The Liguria region
The geography of Liguria, nestled between mountains and sea and the combination of culture, nature and history make Liguria appreciated for its beauty, gastronomic heritage and opportunities for life in the open air. Liguria is loved for its always clean sea: it is constantly awarded with the Blue Flags, and is the leading region in Italy for clean water and beaches. Our beaches, characterized by sandy beaches and beautiful rocky cliffs like those of the Cinque Terre, continue to represent our strength for tourism.
We have many seaside villages to discover also in terms of historical, artistic and architectural wonders. In recent years, Genoa has become an important cultural capital, one of the most popular cities of art by tourists thanks to the exhibitions in the Palazzo Ducale, the Palazzi dei Rolli, Unesco heritage, the major works of art housed in the city’s museums and the Aquarium of Genoa.
Liguria is a paradise for trekking and mountain bike enthusiasts, a treasure chest for nature lovers, with many medieval villages to visit. 60 thousand hectares of parks and nature reserves create the ideal environment for excursions.
In addition, Liguria has many unique tasty products in the world, such as our DOP extra virgin olive oil, pesto alla genovese, focaccia with Recco IGP cheese, tasty focaccia and the famous Sciacchetrà delle Cinque Terre together with about twenty DOP wines. of the region.
Wave after wave, excitement which tastes like the sea!
Discovering Liguria by boat means discovering creeks and varied unreachable coastal landscapes, sailing from port to port. But when the calm waters of the Ligurian sea change, the wind makes the waves bigger, meaning an irresistible call for lovers of windsurfing and those who cannot turn down the excitement and thrill of nature, to be experienced even out-of-season.
In Levanto, considered one of the ideal locations for enthusiasts, waves can reach up to 4 metres high. Good waves for windsurf and kitesurf enthusiasts can be found in Ventimiglia and Sanremo: here, in particular, the waves in the bay are softer and more adapted to beginners. Many also hit the beaches of Alassio, Diano Marina, Pietra Ligure and Varazze.
The Ligurian sea is an oasis for whale watching. Excursions are organised on boats leaving from Genoa, Andora, Laigueglia, Imperia, Loano, Savona and Varazze, all accompanied by a biologist.
Exploring the bottom of the Ligurian Sea you will be fascinated by a variety of underwater landscapes: a silent universe in which you can explore inside a wreck or see the rich fauna and underwater vegetation up-close.
The stretches of sea included in protected national and regional marine areas are: the Protected Marine Area of Portofino, that of the Cinque Terre, which has rare false black coral, and that of Bergeggi Island. The Hanbury Botanical Gardens (Capo Mortola) and Portovenere were recognized Protected Marine Areas, whilst the Gallinara Island is Natural Regional Reserve.
Genoa, not just a city break
Genoa, city of art. The Ligurian capital leaves no room for doubt: Genoa is to be visited, but above all lived. Explore the biggest medieval centre in Europe, let yourself be surprised by the allure of the 42 Palazzi dei Rolli, UNESCO World Heritage Site.
A city of art that will captivate the curious travellers for its beautiful medieval and baroque churches , the Cathedral of San Lorenzo and the Palazzo Ducale, once an ancient residence of the Doge and today a venue for exhibitions and events. A cultural heritage contained in the 22 civic museums, to discover using the Museum Card.
Genoa is a fascinating discovery, starting from its scenic terraces high-up in Castelletto, crossing thousands of its alleyways then arriving at the Porto Antico, now a lively and international square by the water. It houses the Bigo – a sort of old/new elevator- the Magazzini Del Cotone, now an important Congress Centre, the famous Acquario and the Galata Museo del Mare.
The city’s heritage also includes modern and contemporary art collections. Starting from the east, in the parks of Nervi, you can find four art galleries in a unique setting, immersed in greenery and a stone’s throw from the famous Anita Garibaldi promenade: the GAM modern art gallery, the Collezione Wolfsoniana, Villa Grimaldi and the Museo Luxoro. Boccadasse, the famous, scenic fisherman’s hamlet, is ideal for a romantic stroll and for tasting Genoese delicacies: fresh fish, focaccia, farinata and great ice-cream.
Sanremo, The City of Flowers
The Festival of Italian Song, the Tenco Prize, the Giraglia, the Milan-Sanremo race, the Casino: everything happens in Sanremo. But Sanremo is first of all one of the best-known tourist places on the Riviera dei Fiori or Coast of Flowers.
A very famous street is Via Matteotti, called “The Tub”: it is the long pedestrianized street that contains the Teatro Ariston, and the most important and chic street in Sanremo, the one where high-level international shopping is concentrated.
A short way off in Corso degli Inglesi you find the Municipal Casino and the Russian Church, from the late nineteenth century. La Pigna, the primitive nucleus of the city, still alive and pulsating, is a labyrinth of caruggi (alleys) and houses. Special mention must be made of the villas and gardens of Sanremo: Villa Ormond with its park full of exotic plants; Villa Nobel, where Alfred Nobel lived and which today houses the museum of nineteenth-century discoveries and inventions, and Villa Zirio (the home of the Symphonic Orchestra, one of the oldest Italian musical foundations).
For those who love pedalling with a view of the sea, the Cycle Track of Western Liguria affords breathtaking views. It is an oasis suspended between green and blue, between maritime pines and beaches, coasting along the sea for no less than 24 km. You can go along it on foot, on a bicycle, on roller skates or on a skateboard. It is suitable for families with children, with refreshment points and bike rentals. Enjoyable the whole year, it is also endowed with Wi-Fi.
The Ulivi Golf Club is the oldest and most prestigious sporting institution in the city, an 18-hole course among the most popular in Liguria. Portosole is the tourist harbour of the city, with over 900 places for boats.
Ligurian cuisine and all its shades
Simple and light, a genuine expression of seafaring and farming life, Ligurian cuisine boasts a rich range of tastes: from fresh fish and vegetables to fragrant baked products. Every town in the area has its own speciality and a recipe to discover by visiting its wine cellars, oil mills, restaurants and agritourisms which exquisite specialities such as cappon magro, chickpea panissa, cima alla genovese, borage ravioli, torta verde and trofie with pesto.
In all Ligurian dishes, DOP extra-virgin olive oil reigns supreme: its aroma makes Genoese focaccia unique and fragrant, great from breakfast to aperitivo.
DOP basil, with its unmistakable and lingering perfume, is the key ingredient of Genoese pesto.
Just out of the oven and irresistible! We’re talking about IGP focaccia with cheese from Recco.
IGP anchovies in salt from the Ligurian sea are a Ligurian specialty since many centuries.
Ligurian viticulture is indissolubly linked to the image of the vineyards of the Cinque Terre, an example of heroic viticulture.
Milk, cheese, cereals, pulses and white – coloured vegetables are the basis for ‘Cucina Bianca’, created in the mountains of the far west of Liguria where, for centuries, the locals have practised sheep farming and herding.
The inland of western Liguria, in the bow of valleys from the confines of Provence to the Colle di Nava, boasts a rich tradition of the cultivation and distillation of Coldinava lavender.
Not just sea: active holidays all year round
A paradise for lovers of nature and sport in the open-air: it is important to take all the necessary equipment with you for a holiday in Liguria in order to face an active holiday in a region which offers a lot of opportunities for sports and wandering outdoors.
The Alta Via dei Monti Liguri, a tourist and excursion route of paths and tracks which can be used all year round and link the two extremities of the Riviera. With 400km from Sarzana to Ventimiglia, it is a trip from the coast to the inland, among the Alps and Apennines, the ideal walk for an excursion of a few days or a walk of a few hours, or even a trip by horse.
Quick and easy on roads or steep climbs, Liguria is an unforgettable experience for those who love two wheels. Road cycling, mountain biking, cycling holidays and downhill cycling: numerous possibilities are offered by the over 400 itineraries found in the territory. The Finale Ligure area in particular is a real paradise for free – riding along dirt paths and rocky trails. It offers 8 itineraries for cross-country cycling, 16 for free – riding and 4 for road cycling.
24 kilometres, freewheeling far from the traffic: from Imperia to Ospedaletti, the old railway has become a wonderful cycle track where it is possible to rent bicycles. A route suitable for everyone, flat and with a sea view. If you want to combine a dip in the sea with your bicycle trip, the “Maremonti” cycle path between Levanto and Framura is for you. The route links the hamlets of Levanto and Framura: 5 kilometres with a breath-taking view from the old railway line that passes a few metres above the sea, flat and accessible to all.
Wandering through the old villages
There are 17 Ligurian hamlets which have obtained in 2021, the prestigious Orange Flag recognition (Bandiera Arancione). 24 of the ‘most beautiful hamlets in Italy’ are in Liguria, a prestigious prize given by ANCI to award architectural harmony and quality of life in the hamlets.
In addition to these places, there are also hamlets and small towns which, due to their beauty and peculiarity, are worth a visit. Small towns perched on hilltops where life goes by slowly to the rhythm of nature, or next to the sea.
Unesco sites and Fai heritage, marvels to protect
With the addition in 2006 of ‘Genova: le Strade nuove e il sistema dei palazzi dei Rolli’ in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Liguria now has four ‘wonders’ of humanity: the 42 Palazzi dei Rolli in the heart of the city of Genoa along Via Garibaldi, the Geoparco del Beigua between Genoa and Savona, and lastly Portovenere, Cinque Terre and the Palmaria, Tino and Tinetto islands in the province of La Spezia. Since 2018 dry stone walls craft has been included in the list of intangible elements declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Four gems which, with their artistic, naturalistic and landscape beauty, best interpret the character of this region and its unique mix of history and nature.
Microcosms in which time stands still, the FAI heritage sites are real jewels which enrich the territory. In Liguria there are five: the Antica Barberia Giacalone in Genoa, the Abbazia di San Fruttuoso in Camogli, the Torre di Punta Pagana in Rapallo, the Casa Carbone in Lavagna and Podere Case Lovara at Punta Mesco (closed to public). In addition, the historic Cuneo-Ventimiglia-Nice railway line, known as the Ferrovia delle Meraviglie, in 2020 won the first place in the Places of the heart of the FAI.
Nature reserves, a holiday respecting the environment
The environment: parks and protected marine areas. 60 thousand hectares of parks and nature reserves: beauty in its purest form. An environment for excursions and walks to discover woods, hidden valleys and towns where the locals still practice traditional activities to teach people about ecological and sustainable tourism: National Park of Cinque Terre, Portofino Park, Natural Regional Parks of Montemarcello-Magra, Porto Venere, Aveto, Antola, Beigua, Bric Tana, Piana Crixia and Ligurian Alps.
Parco Nazionale delle Cinque Terre offers spectacular views of marine villages, sanctuaries, terraces, all surrounded by rich Mediterranean fauna.
The Park of Portofino dominates the Golfo del Tigullio and Golfo Paradiso.
In the Parco dell’Antola: we suggest you The Castello della Pietra di Vobbia, a trip on Monte Antola and a break in its refuge, a rail-road on the Rocche del Reopasso for passionate mountaineers and a view of the Brugneto lake.
Parco dell’Aveto offers grazing cows, centuries-old forests, the highest mountain points of the Ligurian Apennines and an exciting meeting with the wild horses near the Giacopiane lake.
The Beigua Geoparks by Unesco offers sporting itineraries from the coast to breathtaking walks in the Genoese Apennines.
Parco di Montemarcello Vara Magra. By foot along the numerous, striking paths, by canoe on the Vara river, by boat taking the Magra river.
Park of the Ligurian Alps is at the border with France: you find the Maritime Alps, with the Saccarello, the highest mountain in Liguria and the deepest cave (Melosa).