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The Liguria Region of Italy

Introduction

 

Liguria is an important industrial region in Italy, but as much as it might be considerd industrial, it also includes some of the most beautiful seacoast hamlets in all of Europe.

 

It saw its beginnings in ancient times. Traces of Neanderthal man have been discovered as well as Cro-magnan man near Ventimiglia in the grotta dei Balzi Rossi.

 

After the First Punic War, Liguria was divided into the allies of Carthage and the allies of Rome. After its conquest by Rome Liguria extended from the coast to the shores of the Po River to the great Roman roads, favoring the development of trade and commerce.

 

Genoa rose to be a great maritime power and has remained so up to the present. Liguria was occupied for two years by the Germans and was finally liberated by the Allied troops.

 

Liguria presents a charming and unique contrast between majestic fishing villages and sea coast resorts and the modern industrial cities like Genoa, La Spezia, Savona and Imperia.

 

Here are some of the places with which the average tourist might not be very familiar, all with numerous attractions which should not be missed.

 

 

StemCampoLigure

Campo Ligure is a small municipality of 3,033 inhabitants in the province of Genoa, located about 37kilometers (23 miles) from the heart of Genoa to the west. It is thought to date from Roman times because several Roman vases and utensils have been found there. Of particular interest is the Spinola Castle (seen below), originally a fort built to control different routes connecting the Genoese with the Monferrato. The date it was built is uncertain. It actually resembles a late medieval building, but some scholars date it from Roman times while others say it is from the 9th century.

 

Spinola castle

In the early 14th century the Spinola family of Genoa acquired the estate and the castle. It became the symbol of the Spinola family who lived there briefly.It offered control of the valley and of the access roads.
Located at the confluence of the rivers Vobbia and Scrivia, it is well preserved and features a square base with turrets at the corners. In the beginning of the 19th century, it was devasted by Napoleon's soldiers after which it was abandoned and then used by the Germans in World War II.

 

campoligure

The Spinola Castle seems to dominate the old town. One can enter the courtyard through a portal placed between two round towers. Since 1865 it is a private residence owned by the Mignacco from which it took the current name.In 1999 the Castle was awarded the Mark of Excellence of Italian historical homes. Today the spaces are used for receptions and events.

 

Campo Ligure is among the 100 most beautiful villages in Italy. An important museum dedicated to filigree, a jeweller's technique involving interweaving fine wires of gold and silver is located in Campo Ligure. There are about two-hundred pieces on display, mostly from the four continents of Europe, Asia, Africa, and South America, and from local artisans. Of particular importance is the collection of handmade articles of Italian, Russian, and Chinese production. For more information, visit: www.museofiligrana.org

 

Revzora (or revezora) is a culinary highlight of Campo Ligure, a traditional Genoese focaccia, made with the poorer, more rustic cornmeal, resulting a coarser dough of a golden color, with a crumblier consistency. The sagra della revzora(Revzora Festival) is held at the beginning of September each year, to coinciding with the annual filigree show. During the feastival , focaccia is served with other local specialties, such as testa in cassetta, a traditional Ligurian sausage. Travel to Campo Ligure is simple by the Turchino state road, the A26 Genova-Alessandria motorway, or by train.

 

TellaroTellaro is set on a rocky peninsula sloping down to the sea, Tellaro is the last village of the eastern shore of the Gulf of Poets . On the extreme point, jutting out almost into the sea is the old church, dedicated to Saint George in the later half of the sixteenth century; it dominates the square and is surrounded by colorful housesin the old walled town Legend has it that in July 1660, six galleys of pirates tried to attack the village in the dark of night. But the sentry on guard, asleep tied the rope of the bell to his foot.The bell sounded just as the pirates were about to land, forcing them to flee. The legend says that a huge octopus emerged from the sea, clinging to the rope of the bell, it sounded and the village was saved.

 

Tellaro


Many recipes from Tellaro

are based on this mollusk -

the bell ringer octopus who saved the village from the Saracen pirates. 

The dish is octopus "alla tellarese" made with boiled potatoes and seasoned with oil Tellaro, olives, pitted and chopped, garlic, parsley, salt, pepper and lemon juice. Another version is the octopus "al inferno, a stew seasoned with bay leaves, marjoram, pepper, tomato and a splash of

white wine. The typical dessert in Tellaro is a sweet, soft foccacia with raisins, pine nuts and candied fruit..


Not to be missed is the Underwater Christmas Event
 :which takes place on the 24th of December.The event is organized by the Unione Sportiva some 34years ago. On Christmas Eve, the village is illuminated by thousands of candles as sea divers bring to light the baby Jesus from the sea with magnificent fireworks raining down on the rooftops of the town.

 

Nearby
In the  Park of Monte Marcello Magra, easy walking trails provide a very pleasant encounter with typical Mediterranean nature, fauna and flora , as well as the beauty of the landscape. For information on excursions: contact Cooperative Hydra, tel. 0187.626172 - 3334685013. Take the  Tellaro-Quattrostrade-Punta Corvo route (time about 3 hours),  a trail that offers magnificient views and covers walkways overlooking the sea. The walk begins in Tellaro, continues through the "Via Grande" or "Roman" (ancient way of communication with Ameglia via Luni), and arrives at the intersection of the "Four Roads". It takes the old road towards Punta Corvo. Along the way there is an ancient furnace, the "Tower of Groppina", an ancient sentinel of the seas and winds its way through "Zezigna" (from the greek Ghe ghiges , the land of the giants), ending in Punta Corvo. From Punta Corvo one can view the Apuan Alps, the coast of Tuscany, Corsica and the smaller islands of the Tuscan archipelago.

 

Trivia
The underwater archaeological park called the "Cove", is located in the inlet between the tip of Maramozza and Maralunga. In its depths one can see the remains of a Roman ship and its cargo. It is part of an itinerary of interest as well as underwater archaeology, and is the natural habitat for rare varieties of flora and fauna, such as gorgonians, alcyonarian corals of the order Gorgonacea, having a usually branching, horny or calcareous skeleton, and found only in the clear and clean waters.

 

Sarzana

The town of Sarzana is located 15 km east of Spezia, on the rail line to Pisa, where the tracks to Parmasplits off to the north. In 2008 it had a Its population in 2008 was 21,356. Sarzana's position at the entrance to the valley of the Magra (ancient Macra), which was the boundary between Etruria and Liguria in Roman times, gave it military importance in the Middle Ages. Because of its position, Sarzanachanged hands more than once, belonging first to Pisa, then to Florence, then to the Banco di S. Giorgio of Genoa and from 1572 to Genoa itself. The Cadolingi di Borgonuovo family, Lords of Fucecchio in Tuscany  which had acquired the name of Buonaparte, settled near Sarzana before 1264. In 1512 a member of the family (Francesco Buonaparte, who died in 1540) permanently took up residence in Ajaccio, becoming the founder of the Corsican line of Buonapartes and hence a direct forebear of Sebastiano Nicola Buonaparte. He in turn was the great-grandfather of the Emperor Napoleon I (who was born in Corsica in 1769).

 

Fortress

One of Sarazana's most interesting attractions is its fortress called Fortress Firmafede; it is notable in military history and in the history of fortifications.

In 1814 it was assigned to the Kingdom of Sardinia, the frontier between Liguria and Tuscany being now made to run between it and Carrara.

 

  • Located on the site of the Fortress, the Castle on the hill of Sarzanello was built or enlarged by the condottiero Castruccio Castracani.
  • fortezza It has existed there from as early as the reign of emperor Otto I, and was later a residence of the bishops of Luni; an interesting sight to see.

 

 

  • Sarzana Cathedral seen below) with a facade of white marble, is called the Cathedral of the Assumption of Mary, and is dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin Mary. The building is a mixture of the Romanesque and Gothic styles, constructed from the early 13th to the late 15th century. Important to note is that this cathedral is the dwelling place of a relic of the Blood of Christ and of the important Romanesque Cross of Maestro Guglielmo of 1138. It is the oldest known painted Italian crucifix and is a central work of Romanesque painting, despite some re-touching of the face and body in the 14th century. The crucifix is a prime example of the iconography of the Christus triumphans that preceded the establishment of the iconography of the Christus patiens, which represents a more human and suffering Jesus. The crucifix (pictured below) is in the Chapel of the Cross to the north of the choir and high altar. It contains two elaborately-sculptured altars of the latter period.

 

cathedralcross

 

Zuccarello

Zuccarello is a municipality in the Province of Savona in the region Liguria, located about 70 km southwest of Genoa and about 35 km southwest of Savona.

Zuccarello borders the following municipalities: ArnascoBalestrinoCastelbiancoCastelvecchio di Rocca BarbenaCisano sul Neva, andErli. Important sights to see include the church of San Bartolomeobuilt in the 13th century, the Marquisses' Palace, the remains of a castle, and the chapel of Sant'Antonio Abate, with late medieval frescoes.

 

Zuccarello was founded on April 4, 1248. The town is laid out along a single street lined on both sides by porticos, arches and pillars in many different shapes of picturesque art forms within and parallel to the main axis of the winding alleyways.

 

Just outside the village to the south, one can see the late medieval frescoes of theZuccarello

chapel of St. Anthony.  The Via del Roso, from the name of a farm owned by the

Del Carretto in the fifteenth century, is a trail about 3 km in length going from

Zuccarello to Castelvecchio. It is a great walk, safe for travelers, men on foot

and on horseback. Today the trail, has been upgraded and named Ilaria Del

Carretto. Covering it from Zuccarello,you can still see the remains of a lookout

tower and a pillar below is part of the so-called Gate of Roncazzo. You will then

arrive at the castle, constructied between 1200 and 1248. Originally the castle

was the residence of the marquis, and later became was exclusively for military

use. In the early fifteenth century, the Marquis lived in the palace in the village

below. 

 

 

 

Bonassola is a municipality in the province of La Spezia in the Italian region Liguria, located about 60 kilometres (37 mi) southeast of Genoa and about 20 kilometres (12 mi) northwest of La Spezia. As of 31 December 2004, it had a population of 945 and an area of 9.3 square kilometres (3.6 sq mi). Bonassola was founded before 1000 by a population known as the Tigulli, apopulation derived from the ancient Ligurians. It is known for a document called the "Instrumento of Cumpagnia of Bonassola dated March 30, 1569 and is the first form of civil security of its kind in Italy. Bonassola has a special relationship with the sea. In 1800 its ships crossed the Medtterrean and the Atlantic to trade and build its economy.

The oldest houses in the village are distributed in small groups gracefully sloping down to the see as in the photo below.

The area is now a popular summer resort.

 

Bonassola

Of note is the baroque church of Saint Catherine located in the marina district which was consecrated in 1688. Its facade is very simple and unassuming while its

StCatherineChurch

inside is very ornate with magnificient furnishings. This is due to an old tradition in which sailors donated part of their earnings to the church in return for safe passage prayed for by the priests of the parish.

 

Madonnina

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On the street that follows the sea, at the end of the mountains perched on the top, we see the remains of the little church of the Madonna of the Point (in the photo on the far right). It overlooks the sea and protects the town.



The Official Website of the Region of Liguria


The Official Website of Campo Ligure



The Official Website of the Commune of Sarzana



The Official Website of Bonassola


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