“The blue of the water of one of the most beautiful seas in Italy lays the coast, made of rocks, Mediterranean scrub and pastel colours of the hundred proud villages of the Ligurian Riviera. Behind them, the hills – silvery coloured by the olive trees - rise steeply towards the Apennine that separates Liguria from other regions of the north.”
Liguria, the coastal region of north-western Italy, is that kind of place that definitely steals your heart at first glance. The territory is a combination of three elements: the mountains, the see and the historic medieval villages. This makes this region the ideal place for all kind of vacations. Liguria is the only Italian region to have Alps, Apennines and the sea, and it enjoys the mild climate of the Tyrrhenian Sea, remaining protected up north by the mountains. This, together with the commercial and historic tradition of Genoa, created a gastronomy that harmonizes the fruits of the woods, the garden and the sea. You cannot leave Liguria without having tasted its delicious typical dishes such as “taggiasche” olives, trofie (a short, thin, twisted pasta) with pesto (a savory green sauce made using only olive oil, garlic, and basil) and the famous focaccia (a flat oven-baked bread). This territory, which is covered in history everywhere from its coast to its hills and mountains, is so rich with past jewels strongly present in its Medieval villages and castle ruins.
I soon fell in love with Ligurian small medieval villages as well as with its light blue sea. I suggest you to discover more about this unique region and maybe plan a visit one day if you didn’t yet. You will have the chance to take a walk through one of the many wave promenades of the Riviera shaded by rows of palm trees.
The typical smells of Mediterranean scrubs and spices will merge with the fresh seaside scent thanks to the summer breeze that blows from the water towards the land. Should you ever felt mesmerized by this set of odours take your time, close your eyes and enjoy it to the fullest … you will never experience something similar anywhere!
The seaside tourism as we know it today in Liguria – as well as in the rest of Europe - had its greatest expansion around 1840, with the development of the seaside resorts and dedicated facilities.
It was in 1841 that, what will then be remembered as the first organized trip of the history of tourism, was organized. However, trips were very expensive and, as a result, they were only addressed to high ranking personalities such as nobility and wealthy people.
In the early 1900s the growth on rail transportation and even less expensive destinations, turned tourism to a mass phenomenon finally open to many non-aristocratic people, especially belonging to the middle classes (bankers, traders and employees) and even some less expensive destinations became a source of demand from the working class.
“And suddenly I found a hidden creek, full of olives and chestnuts. A small village named Portofino, extends like a moonlit arch around this calm basin. We pass slowly the narrow passage that joins the sea with this magnificent natural harbour. The village is surrounded by a forest of a mighty and fresh green colour, and everything reflects itself in the mirror of the calm waters, with some fishing boats sailing on the sea.”
— Guy de Maupassant
Today, just like yesterday, the perfect blend of culture, leisure and gastronomy, the hospitality of the people and above all a Mediterranean climate make Liguria region be an irresistible tourist destination across the centuries.