Houses close together - houses of wives
If you are looking for a European tourist destination, consider the Liguria region of northern Italy, known as the Italian Riviera. This thin strip of land lies on the Ligurian Sea, close to Monaco and the French Riviera. Liguria is hardly undiscovered, but its crowds are much smaller than next door. This article explores Liguria east of Genoa. Be sure to read the other articles in this series: western Liguria, Genoa, and Cinque Terre.
Little Nervi near Genoa has been a resort for over one hundred years. In July it hosts the International Ballet Festival. Nervi’s highlight is the rock-hewn mile-long (1.5 kilometer) Anita Garibaldi Promenade honoring the wife and comrade-in-arms of Giuseppe Garibaldi, founder of the modern Italian state. Don’t miss the Parco Villa Grimaldi with its magnificent rose collection.
Portofino, considered one the most beautiful Mediterranean ports, has been recreated after a fashion in Japan and in Orlando, Florida. Be sure to see the Saint George Castle already restored in the Sixteenth Century, with its lovely gardens, views, and exhibits of famous visitors including Marilyn Monroe and Prince Rainier. Don’t miss the neighboring Regional Natural Park of Portofino and the Protected Marine Area of Portofino with their collection of flora and fauna.
Rapallo hosted the Russian-German Treaty in 1922. We all know how well that worked out. The Eleventh Century Cathedral of Santi Gervasio e Protasio has a great bell tower and interesting paintings. Visit the local castles that defended the city against pirates. For a different view of life visit its Bobbin Lace Museum.
Portovenere is home to the Romanesque Eleventh Century Basilica of Saint Lawrence, named for a Saint burned alive for not surrendering the church’s treasures. The Gothic Church of Saint Peter, built over a pre-existing Fifth Century Palaeo-Christian Church, was consecrated towards the end of the Twelfth Century. At the Grotto Arpaia, known as Byron’s Grotto, the English poet Lord Byron swam across the Gulf of La Spezia to visit his friend and fellow poet, Percy Bysshe Shelley.
Liguria has quite a seacoast and you are always near a seafood restaurant. Anchovies are eaten as antipasto or as a main dish. Our companion article I Love Touring Italy – Eastern Liguria provides a sample menu and more information on local wines plus an in-depth examination of tourist attractions. Liguria exports very little wine to North America so you may have to go there to taste the wines. There are better reasons for visiting this lovely area.
Levi Reiss has authored or co-authored ten books on computers and the Internet, but to be honest, he would rather just drink fine Italian or other wine, accompanied by the right foods. He teaches classes in computers at an Ontario French-language community college. Visit his website www.travelitalytravel.com devoted to Italian travel with an accent on fine Italian wine and food. Visit his central wine website www.theworldwidewine.com with weekly reviews of $10 wine and columns devoted to various aspects of wine including wine and food, humor, trivia, organic and kosher wine and lots more.Click to access the original, longer article on this Italian tourist location.
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