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The Italian Riviera, or Ligurian Riviera, (Italian: Riviera ligure; Ligurian: Rivêa ligure) is the narrow coastal strip in Italy which lies between the Ligurian Sea and the mountain chain formed by the Maritime Alps and the Apennines. Longitudinally it extends from the border with France and the French Riviera (or Côte d'Azur) near Ventimiglia (a former customs post) eastwards to Capo Corvo (also known as Punta Bianca) which marks the eastern end of the Gulf of La Spezia and is close to the regional border between Liguria and Tuscany. The Italian Riviera thus includes nearly all of the coastline of Liguria. Historically the "Riviera" extended further to the west, through what is now French territory as far as Marseille.
The Italian Riviera crosses all four Ligurian provinces and their capitals Genoa, Savona, Imperia and La Spezia, with a total length of about 350 km (218 miles). It is customarily divided into a western section, the Ponente Riviera, and an eastern section, the Levante Riviera, the point of division being the apex of the Ligurian arc at Voltri. It has about 1,6 million inhabitants, and most of the population is concentrated within the coastal area. Because of the shelter from winter winds afforded by the mountains, it is particularly favoured in growing early vegetables, flowers (especially in the western section), olives, and wine grapes. Its mild climate draws an active tourist trade in the numerous coastal resorts, which include Alassio, Bonassola, Bordighera, Camogli, Cinque Terre, Lerici, Levanto, Noli, Portofino, Porto Venere, Santa Margherita Ligure, Sanremo, San Fruttuoso, and Sestri Levante. It is also known for its historical association with international celebrity and artistic visitors; writers and poets like Percy Bysshe Shelley, Lord Byron, Ezra Pound, and Ernest Hemingway were inspired by the beauty and spirit of the region.
As a tourist centre, the Italian Riviera benefits over 300 days of sunshine per year, and is known for its beaches, colourfully painted towns, natural environment, food, and luxury villas and hotels, as well as for its popular resort facilities, major yachting and cruising areas with several marinas, festivals, golf courses, sailing, rock climbing and scenic views of centuries old farmhouses and cottages.
Industries are concentrated in and around Genoa, Savona, and along the shores of the Gulf of La Spezia. Genoa and La Spezia are Italy’s leading shipyards; La Spezia is Italy’s major naval base, and Savona is a major centre of the Italian iron industry. Chemical, textile, and food industries are also important.
A number of streets and palaces in the center of Genoa and the Cinque Terre National Park (which includes Cinque Terre, Portovenere, and the islands Palmaria, Tino and Tinetto) are two of Italy's 55 World Heritage Sites.
The Riviera's centre is Genoa, which divides it into two main sections: the Riviera di Ponente (“the coast of the setting sun”), extending westwards from Genoa to the French border; and the Riviera di Levante (“the coast of the rising sun”) between Genoa and Capo Corvo.
It is famous for its particularly mild climate and relaxed way of life which, together with the charm of its old fishing ports and the beauty of its landscape, has made it a popular destination for travellers and tourists since the time of Byron and Percy Shelley.
The part of the Riviera di Ponente centred on Savona, is called the "Riviera delle Palme" (the Riviera of palms); the part centred on Sanremo, is the "Riviera dei Fiori", after the long-established flower growing industry.
Places on or near the Italian Riviera include:
- Genoa: Le Strade Nuove and the system of the Palazzi dei Rolli
- Portovenere, Cinque Terre, and the Islands (Palmaria, Tino and Tinetto)
- Giardini Botanici Hanbury, Mortola Inferiore, Ventimiglia, Liguria.
- Giardino all'italiana Cervara Abbey, Santa Margherita Ligure, Liguria.
- Villa Durazzo-Pallavicini, Pegli, Genoa, Liguria.
- Villa Durazzo-Centurione, Santa Margherita Ligure, Liguria.
- Villa Grimaldi Fassio, Nervi, Genoa, Liguria.
- Villa Saluzzo Serra, Nervi, Genoa, Liguria.
Events and festivals
- Carnevalöa - Carnival of Loano
- Barcalorata in Sestri Levante
- Sanremo in Fiore - Corso Fiorito - Carnival of Sanremo
- Euroflora in Nervi Genoa
- Festival Internazionale del Balletto e della Musica in Nervi Genoa
- Festival della Scienza in Genoa
- Genoa International Boat Show
- Premio Paganini in Genoa
- Sanremo Music Festival
- Rallye Sanremo, the event was part of the FIA World Rally Championship schedule from the 1973 season to the 2003 season
- Riviera International Film Festival
- Milan-Sanremo annual cycling race
- Regatta of the Historical Marine Republics in Genoa
- Yacht Club Italiano, Genoa
- Yacht Club Tigullio, Santa Margherita Ligure, Genoa
- Yacht Club Rapallo, Rapallo, Genoa
- Yacht Club Marina di Loano, Loano, Savona
- Yacht Club Imperia, Imperia
- Yacht Club Sanremo, Sanremo, Imperia
Typical cuisine, food and wine
- Trofie al Pesto
- Trenette al Pesto
- Mandilli al Pesto
- Pansoti alla salsa di noci
- Focaccia Genovese
- Focaccia di Recco (focaccia col formaggio)
- Focaccia con le cipolle
- Focaccia con le olive
- Farinata di ceci
- Taggiasca olives (Taggia)
- Spumante Bisson Abissi
- Andrea Ansaldo (1584–1638)
- Bernardo Strozzi (1582-1644)
- Gioacchino Assereto (1600–1649)
- Giovanni Lorenzo Bertolotto (1640–1721)
- Giovan Battista Gaulli (Baciccio) (1639–1709)
- Sanremo Hospital
- Imperia Hospital
- Santa Maria di Misericordia Hospital, Albenga
- Santa Corona Hospital, Pietra Ligure
- San Paolo Hospital, Savona
- La Colletta Hospital, Arenzano
- Evangelico Hospital, Voltri, Genoa
- Antero Micone Hospital, Sestri Ponente, Genoa
- Villa Scassi Hospital, Sampierdarena, Genoa
- Galliera Hospital, Genoa
- San Martino Hospital, Genoa
- Villa Montallegro Private Clinic, Genoa
- Istituto Giannina Gaslini, Genoa
- Sant'Antonio Hospital, Recco
- Lavagna Hospital
- Sestri Levante Hospital
- Sant'Andrea Hospital, La Spezia
Islands of Liguria
Notes and references
- Baughan, Rosa (1880). Winter havens in the sunny South, a complete handbook to the Riviera. London: The Bazaar.
- Black, Charles B. (1887). The Riviera, Or The Coast from Marseilles to Leghorn, Including Carrara, Lucca, Pisa, Pistoja and Florence (Third ed.). Edinburgh: Adam and Charles Black.
- "Into the Blue: 3 Top Locations to Scuba Dive in Liguria".
- "Liguria - region, Italy". Britannica.
- "Statistiche demografiche ISTAT". Demo.istat.it.
- Italy. "Italy: Portofino guide". Telegraph. Retrieved 2013-01-11.
- Ross, Rory (2007-09-01). "Portofino: a port town that has evaded the uglier side of tourism - Europe - Travel". The Independent. Retrieved 2013-01-11.
- "Culture of Italy's Riviera and Cinque Terre Liguria Region". Trips 2 Italy.
- "Map of Italy - Holiday homes and villa rentals, self catering in Italy". Holiday homes for rent.
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