Liguria is among the most fascinating regions of Italy. It is a narrow strip of land, bow-shaped, sheltered by a ring of mountains that give it a mild climate in every season.
Its territory is characterized by an incredible variety of habitats; by artistic and architectural witnesses that are the result of its millenary history.
This region ever since divided between sea, from which its old maritime civilization was born, and the peasant and piedmont hinterland, is able to offer emotions and suggestive atmospheres in every season of the year.
Its typical old villages, often encompassed by terracing with hundred-year-old olive trees, contain architectural treasures. It is not rare to sight behind their ruins ancient castles sometimes very well conserved.
Since the Roman age the Mediterranean, place of trades, cultural exchanges, migrations crossroads, became the door towards progress and civilization. The Ligurian coast watched its territory embellishing with churches, gentleman’s residences, squares, monuments, fortresses, that make it still today one the regions with the highest number of historical findings in the world.
From a landscape point of view, Liguria presents a series of micro-habitats and micro-climates that make it a desired touristic destination, able to satisfy various exigencies in the area of spare time, leisure and sport. West Riviera presents a more regular trend with gulfs, large and deep coves that have allowed the growth of sandy and gravelly beaches. East Riviera offers sometimes inaccessible coast ranges with sheer cliffs, cut off by little coves and beaches of modest dimension. Despite the presence quite continuous of mountains, coastal and submontane planes do not miss. Albenga plane is famous for some excellent products such as its artichokes. During the autumn Bardineto and Calizzano planes are rushed by mushrooms seekers, attracted by the precious fruit typical of chestnut and beech woods. On the basis of fruit and vegetable products of excellent quality and meat coming from small farming, a gastronomic offer was born in these places and it is appreciable in every season of the year.
The islands of Savona province belong to this unique and very delicate environmental variety.
At a short distance from the coast, it is possible to dive and admire the very rare coral of the submarine protected area of Bergeggi Isle or the Roman findings around Gallinara Isle.
Near La Spezia in Cinque Terre Park area, declared Unesco World Heritage, people can find the isles of Palmaria, Tino and Tinetto, destinations of maritime excursions by boats and diving activities as well. Some mountains, such as Mount Saccarello with its 2200 metres, soar on the opposite extreme of this region, but always near the coast in the area of Imperia.
It presents an alpine flora and offers an incredible prospective on the very closed Mediterranean sea. From here Marguarais Massif expands. Into its underground people can admire one of the most known karsic formations of Italy.
Where Liguria landscape
seems to bring out from the sea
From the very fine sand to the wild rock,
the West Riviera to remember
Genova per noi, che siamo gente innamorata del mare e della montagna
A rainbow between a green sea
and a blue one
Liguria is a region with a wide floristic richness. It presents some unique species in the world such as the campanula Isophylla, exclusive of Finale area; the campanula sabatia, present just in the provinces of Savona and Imperia; and the santolina ligustic, typical of La Spezia province.
Walking on the various paths upon the hills above the coastline, you can appreciate the typical vegetation of this region, the macchia, formed by a series of vegetal and often aromatic species, such as rosemary, thyme, mint, bay.
About fauna, woods of Liguria are inhabited above all by small animals, such as the badger, the hare, the beech marten, the squirrel;
all shy animals and therefore hardly to observe. Fallow deers and roes have been brought back for some decades.
Their rapid growth has brought the return of the wolf, from the closed Mercantour park in France. This wonderful animal is more and more populating the valleys of Ligurian hinterland. It is a discrete and not dangerous presence for the man; but its observation is really rare, and it is an unforgettable experience reserved to very few people.
Birdwatching is a very practised activity as result of the augmentation of different hawks species, and the passing of some exemplars such as the short-toe eagle, above a restricted area of Apennines.
Historical witnesses of all ages are numerous and very interesting beginning from the prehistorical findings in the area of Ventimiglia, Finale and Luni, to those of the Roman age with the naissance of towns such as Luna (Luni) , Genua (Genova), Vada Sabatia (Vado), Albingaunum (Albenga) and Albintimilium (Ventimilia) about in 180 b. C. These ancient towns were connected by an efficient road net whose rests, pavements and bridges, are still visible in the hinterland of Finale Ligure in Val Ponci. Witnesses of the paleo-Christian age are a lot. Some of them are very well conserved like the Baptistery of Albenga (5th century). Every age has left over these territories an important architectural and artistic wealth. Castles’ ruins of the medieval period are rediscovered and preserved through consolidating and partial restoring works. The most important architectural heritage is that one referred to the sacral art. Paleo-Christian parishes, Baroque and Romanic churches and cathedrals, extraordinarily well-conserved, are often keepers of cultural and political influences that have done the history of this region.
People can admire influences of Lombard culture in the East and Lombard-Provençal in the West as well as influences of cultures and people still more distant such as the Byzantine one.
During the 16th century the most important cities changed their aspect of medieval towns with the building of wealthy palaces and aristocratic residences. Genoa already political and administrative centre became Republic. Closed to the medieval centre, wonderful palaces and villas inhabited by the most important families of the age, were built.
Genova became one of the main destinations for intellectuals, philosophers, scientists, artists that often, attracted by its beauty and mild climate, spent a long time in the Ligurian city.
Ligurian artistic works were highly influenced by these European cultural contacts, as in the works of Bernardo Strozzi. Finally with the spreading of tourism from northern and central Europe, between the end of 19th century and the beginning of 20th century, people built villas and big hotels in liberty style that still today characterize the urban landscape of the most beautiful coast places.