Liguria is a slender crescent of coastline nestled between high mountains and the crystalline waters of the Ligurian Sea, bordered by the French Riviera on one side, and Tuscany on the other. Small as it may be, this coastal strip of territory provides the perfect destination for visitors of all ages. For the very young, the ideal place is Genoa, a city loved by all, and absolutely perfect for families on holiday. First stop, the world famous aquarium, the “Acquario di Genova”, where kids can take a trip through the seas of the world in the largest exhibition of biodiversity in Europe, with panorama tanks designed by the architect Renzo Piano, and specially designed aquatic petting zoos. Just a few steps away, at the Old Port, is your next stop, at the equally amazing Città dei Bambini (The Children’s City): an interactive Play/Science/Technology museum, where children of all ages learn by playing and play while learning, in an infinite range of specially designed participatory exhibits. And of course, take a day to explore the charm of this important historical city, enjoying the famous “focaccia” (fragrant pan-baked flat bread with toppings) of Genoa as you wander the ancient lanes leading to the port.
Liguria is also the land of love: the Cinque Terre (the Five Lands), are five exquisite ancient villages perched over the sea, connected by a coastal walking path named the “Via dell’Amore” (the Path of Love). Once you arrive, let yourself be pampered by the relaxed sea-town lifestyle, indulged by the incredible cuisine, and stimulated by the joy of discovering the endless beauty around you. This is why the Cinque Terre should be visited for more than just a day: give yourself ample time to savor this truly magical place.
Colorful, poetic Portofino is the perfect destination for couples, and also groups, looking for a sunny, stylish place to relax and enjoy the sea, surrounded by the fascination of its multicolored houses, chic shops and artisan bottegas. This unique jewel of a city faces the Gulf of Tigullio, and every evening you can sit and enjoy the sunset while sipping an “aperitivo” in one of its famous sea-side venues.
There is also a little-known dark side to Liguria. Horror film buffs and history lovers alike: anyone curious about the strange and inhuman mechanisms of the sixteenth century witch-hunts, should definitely visit Troiria, the ‘village of witches’. This tiny borgo, refreshed by the bracing chill of its mountain breezes, is set nine hundred meters above sea level and was the site of the largest and most atrocious massacre of “witches” in Italy. Even though the Inquisition has not existed for many centuries, its impact on this little village has remained, and even today visitors come to explore the narrow Medieval streets in search of traces the witch hunts that once consumed this ancient borgo.
Liguria cannot be described in just a few words. Follow your impulse to go off the beaten path and lose yourself in the splendid gardens of its magnificent noble villas and the secret mysticism of its ancient churches, and then enjoy the best “Pasta al Pesto” in all of Italy. Dizzy with beauty and the scent of lime-flowers, let yourself wander through the ancient borghi and magnificent towns, set along the turquoise sea like jewels on a crown. Liguria is a place of infinite marvels, to discover, to explore, and most of all, to enjoy!