A Quick Tour Of Italy - Western Liguria

Let's see what Western Liguria offers tourists...

Date Palms

Date Palms

Who knows if these come from Bordighera?

If you are looking for a European tourist destination, consider the Liguria region of northern Italy, commonly known as the Italian Riviera. This thin strip of land lies on the Ligurian Sea, near Monaco and the French Riviera. While the region is by no means undiscovered, its crowds are much smaller than those next door. This article explores Liguria west of Genoa. Read the other articles in this series: the eastern part of the region, Genoa, and Cinque Terre.

Little Pegli hosts the Sixteenth Century Villa Doria, now home to the Genoa Naval and Maritime Museum honoring the world's most famous sailor, Christopher Columbus. The Nineteenth Century Villa Durazzo Pallavicini houses the Ligurian Civic Archeological Museum with a beautiful park, lakes, grottoes, and a medieval-style castle.

San Remo is western Liguria's largest resort. Perched between the Mediterranean Sea and the Maritime Alps it enjoys an excellent climate, but I'm told that royalty no longer stops by. See the relatively new Russian Orthodox Church of San Basilio built by expatriate Russians. You may want to hit the tables at the Art Nouveau San Remo Casino. Its historic center, La Pigna, maintains its unique character. Start with the Fourteenth Century Gothic Saint Stefano's Gate and tour neighboring churches, villas, and palaces. Maybe royalty and their hangers on just don't know what they are missing.

Bordighera has long been a popular winter resort, especially for the English. It's well known for flowers and palms, proudly used in Rome's St. Peter's Basilica on Palm Sunday. Bordighera was the first city in Europe to grow date palms; legend says from Egyptian pits planted in the Fifth Century. The Argentina Promenade has an excellent view of the French Riviera and other churches. The Seventeenth Century parish church of Santa Maria Maddalena holds the relics of Sant'Ampelio, the town's patron saint. He's the one who planted those Egyptian date pits.

In spite of such a long seacoast, the regional cooking isn't very seafood intensive. Its specialties include a vegetable pie favored by sailors, surely a change from that same old fish. See our companion article I Love Touring Italy - Western Liguria for a sample menu and more information on regional wines as well as an in-depth examination of the area's tourist attractions. We'll conclude with a quick look at Liguria wine. Liguria doesn't have a lot of room for wine grapes. Its best-known wine is Rossese di Dolceacqua/Dolceacqua is produced in a small area at the western tip of of the region from a local red grape.

About the Author

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.

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