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Nestled between the sea and the Apennine mountains, in the north-western side of Italy, Liguria is a region projected on the sea, the sea connects the region with the rest of the world. The Ligurian are a people of sailors, Christopher Columbus, the discoverer of America, was born in this land, and here is the most important Italian port and one of the most important ports in the Mediterranean: Genoa.
Liguria is one of the smallest regions of Italy (5,416 km²), only Valle d’Aosta and Molise are smaller, but Liguria is also one of the most densely populated regions, only Campania it is more. Liguria is bordered to the west by France, tothe north by Piedmont, and to the east by Emilia Romagna and Tuscany.
The region is formed by a narrow strip of land between the mountains and the sea, and has a high and steep coast with mountains that sometimes reach the sea, forming cliffs of great beauty such as in Portofino, Portovenere, or unique scenic areas like those of the Cinque Terre.
From the geographical point of view Liguria is formed largely of mountainous areas, they account for over 65% of the territory, the remaining 35% is made up of hilly areas, plains are almost absent.
The highest mountains of the region are located at the western end, near the border with France and Piedmont. Mount Saccarello (2,201 meters), in the Ligurian Western Alps (Alps of Marguareis), is the highest peak of Liguria. In the Apennines the mountains are lower, they reach the highest point with Mount Maggiorasca (1,804 meters), on the border with Emilia Romagna.
Liguria what to see: the tourist attractions
Tourism occupies an important place in the economy of Liguria, it is a kind of seaside tourism in the summer months and a climatic tourism in the winter months, but also a tourism revitalized by the changes that have made Genoa an important tourist attraction, with a historic center that is the largest on the European continent, which has been largely restored, doing of Genoa one of the most beautiful historic towns of Italy, but also providing it with attractions such as the wonderful aquarium (Acquario di Genova).
The coast of Liguria offers mondane resorts known all over the world such as San Remo and Portofino, seaside resorts such as Rapallo, Santa Margherita, Chiavari, Lavagna, Varazze, Celle Ligure, Recco and Camogli. The region also has pristine stretches of coastline such as those that characterize Portofino with the Abbey of San Fruttuoso, the Cinque Terre and Portovenere area. Very interesting are also some inland villages that have the appearance of days gone by, as Dolceacqua, Apricale and Castelvecchio di Rocca Berbena. Important natural attraction are also the caves of Toirano, in the province of Savona.
The food and wine tourism has a certain importance. Among the typical dishes of the region is famous pasta al pesto (trenette, trofiette, corzetti, linguine), but the Ligurian cuisine also features plenty of seafood, meats, cheeses and wines.
UNESCO has included in its list of UNESCO World Heritage Site two sites of Liguria:
- Genoa: Le Strade Nuove and the system of the Palazzi dei Rolli (2006).
- Portovenere, Cinque Terre, and the Islands (Palmaria, Tino and Tinetto) (1997).
Among the places waiting to be inserted on the list of World Heritage sites are:
- The Botanical Gardens Hanbury near Ventimiglia.
- Pelagos: The Sanctuary of Cetaceans.