LIGURIA (Italian pronunciation: , Ligurian : _Ligûria_ ) is a
coastal region of north-western
Italy ; its capital is
Genoa . The
region is popular with tourists for its beaches, towns and cuisine.
* 1 Etymology
* 2 Geography
* 3 History
* 3.1 Prehistory and Roman times
* 3.2 Middle Ages
* 3.3 Early modern
* 3.4 Late modern and contemporary
* 4 Demographics
* 5 Economy
* 6 Government and politics
* 7 Administrative divisions
* 8 Cuisine
* 9 Gallery
* 10 References
* 11 External links
The name _Liguria_ predates
Latin and is of obscure origin, however
Latin adjectives _Ligusticum_ (as in _Mare Ligusticum_) and
_Liguscus_ reveal the original -sc- in the root ligusc-, which
shortened to -s- and turned into -r- in the
Latin name _Liguria_
according to rhotacism . The formant -sc- (-sk-) is present in the
names Etruscan , Basque ,
Gascony and is believed by some researchers
to relate to maritime people or sailors.
A view of
Cinque Terre .
Liguria is bordered by
France (Provence-Alpes-Côte d\'Azur ) to the
Piedmont to the north, and
Tuscany to the
east. It lies on the
Ligurian Sea . The narrow strip of land is
bordered by the sea , the
Alps and the
Apennines mountains. Some
mountains rise above 2,000 m (6,600 ft); the watershed line runs at an
average altitude of about 1,000 m (3,300 ft). The highest point of the
region is the summit of
Monte Saccarello (2,201 m, 7,221 ft).
The winding arched extension goes from Ventimiglia to
La Spezia . Of
this, 3,524.08 km2 (1,360.65 sq mi) are mountainous (65% of the total)
and 891.95 km2 (344.38 sq mi) are hills (35% of the total). Liguria's
natural reserves cover 12% of the entire region, or 600 km2 (230 sq
mi) of land. They are made up of one national reserve, six large
parks, two smaller parks and three nature reserves.
The continental shelf is very narrow, and so steep it descends almost
immediately to considerable marine depths along its 350-kilometre (220
mi) coastline. Except for the
it is generally not very jagged, and is often high. At the mouths of
the biggest watercourses there are small beaches, but there are no
deep bays and natural harbours except for those of
Genoa and La Spezia
The ring of hills lying immediately beyond the coast together with
the sea account for a mild climate year-round. Average winter
temperatures are 7 to 10 °C (45 to 50 °F) and summer temperatures
are 23 to 24 °C (73 to 75 °F), which make for a pleasant stay even
in the dead of winter. Rainfall can be abundant at times, as mountains
very close to the coast create an orographic effect.
Genoa and La
Spezia can see up to 2,000 mm (80 in) of rain in a year; other areas
instead show the normal
Mediterranean rainfall of 500 to 800 mm (20 to
30 in) annually.
PREHISTORY AND ROMAN TIMES
Map of ancient Liguria, between the river Var and
Map of Roman Liguria, between the River Var and
Evidence of Neanderthals living in the area was discovered in the
Loano , whereas in Ventimiglia , in the caves of "Balzi
Rossi", numerous remains of the
Cro-Magnon man were found.
According to Classical sources, the Ligurians (
Ligures ), once lived
in a far broader territory than present-day Liguria. For example, the
Greek colony of Massalia , modern
Marseille was recorded to lie in
Ligurian territory. The Roman amphitheatre of Luni (1st century
During the first
Punic War , the ancient Ligurians were divided, some
of them siding with
Carthage and a minority with Rome, whose allies
included the future Genoese . Under
Liguria was designated
a region of
Italy (_Regio IX Liguria_) stretching from the coast to
the banks of the
Po River . The great Roman roads (Aurelia and Julia
Augusta on the coast, Postumia and Aemilia Scauri towards the inland)
helped strengthen territorial unity and increase communication and
trade. Important towns developed on the coast, of which evidence is
left in the ruins of
Albenga , Ventimiglia and Luni .
Simonetta Vespucci , a native Ligurian who was a famous beauty
during the Renaissance, may have been the model for Botticelli\'s The
Birth of Venus _
Between the 4th and the 10th centuries
Liguria was dominated by the
Byzantines , the
Lombards of King
Rothari (about 641) and the Franks
(about 774). It was also invaded by
Saracen and Norman raiders. In the
10th century, once the danger of pirates decreased, the Ligurian
territory was divided into three marches: Obertenga (east), Arduinica
(west) and Aleramica (centre). In the 11th and 12th centuries the
marches were split into fees, and then with the strengthening of the
bishops’ power, the feudal structure began to partially weaken. The
main Ligurian towns, especially on the coast, became city-states, over
Genoa soon extended its rule. Inland, however, fiefs belonging
to noble families survived for a very long time. Territories of
the Republic of
Genoa (shown in purple).
Between the 11th century (when the Genoese ships played a major role
in the first crusade, carrying knights and troops to the Middle-East
for a fee) and the 15th century, the Republic of
Genoa experienced an
extraordinary political and commercial success (mainly spice trades
with the Orient). It was one of the most powerful maritime republic in
Mediterranean from the 12th to the 14th century: after the
decisive victory in the battle of Meloria (1284) , it acquired control
Tyrrhenian Sea and was present in the nerve centres of power
during the last phase of the
Byzantine empire, having colonies up to
Black Sea and
After the introduction of the title of doge for life (1339) and the
Simone Boccanegra ,
Genoa resumed its struggles against
the Marquis of Finale and the Counts of
Laigueglia and it conquered
again the territories of Finale ,
Porto Maurizio . In
spite of its military and commercial successes,
Genoa fell prey to the
internal factions which put pressure on its political structure. Due
to the vulnerable situation, the rule of the republic went to the
hands of the
Visconti family of
Milan . After their expulsion by the
popular forces under Boccanegra’s lead, the republic remained in
Genoese hands until 1396, when the internal instability led the doge
Antoniotto Adorno to surrender the title of Seignior of
Genoa to the
king of France. The French were driven away in 1409 and
back under Milanese control in 1421, thus remaining until 1435.
Posthumous portrait of
Christopher Columbus by Sebastiano del
The alternation of French and Milanese dominions over
Liguria went on
until the first half of the 16th century. The French influence ceased
in 1528, when
Andrea Doria allied with the powerful king of Spain and
imposed an aristocratic government, which gave the republic a relative
stability for about 250 years. _ Reparation faite à
Louis XIV par
le Doge de Gênes.15 mai 1685_ by
Claude Guy Halle .
Christopher Columbus 's speculative proposal to
East Indies by sailing westward received the support of the
Spanish crown, which saw in it an opportunity to gain the upper hand
over rival powers in the contest for the lucrative spice trade with
Asia . During his first voyage in 1492, instead of reaching Japan as
he had intended, Columbus landed in the Bahamas archipelago , at a
locale he named _San Salvador_. Over the course of three more voyages,
Columbus visited the Greater and
Lesser Antilles , as well as the
Caribbean coast of
Venezuela and Central America, claiming them for
Spanish Empire .
The value of trade routes through
Genoa to the Near East declined
Age of Discovery , when explorers discovered routes to Asia
Cape of Good Hope
Cape of Good Hope . The international crises of the
seventeenth century, which ended for
Genoa with the 1684 bombardment
Louis XIV ’s fleet, restored French influence over the republic.
Consequently, the Ligurian territory was crossed by the Piedmontese
and Austrian armies when these two states came into conflict with
France. Austria occupied
Genoa in 1746, but the
Habsburg troops were
driven away by a popular insurrection. Napoleon’s first Italian
campaign marked the end of the oligarchic Genoese state, which was
transformed into the
Ligurian Republic , modelled on the French
Republic . After the union of
annexed to the French Empire (1805) and divided by
Napoleon into three
departments: Montenotte, with capital
Genoa and the
department of the Apennines, with capital
Chiavari . Giuseppe
Mazzini was a patriot, philosopher and politician of the 19th century.
LATE MODERN AND CONTEMPORARY
After a short period of independence in 1814, the Congress of Vienna
(1815) decided that
Liguria should be annexed to the Kingdom of
Sardinia . The Genoese uprising against the House of Savoy in 1821,
which was put down with great bloodshed, aroused the population’s
national sentiments. Some of the most prestigious figures of
Risorgimento _ were born in
Giuseppe Mazzini , Mameli , Nino
Bixio ). Italian patriot and general
Giuseppe Garibaldi , who was born
in the neighbouring
Nice (then part of the Sardinian state), started
Expedition of the Thousand
Expedition of the Thousand on the evening of 5 May 1860 from a
rock in Quarto, a quarter of Genoa.
In late 19th and early 20th century, the region’s economic growth
was remarkable: steel mills and ship yards flourished along the coast
La Spezia , while the port of
Genoa became the main
commercial hub of industrializing Northern Italy. During the tragic
period of the
Second World War
Second World War
Liguria experienced heavy bombings,
hunger and two years of occupation by the German troops, against whom
a liberation struggle was led—among the most effective in Italy.
When Allied troops eventually entered Genoa, they were welcomed by
Italian partisans who, in a successful insurrection, had freed the
city and accepted the surrender of the local German command. For this
feat the city has been awarded the gold medal for military valour.
Source: ISTAT 2001
The population density of
Liguria is much higher than the national
average (300 inhabitants per km2, or 770 per sq mi), being only less
Lombardy 's and
Lazio 's. In the province of
it reaches almost 500 inhabitants per km2, whereas in the provinces of
Savona it is less than 200 inhabitants per km2. The
Pedro Tafur , noting it from sea in 1436, remarked
"To one who does not know it, the whole coast from
Savona to Genoa
looks like one continuous city, so well inhabited is it, and so
thickly studded with houses," and today over 80% of the regional
population still lives permanently near to the coast, where all the
four major cities above 50,000 are located:
Genoa (pop. 610,000), La
Spezia (pop. 95,000),
Savona (pop. 62,000) and
Sanremo (pop. 56,000).
The population of
Liguria has been declining from 1971 to 2001, most
markedly in the cities of Genoa,
Savona and La Spezia. The age pyramid
now looks more like a 'mushroom' resting on a fragile base. The
negative trend has been partially interrupted only in the last decade
when, after a successful economic recovery, the region has attracted
consistent fluxes of immigrants. As of 2008 , the Italian national
institute of statistics, ISTAT, estimated that 90,881 foreign-born
immigrants live in Liguria, equal to 5.8% of the total regional
Liguria wine The port of
Genoa is the busiest in
Ligurian agriculture has increased its specialisation pattern in
high-quality products (flowers, wine , olive oil ) and has thus
managed to maintain the gross value-added per worker at a level much
higher than the national average (the difference was about 42% in
1999). The value of flower production represents over 75% of the
agriculture sector turnover, followed by animal farming (11.2%) and
vegetable growing (6.4%).
Steel, once a major industry during the booming 1950s and 1960s,
phased out after the late 1980s crisis, as
Italy moved away from the
heavy industry to pursue more technologically advanced and less
polluting productions. So the Ligurian industry has turned towards a
widely diversified range of high-quality and high-tech products (food,
shipbuilding, electrical engineering and electronics, petrochemicals,
aerospace etc.). Nonetheless, the regions still maintains a
flourishing shipbuilding sector (yacht construction and maintenance,
cruise liner building, military shipyards). In the services sector,
the gross value-added per worker in
Liguria is 4% above the national
average. This is due to the increasing diffusion of modern
technologies, particularly in commerce and tourism. A good motorways
network (376 km (234 mi) in 2000) makes communications with the border
regions relatively easy. The main motorway is located along the
coastline, connecting the main ports of
Nice (in France), Savona,
Genoa and La Spezia. The number of passenger cars per 1000 inhabitants
(524 in 2001) is below the national average (584). In average, about
17 million tones of cargo are shipped from the main ports of the
region and about 57 million tonnes enter the region. The Port of
Genoa , with a trade volume of 58.6 million tonnes it is the first
port of Italy, the second in terms of twenty-foot equivalent units
after the port of transshipment of
Gioia Tauro , with a trade volume
of 1.86 million TEUs. The main destinations for the cargo-passenger
traffic are Sicily, Sardinia, Corsica, Barcelona and Canary Islands.
GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS
Politics of Liguria View of
The politics of
Liguria takes place in a framework of a presidential
representative democracy , whereby the President of Regional
Government is the head of government , and of a pluriform multi-party
Executive power is exercised by the Regional Government.
Legislative power is vested in both the government and the Regional
The Regional Government is presided by the Governor, who is elected
for a five-year term, and is composed by the President and the
Ministers, who are currently 11, including a Vice President.
The Regional Council of is composed of 40 members and it's elected
for a five-year term, but, if the President suffers a vote of no
confidence, resigns or dies, under the _simul stabunt vel simul
cadent_ clause (introduced in 1999), also the Council will be
dissolved and there will be a fresh election.
In the last regional election, which took place on 31 May 2015,
Giovanni Toti (
Forza Italia ) defeated Raffaella Paita
(Democratic Party ).
At both national and local level
Liguria is considered a swing
region, where no one of the two coalition is dominant.
Liguria is one of 20 regions (administrative divisions) of Italy.
Liguria is divided into four provinces:
Pasta with pesto , a traditional Ligurian recipe
Liguria is the original source of pesto , one of the most popular
sauces in Italian cuisine, made with fresh basil , pine kernels ,
olive oil , garlic and
Parmesan cheese .
Seafood is a major staple of
Mediterranean cuisine , the Ligurian
variety being no exception, as the sea has been part of the region's
culture since its beginning. _
Ciuppin _ soup is made from fish
leftovers and stale bread, flavoured with white wine, onion, and
Vegetables especially beans are important in Ligurian cooking.
_Mesciua_ soup is made from beans, olive oil and farro (old kinds of
wheat including emmer ).
Ligurian pasta includes _trenette _ and _trofie _, and the fresh
pasta pockets called _pansòuti_.
Santa Margherita Ligure
Santa Margherita Ligure
Monterosso al Mare
Monterosso al Mare
_See also: Bibliography of
* ^ "Eurostat – Tables, Graphs and Maps Interface (TGM) table".
Epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu. 12 August 2011. Retrieved 16 September
* ^ EUROPA – Press Releases – Regional GDP per inhabitant in
2008 GDP per inhabitant ranged from 28% of the EU27 average in
Severozapaden in Bulgaria to 343% in Inner London Archived 12 February
2012 at the
Wayback Machine .
* ^ http://www.dicolatin.be/EN/LAK/0/LIGUSCUS/index.htm
* ^ Room, "Placenames of the World," 2006
* ^ Marie Henri d'Arbois de Jubainville, Premiers Habitants de
l'Europe (2nd edition 1889-1894)
* ^ Pedro Tafur, _Andanças e viajes por diversas partes del mundo_
* ^ "Eurostat". Circa.europa.eu. Archived from the original on 21
July 2011. Retrieved 5 May 2009.
* ^ "Statistiche demografiche ISTAT". Demo.istat.it. Retrieved 5
* ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ "Eurostat". Circa.europa.eu. Archived from the
original on 16 September 2008. Retrieved 5 May 2009.
* ^ _A_ _B_ "Autorità Portuale di Genova — Traffico porto".
Porto.genova.it. Archived from the original on 2 December 2008.
Retrieved 26 December 2008.
* ^ "Inf_07_05_Statistiche dei trasporti marittimi 2002–2004"
(PDF). Retrieved 26 December 2008.
* ^ "Regione
Liguria – - sito ufficiale". Regione.liguria.it.
Retrieved 5 May 2009.
* ^ Della Gatta, Andrea. "La Ricetta del
Pesto Genovese" (in
Italian). Consorzio del
Pesto Genovese. Retrieved 13 May 2016.
* ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ "The Food and Cuisine of Liguria". Made in Italy.
Retrieved 13 May 2016.
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