Liguria Italy 10 Fun Facts - Digging Up Roots in the Boot

Liguria Italy 10 Fun Facts

Ciao tutti! Welcome to The Best of Italy, a video series on Digging up Roots on the Boot’s YouTube Channel. Alessia is going to share 10 fun facts about Liguria, Italy. It is one of 20 Italian Regions in Northern Italy. Watch the video and continue reading below. Also, be sure and subscribe to our YouTube channel so you don’t miss out on new video posts.

1 Liguria is Italy's 3rd Smallest Region

Liguria, in Northwest Italy, is the third smallest region in Italy and borders France to the West. It is a very narrow strip of land on the Ligurian sea known as the Italian Riviera.  Over 80% of the region’s population lives near the coast from Savona to Genoa.  The region  appears as one continuous city.

2 His Ligurian name was Cristòffa Cónbo

Cristopher Columbus was born in Genoa in 1451.  His Ligurian name was Cristòffa Cónbo. His father was a middle-class wool weaver who worked in Genova and Savona.  His father also owned a cheese stand where Christoper worked as a young man. 

3 Pesto Genovese is Liguria's Green Gold

Genoa is the home of pesto, one of the most popular sauces in Italian cuisine.  Giovanni Battista Ratto’s cookbook, La Cuciniera Genovese, published the first recipe for pesto alla Genovese in 1863.  

4 Sanremo Music Festival

Since 1951 the town of Sanremo has been hosting the Sanremo music festival.  The internationally famous song, Nel blu dipinto di blu also known as Volare, was performed for the first time at the Sanremo Music Festival by Domenico Modugno in 1958.  

The Sanremo music festival also inspired the Eurovision Song Contest which started in 1956. The competition has launched the careers of some of Italy’s most famous singers including Andrea Bocelli, Il Volo, and Laura Pausini.

5 Presidential Roots in Liguria 

Sandro Petrini, the 7th president of the Italian republic, was born in Stella in the province of Savona.  He resisted fascism and spent most of his young life in hiding or imprisoned.  

He began his political career in 1946 as an elected official taking part in preparing the new republican Italian Constitution.  In 1968, he was elected president of the Italian Chamber of Deputies.  

At the age of 81, he became President of the Italian Republic.  He held the office from 1978-1985.

6 The Christ of the Abyss in the Ligurian Sea

The bronze Statue of the Christ of the Abyss was placed 17 meters underwater in Portofino in 1954.  The statue was sculpted in memory of Dario Gonzatti.  Unfortunately, he lost his life being the first Italian to use SCUBA gear in 1947.   

In 1961, a second sculpture was cast from the same mold and gifted to Granada by the Genova Navy for rescuing the crew of an Italian vessel.

A third sculpture from the same mold sits 25 feet underwater in the Coral Reef State Park off the coast of Key Largo in Florida.  

7 The Italian Riviera

The Italian Riviera is broken down into two main sections with Genova being the center.  The section from the French border to Genova is called Riviera di Ponente which means the coast of the setting sun.  The coast of the rising sun or Riviera di Levante stretches east from Genova to Capo Corvo.

8 Fontanabuona Valley inland Liguria 

Further inland, running parallel to the Ligurian coast, is the Fontanabuona Valley.  It is most known for the extraction of slate.  The extracted slate is used to make blackboards, billiard tables, and roofing for houses.  

You can visit The Road of Black Slate.  It is an eco-museum that takes visitors through paths and caves of the different stages of mining and working the slate.

9 Liguria's Famous Flower Festival

Sanremo in Fiore aka Blooming Sanremo is a flower festival that started in 1904.  It was originally called Festa della Dea Flora.  In the begining, it was a celebration of the Goddess Flora.  Nowadays, dozens of Ligurian towns participate in the parade of flower-covered floats.  

The floats are judged and awarded 1st,  2nd and 3rd place awards. Today the festival is called Italia in Fiore, and Sanremo has been dubbed the city of flowers.

10 Vernazza Liguria Italy

In October of 2011, the province of La Spezia experienced 6 hours of heavy rains that left more than 19 inches of water on the ground.  The two major rivers, Magra and Vara, overflowed.   The floods caused millions of euros in damages and 13 people died.  

The village of Vernazza was hit the hardest. They feared the worse.  So, imagine their surprise when they found that the rains gifted them a new large beach at the foot of the village.

Do you know any other fun facts about Liguria?  Let’s talk it out in the comment section below. Also, be sure and watch our other fun fact videos on Italy’s 20 regions and read our blog posts on Italy’s 20 regions. Thanks for watching and reading 10 fun facts about Liguria. A presto!

Contact us if you are interested in finding out more about your Italian Heritage.

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I am a proud third generation Italian American dedicated to promoting the richness of Italian cultural heritage.

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