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Digital Subscriptions > Italia! > Jul 2019 > Liguria

Liguria

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Colourful, sophisticated Liguria combines heavenly beach-life with serene mountain escapes. Easy to reach, and offering plenty of good-value property, it’s no surprise the region is much loved, says Fleur Kinson.

Forming a slender arc on the map, Liguria hugs the Mediterranean coast from the south of France to Tuscany. And yes, its beaches are every bit a lovely as such a location might suggest. Liguria’s coast is sometimes called the ‘Italian Riviera’, as it continues the line of celebrated beaches and resort-towns begun on the swanky French Côte d’Azur. Both coastlines share a similar cosmopolitan sophistication and a sensuous beauty, but the Italian section is arguably a little more laid-back and welcoming. Being Italy, the buildings are often a bit more beautiful, too. Liguria’s sea-plunging hillsides sprout plenty of lovely Art Nouveau villas while the towns and villages are a colourful maze of trompe l’oeil paintwork that tricks your eye into seeing pretty balustrades, balconies and shutters that aren’t really there.

But a glorious coast is only part of Liguria’s geographical appeal. Behind the beaches rise the steep, wooded Maritime Alps (an offshoot of the mightier range further north) and the Ligurian Apennines. These mountains shelter the region from any cold air whooshing down from the high Alps lining the top of Italy, so coastal Liguria enjoys remarkably mild winters. At the same time, with a cooler elevation at its back and breezes coming in off the sea, the coast rarely gets too savagely hot in the summertime. No wonder, then, that Liguria’s seaside held a great appeal for wealthy convalescents and health-seekers in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The benign, temperate climate here definitely promotes a sense of well-being.

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About Italia!

This month we embark on our travels to Verona, the beautiful Veneto city immortalised by Shakespeare in his tale of star-crossed lovers. Whether the story of Juliet’s balcony is fact or fiction matters little, as we travel deeper to the city’s heart and its noble Roman heritage. Traditions of another kind are on our mind in Puglia; this time, the culinary variety. It’s a captivating land with its roots firmly in the soil, as you’ll discover. The restful public gardens of Florence are in the spotlight too, while this month’s Fast Culture tells a tale of mistaken identity or Renaissance ‘spin’ that’s not to be missed.