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Map of Farm houses in Liguria


Information on Liguria


1.676.282 abitanti




In the north with Piedmout, in the east with Emilia-Romagna and Tuscany, in the south with the Tyrrhenian Sea, in the west with France.


Although Liguria does not possess a particularly fertile soil, the region still manages to produce flowers (roses) grapevine, olive, and most important of all, ornamental plants along the coastal strip. There is quite a rich production of fruit and vegetables and olive oil , whereas that of wine is only fairly good. This growing area is mainly concentrated in the area of the Cinque Terre (Five Lands) in the province of la Spezia. Although at one time fishing was remarkably developed, nowadays it is of pratically no importance at all economically, unfortunately this is due to the increase of pollution in the Ligurian Sea causing a significant reduction in the amount of fish. In conclusion, we must say that agricultural economy of Liguria does not have an importance comparable with that of the various industrial sectors.


Liguria, which is the narrowest region in Italy, is almost completely mountainous, the western and eastern alpine ranges come together at the "Sella di Altare" also called the "Sella di Cadibona", (the Altar Saddle and the Cadibona Saddle) and are close by Savona. The Alps in this region, which divide into the Ligurian Alps and the Maritime Alps, reach their cospective maximum altitudes at Mount Saccarello at 2.220 m and Mount Maggiorasca at 1.799m. One can only say that the two most important Plains are the Piano della Magra and the Piana di Albenga; the latter believe it or not, is the largest Plain in the whole region measuring jiust 12 sq. kms. The coast of Liguria is featured by the Riviera of the Levant and in the Riviera Ponente; these two coastal areas are separate from each other and are absolutely different. the first has coast formed by great rocks with wide inlets and deep gulfs, while the second one has some completely flat stretches providing strips of plain and fairly good beaches. We would like to point out that the good climate of Liguria comes from being so near the sea. The sea also gives some good fishing and an important means of communication. A curious animal called the gecko lives in this area. It is a kind of lizard which is able to climb steep walls; it can do this because its feet are furnished with adhesive pads. Topography: Mountain 65.1% Hill 34.9%


The distressing note about this region is, that these days neither agriculture nor industry is important. In fact, one could say tha the last period of contemporary Ligurian "greatness" spanned the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century when the sea ports were at their busiest. Industrial decline began in the years following the First World War when some of the foremost "pillars" of industry fell by the wayside. But the real crisis, which still continues today, began after the Second World War, this was not only because of the unfavourable phisical conditions of the region and the loss of autonomy od the local businesses, but also because of the high percentage of middle aged people in the area. However, to return to the initial argument; when the Ligurian industries were flowerishing, the iron an steel works, metallurgy and mechanical engineering factories were very powerful. But above all, maritime commerce contributed greatly to the economy of the whole of Liguria. Because of the above mentioned industrial decline, the services sector developed more and more and now takes sencond place only to Lazio. the expansion of the Ligurian sector is connected mostly to port commerce and tourism.


Genova is the principal city of Liguria. It lies in a beautiful natural harbour and is an important maritime port; this extends over an area of 50 sq. kms. Originally Genova was a village which came under the dominition of the Roman Empire; during the Medieval era it was a powerful sea faring Republic, so strong, that for a short period it dominated the Tyrrhenian Sea. The city offers a notable number of architectural works among which the Cathedral of San Lorenzo (St. Laurence) a Roman church with a Gothic facade, the Palazzo Ducale, (Ducal Palace) the Church of San Matteo (St. Mattew) and the Palazzo Doria (Dorian Palace) stand out. La Spezia, just like Genova, is situated on a very beautiful natural gulf surrounded by many mountains. During the Secon World War the city suffered a great deal of damage to its buildings and monuments, but still has its very interestind archeological museum in the building which used to belong to the Lune family. Another Ligurian city is Savona, which besides being one of the busiest and most efficient ports in Italy, has the characteristic very narrow streets (alleyways) of a very old town. There are called "carugi" in this area. Important buildings to visit are, especially, the Sistine Chapel attached to the Duomo, and the Palazzo della Rovere (Rovere Palace) which was built in Renaissance style. Finally we mention Imperia which is famous for being situated on the so called "Riviera dei Fiori" (the Flower Riviera) . The name Imperia is named after the river Impero which, at one time divided the town fo Oneglia and Porto Maurizio, (Port Maurice); now, the two fractions make up the entire province of Imperia. The only building of artistic importance is the grandiose Basilica of San Maurizio constructed half a century ago in the neo classical style. Touristic resorts: San Remo is a famous tourist centre where the Annual Italian Song Festival takes place, the city is also famous for its floral Riviera. Alassio, Rapallo and Loano are important seaside resorts.


Very many famous people have come from Liguria. For example Christopher Columbus, Giuseppe Garibaldi and Italo Calvino were born here. This last was a great post war author of strong political commitment. By altering true dates his accounts of the war appeared less cruel. His most important works were "Il Visconte dimezzato", "Marcovaldo" and "Italian Fables", which were written in popular leggendary Style. Christopher Columbus (1451 1516) the sailor who discovered the southern coasts of America is famous throughout the world. His theory was that Eurasia would be of greater size than was later revealed, that the Earth would be smaller than was thought and that to reach his objective (the Indias) he should have to encounter the Japanese islands. His journey began on 3rd August 1492 on board three caravels, (The Nina, the Pinta and the Santa Maria). On the 12th October Christopher Columbus was the first person to set foot on an American island (one of the Bahamas) which he called San Salvador (St. Saviour). Returning on 15th March 1493 to the port of Palos, he was welcomed in triumph by the whole country (Spain). Later Columbus organised another nine expeditions always convinced that he would reach eastern Asia where he would explore the famous delta of the Ganges. He died alone, but to establish who should inherit the Newly Discovered Lands he created the so-called "Columbian Question". Giuseppe Garibaldi (1807-1882) was a patriot, general and politician. In the 1833 he met Giuseppe Mazzini in Marseilles and joined the Giovine Italia and the revolutionary cause. After fighting in South America to liberate Uraguay from the Argentine dictatorship, he returned to Italy and after suffering various vicissitudes, he was present at the proclamation of the Republic of Rome on 9th February 1849. He then assumed the rank of Brigade General. On the 30th June he was defeated by the French and had to disband the legion which he had formed eralier. Gradually he separated from Mazzini and joined up Cavour and Vittorio Emanuele, the King of Italy; he formed the "Cacciatori delle Alpi" (the Alpine Hunters), a group of volunteers which occupied Varese and defended the region of Valtellina. at the same time Mazzini asked Garibaldi to go to Sicily in order to incite the people to rebellion. When the insurrection broke out at Palermo on 4th April, the General reunited his 1.089 volunteers, the "Famosi Mille" (the Famous Thousand) and left Quarto the hight of 5th and 6th May. From the day of disembarkation at Marsala on 11th May until the end of September Garibaldi won the battle of Palermo where he defeated the Bourbon army, won at Milazzo, Messina and Siracuse and then entered Salerno and Naples. Although there were now fewer of them, the Garibaldini, as they were called, gained a very important victory over the Bourbon army on 1st and 2nd October. Nominated leader of the "Thousand during the third War of Indipendence, Garibaldi was given the task of liberating the Trentino where he had many victories; when he was asked to retire, he answered with his celebrated "Obbedisco" (I obey). Later the General tried to liberate Rome but did not succeed. During his last years, he busied himself with politics before dying at Caprera an 2nd June 1882. An important name tied to Liguria is that of Giuseppe Mazzini (1805-1872), the famous founder of the "Giovine Italia" (Young Italy) and who was also involved in the Risorgimento. The "Giovine Italia" movement had as its principle the idea of making Italy into a Republic and that this could be realized by revolution and intense propaganda. At Berne in 1834, Mazzini founded the "Giovine Europa"; he was convinced that the Italian Revolution would be successful only by joining up with all the oppressed peoples. After spending a short time in London, when the revolution broke out, he adopted a moderate attitude ay first and then through the newspaper "L' Italia del Popolo" (The people' s Italy) he launched the theory of a popular war which was in direct contrast to that of the revolutionary leaders. From 1860 right up to the time of his death Mazzini, although he was aware that it was impossible for him to oppose the Savoyard domination of Italy, continued undaunted with his Republican propaganda, but he had little success. Edmondo De Amicis (1846-1908), the writer, is another famous Ligurian personage and author of the very well-known book "Cuore" (Heart). His other important works are "Gli amici" (The friends", "Il romanzo di un maestro" (A teacher' s romance) and "La carrozza di tutti" (Everyone' s carriage). Eugenio Montale (1896-1981) was one of the greatest Italian poets of the 20th Century; he was editor of the "Corriere della Sera", an extremely good Milanese daily newspaper, translator and had a profound knowledge of the English literature. He also wrote "Ossi di seppia" (Cuttlefish bones). He was elected a life senator in 1967 and in 1975 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature. Lastly, we must cite the violinist and composer Nicolò Paganini (1782-1840), one of the greatest musicians of all time. A unique and inimitable virtuoso of the violin, his repertoire consisted of pieces composed by him. His composition "Capricci", written as a violin solo and made up of 24 parts, is very famous indeed.


In the 3th century BC the Ligurians, like almost all Italian peoples, had problems with the Romans who were only able to overcome Ligurian resistence after decades of hard and continous struggle. During the era of the Roman Empire, the Ligurian economy was remarcable prosperous, but at the fall of the great Romans domination, it began to show signs of decadance. The region suffered barbarian invasions up to the 10th century AD, first by the Erulians then by the Goths, Longobards and Franks; and besides these the Normans and Saracens come from over the sea, but with the help of the Pisans the Saracens were defeated. In the 10th century AD Genova became a self governing city state and then one of the most powerful seaports; the victory over Pisa at the island of Meloria in 1284 gave to the Genovese complete domination in the Tyrrhenian Sea. But they lost their naval prestige in the Mediterrean Sea to the Venetians. From 1500 AD up to the end of 1700AD Liguria experienced a very sad period in history; this culminated with the loss of Corsica when she was defeated in battle by the French in 1768. After the Congress of Vienna in 1815 the region was united with the Kingdom of Sardinia which was under the control of the House of Savoy. Famous names of this period are those of Giuseppe Garibaldi and Giuseppe Mazzini, two Ligurian patriots who took part in attaining Italian independence during the Risorgimento. With the proclamation of independence and the unification of Italy into one Kingdom, Liguria became part of the country in 1861.

Agrigento | Alessandria | Ancona | Aosta | Arezzo | Ascoli Piceno | Asti | Avellino | Bari | Belluno | Benevento | Bergamo | Biella | Bologna | Bolzano | Brescia | Brindisi | Cagliari | Caltanissetta | Campobasso | Carbonia - Iglesias | Caserta | Catania | Catanzaro | Chieti | Como | Cosenza | Cremona | Crotone | Cuneo | Enna | Ferrara | Florence | Foggia | Forlì - Cesena | Frosinone | Genoa | Grosseto | Imperia | Isernia | La Spezia | L'Aquila | Latina | Lecce | Lecco | Livorno | Lodi | Lucca | Macerata | Mantova | Massa - Carrara | Matera | Medio - Campidano | Messina | Milan | Modena | Naples | Novara | Nuoro | Ogliastra | Olbia - Tempio | Oristano | Padua | Palermo | Parma | Pavia | Perugia | Pesaro and Urbino | Pescara | Piacenza | Pisa | Pistoia | Pordenone | Potenza | Prato | Ragusa | Ravenna | Reggio Calabria | Reggio Emilia | Rieti | Rimini | Rome | Rovigo | Salerno | Sassari | Savona | Siena | Sondrio | Syracuse | Taranto | Teramo | Terni | Trapani | Trento | Treviso | Trieste | Turin | Udine | Varese | Venice | Verbano-Cusio-Ossola | Vercelli | Verona | Vibo Valentia | Vicenza | Viterbo |