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The Liguria Region of Italy

 

Liguria's Major Cities

 

The regional capital of Liguria is Genoa. Other important cities are Imperia, Savona and La Spezia, capitals of the respective provinces.

Genoa

The regional capital of Liguria, Genoa is a city of contrasts, and sometimes of extremes...it is a city of art, but also an industrial city. It is Italy's largest port yet there are crowded beaches adjacent in Corso Italia. Glass skyscrapers stand alongside Medieval Towers, modern offices are located in intact palaces. Its contrasts can be seen when looking out to the sea from Castelletto or Righi, dark and slightly threating in the core of the old town. Not to mention that it is the birthplace of Christopher Columbus whose house is pictured in the middle below.

 

 

Genoa is a city that has always been at the crossroads of cultures and peoples. Its history dates back 26 centuries and legend says that it was founded by the two faced diety, Janus who presided over gates and doorways. In the year 1000 it became a powerful maritime republic with dominion over territories as far away as the Black Sea and over much of the Mediterranean. The republic of Genoa reached the height of its power under Andrea Doria- this was the beginning of the "Century of the Genoese"- rich traders, extraordinary navigators and merchant bankers who financed the mighty Spanish empire of Charles V. In the 29th century, genoa came into its own as a large modern port and major industrial city. It is the center of technology innovation and service industries. It remains a center of the arts and culture: of Opera and theatre, of cinema hosting the Genoa Film Festival in July. Typical Genoese dishes include: trofie al pesto, pansotti in salsa di noci, cappon magro (a 16th century fish and vegetable dish). Genoese sweets are notable- pandolce, sacripantina, canestrelli and lagaccio. Shopping in Genoa leaves nothing to be desired! The centro storico has a unique atmosphere filled with quaint shops selling tripe, poultry and baccala`, as well as goods of all kinds, the local specialties and exotic imported items.There is nothing missing here! The romantic Corso Italia promenade is irrestible at night shining with the lights of Boccadasse, a timeless hamlet at the end with its brightly colored houses and fishingboats reflected in the water near the little beach. Magnifico!

 

Imperia

 

is a coastal city and comune in the region of Liguria, Italy. It is the capital of the province of Imperia, and includes the territory known as the magnificent "Riviera dei Fiori", and was established in 1927, and historically it was capital of the Intemelia district of Liguria. Imperia is well known for the cultivation of flowers and olives, and is a popular destination for visitors in summer.

The city is made up of two historical districts:Porto Maurizio and Oneglia, situated on either side of the River Impero from which the city gets its name.
Porto Maurizio is on a peninsula to the west of the river, stretching along the coastline. It is by far the more colourful and wealthy district of the city crisscrossed by narrow lanes known as carrugi. Its economy revolves around the tourist industry. It was a possession of Genoa from the 13th century.
Oneglia (Inéja in Ligurian) lies on an alluvial plain to the east of the Impero, and with its working port is the more modern and industrial of the two districts. Dante Square, from which radiate some of the principal roads of the city, is located in its center.

 

Savona

 

 

Savona is the capital of the province of the same name. It has a long and fairly brutal past, in part due to its proximity to Genoa which has ensured a continual rivalry between the two cities.  Savonao suffered heavy bombing in World War II and today’s city is the result of significant rebuilding. However despite this adversity, the city is now one of Italy’s largest ports and exports many products to both the UK and the US, including among other things, Italian cars. You will find that much of the medieval city remains, like the Priarmar Fortress pictured in the center. The fortress overlooks the sea, and was built in the 16th century by the Genoese; today it is home to diverse museums, an art gallery and a hostel. As you walk around the Old Town you cannot fail to notice the number of towers, like the Torri del Brandale above right. Towers were usually built by noble families to protect their homes. Savona is also a modern and practical city with a good selection of shops, restaurants and bars. The cuisine of Savona is a mix of sea and land produce. Important produce includes the violet asparagus of Albenga, the Savona chinotto, Noli's cicciarelli (type of fish) and the dried chestnuts of Calizzano and Murialdo. Chick peas are the main ingredient of the famous farinata, cooked in wood burning stoves and brass pans. The farinata made from white wheat flour is characteristic of the city of Savona.. Also made from chick peas is the “panissa”, excellent fried in bread or cut into dice and mixed into salads. One should taste the formaggetta savonese, produced in the borough of Stella.

 

There are also many desserts, such as the famous delicacies called the amaretti di Sassello and baci di Alassio, and other less known treats like biscette and millesimini al rhum . The local wines, mainly whites with a delicate flavour are Pigato, Rossese and Vermentino for the Albenga area, Lumassina from near Finale, Buzzetto and eGranaccia coming from the area of Quililano.

 

La Spezia

 

La Spezia ( Spèza in the local dialect of Ligurian), is at the head of the Gulf of La Spezia in the Liguria region of northern Italy, and is the capital city of the province of La Spezia. Located between Genoa and Pisa on the Ligurian Sea, La Spezia is one of the main Italian military and commercial harbours and hosts one of Italy's biggest military industries, OTO Melara. Today, La Spezia is the most important Italian naval station and arsenal and the home of a navigation school. It is also a commercial port, with shipyards and industries producing machinery, metal products, and refined petroleum. It has a deep water harbor which accommodates even the largest cruise liners.The Via del Prione is one of La Spezia's busiest streets, a largely-pedestrianised thoroughfare lined with shops, and restaurants.

The Abbey church of Santa Maria Assunta ("Our Lady of the Assumption", 13th century(above left)), houses a considerable amount of artworks, some of them coming from other religious institutions. They include an Incoronation of the Virgin by Andrea della Robbia, the Multiplication of Bread by Giovanni Battista Casoni and St. Bartholomew's Martyrdom by Luca Cambiaso

The Castle of San Giorgio,(above right) was recently restored. Probably originating from a watchtower, the first castle was built by Niccolò Fieschi in 1262. In 1273 the Genoese destroyed it, and a new fortification, along with a new line of walls, was built by the podesteria of La Spezia from 1371. Adjacent to this building, the Republic of Genoa added a new castle starting from 1607.

La Spezia is the departure point for the Cinque Terre, by train or boat. The boat also stops in Lerici and Portovenere before going into the open sea towards the Cinque Terre. These localities can be reached by public transport (15 km) from the central railway station of the La Spezia.

 

Wine and olive oil are the basis of the local cuisine. Among the delicacies are the ‘muscoli ripieni alla Vecchia Spezia’, mussels stuffed with eggs, bread, mortadella, parmigiano, parsley and olive oil. The Monterosso anchovies, either fresh with some lemon juice, fried, stuffed or pickled are a must try . The ‘mesciùa’ (mixed) is a delicious pulse and cereal soup with a little of the precious local oil and black pepper.
Pizzas, focaccias and handmade pasta are other mouthwatering specialities of the local cuisine, not to mention the ‘trofie al pesto’ now widespread throughout the region.



The Official site of the Commune of Genoa



The Official site of the Commune of Imperia

The Official site of the Commune of La Spezia

The Official site of the Commune of Savona
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