Liguria is a coastal region of northwestern Italy, the third smallest of the Italian regions. Its capital is Genoa, and it is a popular region with tourists for its beautiful beaches, picturesque little towns, and marvelous cuisine.
Mountains and steep cliffs rise loftily out of the Ligurian Sea in the most northerly part of the Western Mediterranean. This fascinating landscape impresses tourists on their journey through this historically rich and dynamic region. The capital of Genoa, one of the most important ports in the Mediterranean and home to Christopher Columbus, was already a powerful maritime state in the Middle Ages. Today one can find impressive buildings, elegant mansions, and wonderful churches—all of which bear witness to Liguria’s glorious past and which blend in perfectly with the modern city.
Sunny, unabashedly Mediterranean, the cooking of Liguria makes the most of the fruits of land and sea. Its luxuriant hills offer a bounty of meaty porcini mushrooms and resiny pine nuts, while the sea provides succulent anchovies ready to be salted for future use. These three ingredients are combined with other staples, most notably the region’s delicate olive oil, to create Liguria’s favorite dishes: braised salt cod, stewed rabbit, and an array of subtle pasta sauces including pesto, which originated in Liguria. Focaccia, a dimpled flatbread, is the region’s most emblematic bread, usually baked plain but sometimes stuffed or topped with herbs, spices and other traditional ingredients.