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La Spezia


Destination Guide













Liguria is in north-western Italy bordering France. The region features impressive mountains and beautiful rolling hills, colored by the green Mediterranean countryside and overlooking the Ligurian Sea. The two are divided by a high, indented coastline. 

Liguria is a multi-faceted sliver of the Peninsula, where differences weave together to create a wide array of things to see and do during a visit there. Nature, mountains, culture, entertainment, night life - all you have to do is choose. 

The waters of this section of the Mediterranean are an enormously important feature of the region, with its characteristic rocky coasts interrupted by small coves and beaches of fine golden sand. The Cinque Terre and the Gulf of Poets, the Gulf of Tigullio, Genoa
 and Paradise Gulf, the Riviera delle Palme and the Riviera dei Fiori make up the famous coast of Liguria, which stretches for more than 186 miles from Ameglia to Ventimiglia. During a trip along this spectacular coastline, you can enjoy the beauty of the land and seascapes and see the famous resorts of Liguria: Portofino; Santa Margherita Ligure; Rapallo; Sestri Levante, with its enchanting Baia del Silenzio (Silent Bay); and Chiavari. 

One after another, beautiful beaches; small, gorgeous ports; and amazing scenery for exploring, greet visitors. At night, many areas offer entertainment and shopping. Some of these areas are: Sanremo, the City of Flowers, famous for the Italian Music Festival and for its Casino; the cultural towns of Bordighera and Alassio, with almost 2 miles of sandy beach; Laigueglia and Varigotti, some of the gems embedded in the Riviera di Ponente; Portovenere - facing Palmaria Island; and Lerici, with its grand medieval castle, elegant villas and lush gardens. 

The Ligurian Sea also attracts several specimens of sperm whales, rorquals and dolphins, who find their natural habitat and live safely in this area known as the “Sanctuary of Cetaceans.” 

The extensive woods of Liguria with their centuries-old trees, a true natural legacy, are a wonderful area to explore. Immersion into the region's environment allows you to get to know and see the places where man, with love and dedication, has managed to cultivate the best possible fruits from this land. They are places full of history, culture and traditions, many of which honor the region's maritime past. 

The provinces of the region are: Genoa (the region's capital), Imperia, Savona and La Spezia.


Liguria possesses a number of charming attractions, some of them classified as World Heritage Sites by UNESCO because of their uniqueness and their history.
One of these sites is Genoa, a multi-faceted city that combines the ancient with the modern; the past with the present. The city of Genoa belongs to the sea and the sea belongs to it. Its culture, locations, food and buildings tell the story of the old Maritime Republic. 

You can experience Genoa's ancient atmosphere walking among the carruggi, the narrow alleys of the old town of Genoa. Here you will find the Strade Nuove and the Palazzi dei Rolli, an extraordinary architectural work of the 16th Century built to host politicians and aristocrats. Some of the other places you can visit are Palazzo Spinola di Pellicceria, which features paintings by Rubens, Van Dyck and Bernardo Strozzi; and  Palazzo Lercari Parodi; Palazzo Campanella and Palazzo Podestà - the beautiful palaces of the Renaissance.

If you visit Genoa, a visit to the Aquarium is highly recommended. It is one of the most complete and technologically advanced marine life centers in Europe. The Aquarium was designed by famous Italian architect, Renzo Piano, and it is a beautiful architectural structure. Inside, the Aquarium houses an entire marine world in enormous and varied pools behind large windows. Dolphins, seals, sharks and colorful fish of all shapes and sizes create a breath-taking view for both grown-ups and children. 

Cinque Terre, as well as Porto Venere and the islands of Palmaria, Tino and Tinetto, are other UNESCO sites in Liguria. Those who visit these places will hardly forget the charm and atmosphere of the five seaside towns of Manarola, Riomaggiore, Corniglia, Vernazza and Monterosso. 11.2 miles of coast line enclose and guard this little paradise. The rocks, just a short drop from a limpid sea, and the colors and scents of the earth, combine harmoniously with the buildings hugging the coast in order to create very unique scenery. Portovenere, an ancient fishing town whose buildings, one next to the other, mix their iridescent colors with the deep blue of the sea, is the start of an archipelago that ends with the above-mentioned islands. 


  Anytime someone mentions the Italian Riviera, they are talking about Liguria: 186 miles of coastline on a splendid sea, the most important feature of this region. This very sea offers a thousand ways to vacation in Liguria; a region that boasts some of the most beautiful marine life reserves in Italy: the Cinque Terre, Portofino, Berteggi, Gallinara and the famous Sanctuary of Cetaceans

Liguria has the highest concentration of aquatic mammals in the Mediterranean Sea. Whale watching enthusiasts can enjoy a fascinating and instructive experience on these “blue sea roads,” observing magnificent specimens of marine fauna. Your whale-watching excursion will most likely include a biologist on hand to disclose details of cetacean life; including the regulations that aid in preserving their natural habitat. 

The seabeds and treasures of the Ligurian Sea deserve an underwater 'stroll' to admire the stunning view. Even those who are not scuba-diving experts can enjoy the enthralling experience of utilizing one of the many specialized diving centers in Liguria's most important sea resorts. Snorkeling (or seawatching as the Italians call it) is perfect for those who wish to explore, but not venture too far from the water's surface. Accompanied by expert guides and with flippers, mask and wetsuit, you can observe the colors and variety of the flora, as well as the many species of fish that call these waters home

For those who prefer to keep their feet on the ground, Liguria is an "open air" gym. The mountains, which stand majestically behind the riviera, are the ideal choice for trekking lovers.  Rocks, valleys, streams and lakes, with the typical colors and scents of the Mediterranean scrub, make up the stunning natural framework of the Ligurian hinterland.

Liguria offers many events, festivals and fairs. Every year,, many famous Italian singers take part in the Festival of Italian Music in Sanremo. During this musical event, the Commune of Sanremo offers several cultural and fun events to entertain the thousands of people who crowd the "Town of Flowers." Since 1962, Genoa has played host to the International Nautical Fair, an event known world-wide, that gathers the most important exhibitors of this sector in over 3,000,000 square feet of space.


 When we speak about Ligurian food, we immediately think of pesto, a tasty sauce made with basil, pine nuts, garlic, parmesan, pecorino and extra-virgin olive oil, that is used to flavor trenette (pasta) or ravioli with borage leaves. 

Liguria is also a region of vineyards and olive groves that produce excellent extra-virgin olive oils and quality wines, like Ormeasco and Rossese from Dolceacqua; Vermentino, Cilliegiolo and Bianchetta from Genoa; Albarola and Pollera Nera from the Riviera di Levante; and Pigato from Salea d'Albenga. 

Seafood and fish dishes from the region are renowned; including fish soups like cioppino and buridda with stockfish, as well
as stuffed and fried sardines. 

Among Liguria's meat dishes are cima alla genovese, veal stuffed with greens and cheese; and stewed hare with Taggiasche olives, pine nuts and rosemary. The most famous stuffed pie is torta Pasqualina (Easter pie); thin pastry stuffed with greens, cheese and eggs. Other specialties are
fugassa, a soft and thick focaccia covered with onion slices and olive oil; and farinata, a baked savory pancake made with chickpea flour. 

The traditional desserts of Liguria are pandolce genovese, amaretti and cubeli (tiny butter cookies).


Marilyn Clark
Phone: (888) 339-1774 ext 11

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