GENERAL INFORMATION – TRAVELLING IN LIGURIA
Liguria is a coastal region of north-western Italy, the third smallest of the Italian regions. Its capital is Genoa. It is a popular region with tourists for its beautiful beaches, picturesque little towns, and good food. The narrow strip of land is bordered by the ligurian sea, the Alps and the Apennines mountains. Some mountains rise above 2,000 m (f.e. Monte Saccarello). The
winding arched extension goes from Ventimiglia to La Spezia and is one of the smallest regions in Italy. Liguria is just 1.18% of all of Italy. Of this 65% are mountainous and 35% are hills.
Liguria's Natural Reserves cover 12% of the entire region. The continental shelf is very narrow, and so steep it descends almost immediately to considerable marine depths along its 315-km coastline.
Mountains and steep cliffs that rise loftily out of the Ligurian Sea in the most northerly part of the Western Mediterranean. This is the fascinating landscape that will impress people on their journey through this historically rich and dynamic region. The capital 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. In other parts of Liguria, there are also numerous historical treasures. An intact and luxuriant Mediterranean vegetation exists in the mountain regions of Portofino and Cinque Terre.
But history is not the only thing that Liguria has to offer, Liguria, better Finale Ligure and its surroundings are home to some of the finest climbing places in Europe. More than 2000 routes give everybody the opportunity to do the first climbs or even to do some very hard sections that only the worlds best climbers can cope with. Also cycling is an important part of the tourism in Liguria, due to its mild climate. Here you can see roadbikers that prepare for the next season cycling the narrow roads that lead up to the passes in the inland in winter.
Also Freeride and Crosscountry lovers find here some of the best descends and tracks in Europe.
The ring of hills lying immediately beyond the coast together with the sea account for a mild climate year-round. It is really rare to see the beaches covered with snow and the temperature seldom is below 0° in winter. In summer, from June to September, temperatures are high and it is simply too hot to walk near the coast. Some excursions can be done in the higher hinterlands, but it is advisable to hike fromSeptember until May.
During the hikes near the coast you can expect to see many retiles like the lacertilia and some snakes. There are some endemic species, like turtles, retiles and birds that you can rarely see. In the woods you can still encounter roe deer, wild pigs and badgers. Foxes and even wolves are still living in this part of Italy but they are rarely seen.
A little bit of history…
Liguria has an ancient history, marked by many invasions and wars by the most varied countries from Spain to Turkey and from Rome to the Normans. Here a brief description from wikipedia:
Traces of Neanderthal Man were discovered in the region of Loano, whereas in Ventimiglia, in the cave of "Balzi Rossi", numerous remains were found which recall those of Cro-Magnon Man. 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. After the
Roman conquest of the region, the so-called X regio, named Liguria, was created in the reign of Princeps Augustus, when Liguria was expanded from the coast to the banks of Po River. The great Roman roads (Aurelia and Julia Augusta on the coast, Postumia and Aemilia Scauri towards the inland) helped strengthen the territorial unity and increase exchanges and trade.
Between the 4th and the 10th centuries Liguria was dominated by the Byzantine, the Lombards of King Rothari and the Franks and it was invaded by the Saracens and the Normans. The main Ligurian towns, especially on the coast, became city-states, over which Genoa soon extended its rule. Inland, however, fees belonging to noble families survived for a
very long time.
Between the 11th century and the 15th century, the Republic of Genoa experienced an extraordinary political and commercial success. It was arguably the most powerful maritime republic in the Mediterranean from the 12th to the 14th century, judging by its victorious resistance against Emperor Frederick Redbeard and by the Genoese presence in the nerve centres of power during the last phase of the Byzantine empire. After the introduction of the title of doge for life and the election of Simone Boccanegra, Genoa resumed its struggles against the Marquis of Finale and the Earls of Laigueglia and it conquered again the territories of Finale, Oneglia and 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 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 became the prestigious ally of the powerful king of Spain and imposed an aristocratic government which gave the republic a relative stability for about 250 years.
The impoverishment of the commercial routes with the Near East forced the Ligurian notables to engage, since then, in financial speculation. The international crises of the 17th century, which ended for Genoa with the bombing by King Louis XIV’s fleet, restored the French influence over the republic. Right because of this influence, the Ligurian territory was traversed by the Piedmontese and Austrian armies when these two states came into conflict with Versailles. The limit was reached with the Austrian occupation of Genoa. The Habsburgic troops were driven away by a popular insurrection in the same year.
Napoleon’s first Italy campaign marked the end of the secular republic which was transformed into Ligurian Republic.
Some of the most prestigious figures of the Risorgimento were born in Liguria (Mazzini, Mameli, Bixio). During the tragic period of World War II Liguria experienced 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 finally reached it they were welcomed by partisans which, 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.
Liguria is where pesto is originally from, one of the most popular sauces in Italian cuisine.
Seafood is a major staple of Ligurian cuisine, as the sea has been part of the region's culture since its beginning. But not only this, mushrooms, nuts, chestnuts, chickpeas are some of the main ingredients of the Ligurian cuisine as the inhabitants lived for a long time in the hinterlands in order to avoid the danger that came from the sea, the invaders. The olive oil, the liquid gold, is famous in Italy but especially in Liguria where the Taggiasca olives come from. The oil is one of the best you can find in Italy.
If you want to taste the real ligurian dishes don’t go to a pizzeria but stop at a trattoria, an osteria or an agriturismo where there is still served genuine dishes handmade pasta and many other dishes that will leave you more than satisfied.
Money and valuables should always be stored safely when travelling
Keep your passport with you all the times and do not leave in your main luggage. You will need it to change money and check into hotels.
Where safety deposit boxes are available, we recommend that you use them.
Keep jewellery and valuables to a minimum.
Refer to worldtimeserver.com for further details
Voltage – 220/240 volts
Pin type – 2 round pin
Please consult this page http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mains_power_systems in order to get a better idea of the three pin types used in Italy.
You can buy the Adapters in nearly every “Tabacchino” shop.
Email – There is internet access in mostly all towns and hotels
Mobile Phone: Please contact your provider for details on international roaming, access and
It is your responsibility to ensure that there are sufficient blank pages for any visas eventually required and for entry/departure stamps. Please also check that your passport will be valid for at least 6 months after the end of the trip.
Please inform yourself at your embassy regarding the eventual visa conditions for your country.
We require that you take out a personal travel insurance policy to cover against sickness, accident, loss of baggage, unexpected alterations to travel arrangements and travel disruption, emergency evacuation, cancellations, etc. If you take out a policy, we need to be advised of the details and you should check that it provide an adequate coverage as above.
You should always carry your travel insurance policy, emergency, photocopies of your passport and cash cards with you during your trip.
Actually one Euro is worth 1,36 USD (02/11)
In the towns you will be able to change USD, AUD and GBP into Euro
Credit cards usage in little shops and Rifugios is sometimes limited as they cannot be expected to accept credit cards and you are advised to carry Euro only.
For current exchange rate information please refer to finance.yahoo.com/currency?
On completion of your trip you may wish to acknowledge the efforts and professionalism of your guide/s by way of some kind of tip or gift. This is a personal matter. We recommend approximately €10 per day for your main guide and €5 for assistants Tipping is not customary however is appreciated.
In restaurants and bars it is customary to leave between 5% and 10% of the bill, but this is on you discretion you don’t have to tip everything, but only if you have been satisfied with the service etc.
HEALTH AND FITNESS
Fitness is an important aspect of our trips. The fitter you are the more easily you will adjust and enjoy yourself. Resistance to cold and illness is also increased.
There are no statutory vaccinations required, however we suggest that you contact your doctor, local government inoculation centre or a travel medical specialist for all details regarding vaccination requirements.
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