Liguria is the land of sea, beaches with colorful landscapes, and maritime villages hidden in the rugged coastline.
It’s a fascinating and old land that gave birth to some important personalities of many fields, such as Cristoforo Colombo and Renzo Piano.
Liguria has an elongated shape, and Genova, the main city of the region, is more or less at the center of this stripe that extends in association with the coastline. It’s one of the most beautiful traits of the Mediterranean Sea, with a turquoise sea and colorful houses on cliffs.
In this article, you will find a guide on what to visit in Liguria if it’s the first time you come to this destination, from the best places to the typical food of the area.
Things to see on the first time in Genova
Genova is the main city in Liguria, as well as the most populous one, an economic center, and a trade hub, thanks to its harbor.
The historical center of Genova
An ancient Maritime Republic, Genova has an old history, which can be noticeable in the streets of the historical center. It’s the most fascinating part of the city, with a dense network of alleys, called carruggi, like a labyrinth. From one carruggio to another, you can find the beautiful squares, with their monuments and churches. The Cathedral of San Lorenzo is the most important church in Genova, in Gothic-Renaissance style. There is also Palazzi dei Rolli, a group of noble palaces that is nowadays among the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
The main square of the city is Piazza de Ferrari, the economic, social and commercial center of Genova, as well as a point of reference for important events. Piazza De Ferrari has an irregular plant, but also very heterogeneous styles of architecture, which go from eclectic to neoclassical.
The Old Harbor in Genova
Since it was an important Maritime Republic, Genova has always had a very important harbor, which is nowadays called Porto Vecchio (Old Harbor), in order to distinguish it from the new one.
Nowadays, Porto Vecchio hosts some architecture by Renzo Piano, who paid homage to his city. Among those, you can find Bigo, the panoramic elevator with the shape of the old cranes used, and Biosphere, a sphere where a tropical ecosystem is preserved.
In the area of the Old Harbor, there is also the Aquarium of Genova, the biggest in Europe. It’s directly connected to the sea and reproduces 70 ecosystems with more than 12000 species.
For further information here.
Things to see on your first time in Riviera di Levante
Riviera di Levante is a trait of the Ligurian coast that stretches from the Eastern districts of Genova to the mouth of the river Magra, near La Spezia. This trait of the coast is full of maritime villages, with their peculiar colorful houses and the turquoise sea.
Camogli is a town of Riviera di Levante, a pearl with vivid colors and a shiny sea. It’s a very picturesque place, with a landscape that looks like a postcard. Camogli is not that far from Genova and it can be reached by train. It’s a wonderful summer destination, as it has intense blue water and vivid orange, yellow and red houses.
Portofino is a very famous maritime village, one of the symbols of elegance and dolce vita. It’s a very small village, dominated by a square with many chic restaurants and shops. Portofino is part of the Park of Portofino, a natural reserve with a breathtaking path, where you can walk while admiring the beautiful view on the bay.
Cinque Terre are five amazing villages, embedded in the rugged Ligurian coastline. As a result, they’ve been isolated from the other towns during the centuries and they developed a self-sufficient economy. Anyway, nowadays they are well connected by train from Genova. The towns are Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza e Monterosso, which are similar but also different in some aspects. The beaches are wonderful, the food delicious and the view unforgettable.
Here for more information.
Rapallo is a very popular tourist destination, as it offers a spectacular blue sea and a well-organized coast. It can be the ideal destination for a holiday in total relaxation, between a dip in the sea and a walk among the streets of the city center.
Ligurian typical food
Ligurian cuisine boasts delicious and famous dishes, prepared with the ingredients of territory, that are simple but very tasty.
The most representative dish of Ligurian culinary tradition is pesto, a sauce made with the leaves of the basil of Prà, a district of Genova. It is usually served with pasta, specifically trofie, but it can also be eaten with bruschetta or with a slice of bread.
Another representative food of Ligurian cuisine is focaccia, a sort of bread made with flour, salt, water, and yeast. It’s usually served in different ways, but the most common one is with stracchino, a type of soft cheese.
Farinata is another typical dish of this zone, realized with chickpea flour and oil, usually eaten as street food.
The sea is represented by a dish of fried squids and anchovies, as well as stockfish, served as a casserole with olives.
May 4th, 2021