In Love with Liguria

27 Sep

(hopefully reprinted with full photo views)

Liguria, a four-province region in northwest Italy, lies on the Ligurian sea.

400px-Map_of_region_of_Liguria,_Italy,_with_provinces-en.svg

Wikipedia

It is bordered by France to the west, Piedmont to the north, and Emilia-Romana and Tuscany to the east.

Due to its breathtaking coastline, Liguria is also known as the Italian Riveria, as this narrow strip of land lies between the Mediterranean, the Alps and the Apennine mountains.

IMG_9887

©blogginginitaly.com

While parts of Liguria have familiar names – Cinque Terre, Portofino, and Sanremo, others are much less known.

Liguria is the original source of pesto, and it is easy to understand when driving through some of the towns. Basil is grown in an abundance throughout the year.

Trenette is a traditional form of regional pasta served with pesto alla genovese, which can also include potatoes and green beans boiled in the same water.

IMG_0048

©blogginginitaly.com

We had never been to Liguria before last week, and now it is one of our favorite places. Town after town graces the Mediterranean, yet each has its own identity. We visited several with friends, one of whom calls Liguria home.

After a literal 2-hour complete shut down of the autostrada near Arezzo, and a 5+ hour drive, we were happy to finally arrive in Loano. My first sight of the sea, albeit cloudy, brought a smile to my face.

Then off to join Daniela’s family who welcomed us with warm hugs and hot soup.

IMG_9833

©blogginginitaly.com

The next day, we walked along the sea and took in the views from Loano and Verezzi. The photos tell the story best.

IMG_9875

©blogginginitaly.com

IMG_9878

©blogginginitaly.com

IMG_9882

©blogginginitaly.com

After a beautiful morning of sightseeing, we enjoyed a Tuscan lunch, complete with chianina beef, sausage, and Sangiovese brought from Cortona. And yes, there was even a large collection of pet turtles to entertain us!

Now, one would think this lunch would suffice for the day, but hey, this is Italy, so later that evening, we headed out for seafood, a major staple of Ligurian cuisine, as well as Lumassina, a local white wine.

After dinner, we visited a dear friend’s shop to purchase some fresh pesto.

Wednesday was Monaco/Monte Carlo day, about 60 miles from Loano. I had visited both when I was a student in Rome, and while the sights remain beautiful, today the tourists and cars are dense.

On the way back to Italy, we stopped for what turned out to be a rather “rude” lunch in Menton, along the French border, so we were happy to join Italian cousins for dinner later that night.

IMG_0045

©blogginginitaly.com

Thursday was my very favorite day. We headed to Alassio, a neighboring Ligurian town, for a most relaxed morning of boating and swimming.

IMG_0148

©blogginginitaly.com

Up next, a moto ride for me around the harbor before a delicious seafood lunch.

Afterward, we strolled through colorful Alassio and learned some of its history.

In the early 1950s, Alassio was a capital of international highlife along the Riveria. The owner of Caffè Roma came up with the idea to create a wall with the autographs he had collected of famous people that came to the bar, including Ernest Hemingway. Hence, the Muretto di Alassio was born and now boasts about 550 tiles.

After our walk, we drove to the top of the cliff to visit Santa Croce Church and take in the marvelous views of the sea and Isola Gallinara.

Now just in case you’re concerned we might not be able to handle this lifestyle, we found our motto early on…

IMG_0030

©blogginginitaly.com

Our last night was a “typical small Italian family” gathering for pizza. 

IMG_0206

©blogginginitaly.com

It was hard to leave this beautiful part of Italy, but we know we’ll return. To ease our “sorrow”, we stopped in Portofino for lunch on the way home. 

IMG_0234

IMG_0235

Len and I began planning our trip to Liguria a year ago. It ended up being so much more than we had ever expected – the natural beauty, the sea, the people, the food, the colors, and most of all, the incredible hospitality shown to us. 

And now since it is Wednesday, I can finally say:

Buon Compleanno, Dani. Tantissimi Auguri cara amica!

IMG_0073

Grazie per una vacanza che ricorderemo sempre!
Thank you for a holiday we will always remember!

IMG_9897

Ciao,
Judy

 

 

 

14 Responses to “In Love with Liguria”

  1. bestson808 September 27, 2017 at 3:31 AM #

    Aloha Judy & Len,

    Thank you for sharing your travelogue. I learn so much about Italy, it’s great people, food, culture & strong friendship. I feel I am traveling with you.

    You look beautiful and very happy. Len looks a bit sun burn. 🙂

    Enjoy and please keep the posts coming.

    BIG Hugs from Honolulu,
    Charles on island

    Like

    • blogginginitaly September 27, 2017 at 8:04 AM #

      Charles, as always, you are very welcome! Thanks for your message.

      Like

  2. jeanfromcalifornia September 27, 2017 at 9:03 AM #

    Gorgeous, Judy. Just gorgeous. It is the right side of the golden horseshoe with Monaco and Cannes at the top (we used to go to the film/television festivals). Down the other side is where we will be going first – Barcelona.
    You are right – due to the history of French conquests – the whole horseshoe has cultural overlaps. We are looking forward to Barcelona’s favorite cannelloni and its rejection of Spanish sangria in favor of its own choice – a local champagne.
    See you soon and look forward to comparing notes.
    (Thanks for giving us a plan for next year – lol)

    Liked by 1 person

    • blogginginitaly September 27, 2017 at 10:23 AM #

      Jean, enjoy Barcelona and look forward to hearing about your newest adventures!

      Like

  3. Julia Spina-Kilar September 27, 2017 at 11:46 AM #

    How wonderful!!

    Like

  4. Florence September 27, 2017 at 1:42 PM #

    Fabulous !! Great photos and wonderful place. Was in La Spezia for a week as a base for Cinque Terra but unfortunately never made it to these gorgeous spots =- how fun !! Absolutely a trip back is in order !! Grazie e auguri !!

    Liked by 1 person

    • blogginginitaly September 27, 2017 at 2:33 PM #

      Didn’t realize you were there…so very beautiful in any of the towns. And yes, a trip back! xo

      Like

  5. Sandra September 27, 2017 at 4:21 PM #

    Beautiful vacation! We arrive Saturday!

    Sent from my iPad

    >

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Royce Larsen September 27, 2017 at 10:33 PM #

    Interesting and educational.
    As always great cuisine photographs!
    Thank you

    Liked by 1 person

  7. stellalucentellc September 28, 2017 at 12:47 PM #

    Grazie mille for this post on a much neglected region of Italy! The scenery is beautiful and the pasta is different from other regions, but I am sure delicious if I can visit to try it.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: