A narrow strip of land on the Tyrrhenian Sea surrounded by the Maritime Alps and the Apennine Mountains, Liguria is renowned for its beaches and mild year-round climate. Populated since the first millennium BC, Liguria was led by the Romans and then by a succession of rulers from the Byzantines, the Franks and the Lombards. After a series of invasions, Liguria was split into several territories, all ruled by the Republic of Genoa. However, internal conflicts pulled the republic apart thus allowing a period of domination by France and Spain as well as a brief domination by Sardinia that ended in revolt by the Genoese. Liguria joined the Kingdom of Italy in 1861.
Although Liguria is one of Italy’s smallest regions, it is an agricultural center, producing an abundance of flowers, olive oil and wine. The consistent yearly rainfall and mild climate make Liguria ideal for gardening: the colorful flowers and houses in the seaside towns and medieval villages of the region are just one of the reasons the area is popular. The Ligurian Coast is stunning, with beautiful pebble beaches and cliffs in the forefront and the peaks of the Alps looming in the background. The region’s capital, Genoa, is both lovely and fascinating and the resorts along the Riviera di Ponente are well worth visiting, both for relaxation and for their historical significance. The famed and gorgeous Cinque Terre is in the southern end of the region and represents perhaps the best feature of the small and beautiful Liguria: despite the popularity of the beaches and the draw of tourists, the essence of the small towns, villages and ports remain untouched and preserved for all to appreciate and experience.