa, the Gulf of La Spezia and the Gulf of Tigullio, which stretches from Portofino to Sestri Levante.
The coasts of Liguria are jagged and rocky in the Riviera di Levante, while in the Riviera di Ponente there are sandy stretches alternating with wonderful rocks that drop sheer to the sea.
The climate is conditioned by the meeting of the mountains behind with the sea. It remains cool in summer and mild in winter and it encourages the presence of tourists all year round. Crops, especially flowers, vegetables, olives and vines, which grow on terraces in greenhouses, are also positively affected. There are differences between locations on the coast, which enjoy more moderate temperatures, and those inland, where the climate is harsher in winter.
The tertiary sector is very important for the economy of Liguria, especially for the transport of people and goods in the ports of Genoa, Savona and La Spezia. These cities, together with Imperia, are the provinces of Liguria. The population lives most in the capital, Genoa.
In summer, the population density increases considerably. Presences, due to the arrival of tourists, reach very high numbers. They are both owners of second homes and holidaymakers who stay in the many accommodation facilities throughout the region and especially along the coast. In winter, skiing and winter activities are also possible in Liguria.
The Regional Natural Park of the Ligurian Alps offers trails that pass through larch and silver fir forests and allow you to make unexpected encounters with chamois and roe deer. In the Beigua Park, the Antola Park and the Aveto Park, snow permitting, it is amazing to go snowshoeing surrounded by ice and overlooking the blue sea.
Tourism is the primary source of revenue for the region. From spring to autumn, with peaks from June to August, the villages and towns come alive with a constant flow of tourists who come to enjoy the climate and beauty of Liguria. They participate in the numerous events that are organised to make their holiday unforgettable and take home some delicacies that can be found in all the towns, first and foremost the famous focaccia.
Tourism does not only enjoy the sea, but also the hinterland, which is rich in nature to explore and small villages that tell their history, traditions and offer the food and wine products of their land.
Starting from the west, at the border with France, the first part of Liguria is called the Riviera dei Fiori. The town of Ventimiglia, right on the border, has a medieval soul that reveals modern traits. Bordighera is an elegant town, has the longest promenade on the Riviera and has always been a favourite with tourists, especially British ones. Sanremo, called 'the city of flowers', is known both for its plant production and for the 'Festival della Canzone Italiana' at the Teatro Ariston. Tourists also appreciate the Casino, such as the walks in the historical part of the city, full of imposing villas. Imperia is the capital of Mediterranean olive oil, to which a museum is also dedicated. At the beginning of November, it reaches an important moment of fame with 'Olioliva', a festival where the protagonists are oil and Taggiasca olives. Diano Marina is very popular with families with children because of its sandy beaches, but also beach volleyball, surfing and canoeing enthusiasts love to spend a few days here.
The Riviera delle Palme has many beaches that have been awarded the Blue Flag. Alassio has wonderful stretches of fine sand that are ideal for children and is known as the 'City of Lovers' for the wall on which there are the famous ceramic tiles autographed by stars during their stays. Albenga, Loano and Pietra Ligure are renowned tourist resorts where you can enjoy beautiful historic centres and have a holiday full of sporting activities and nightlife. In Finale Ligure you can practice mountain biking and free climbing on organised trails. Bergeggi observes the sea from above, with its Caribbean coves and beaches that you can also admire while paragliding.
Genoa is a city of art rich in history. Camogli, famous for its bay and little restaurants by the sea, has a special charm. Portofino has the most famous square in the world and together with Rapallo, Santa Margherita and Sestri Levante, represents the VIP area, accessible to few.
The Cinque Terre, namely Monterosso, Manarola, Corniglia, Riomaggiore and Vernazza, are a route through a national park and a marine protected area. The cycle path from Levanto to Framura is a breathtaking itinerary and those who love trekking can go wild here all year round.
The Golfo dei Poeti has hosted important figures from the international literary world. La Spezia offers a pedestrian centre ideal for long walks and shopping. Also worth a visit are the Arsenal and the Naval Museum of the Navy, which is one of the oldest in the world. Porto Venere is a romantic place included among the UNESCO World Heritage sites and the panorama you can enjoy from here is truly indescribable. Among the beauties it offers, you must not miss the Church of San Pietro, the Doria Castle and Palmaria Island. Lerici and Tellaro are located in the Montemarcello-Magra Park. The 'Baia della Caletta' is famous and in a pleasant walk you can admire castles and luxurious villas where many artists have stayed and found inspiration in these places.