Liguria is the anglicised name for Ligure, a region running along the strip of coastline around Genoa in the north west of Italy. It comprises the provinces of Genoa, Imperia, La Spezia and Savona, and includes the Italian Riviera. The ancient Liguria occupied a much larger area than the present region, even in Roman times. This was the home of Christopher Colombus. The fertile valleys produce generous amounts of fruits and vegetables, pine nuts are produced in the hills and olive oil is of very high quality, without the hype of neighbouring Tuscany. Honey is produced from hives among the olive groves. There is little farming of grains in the region and fish is not as abundant on the coast as one might think. Herbs abound, particularly rosemary, thyme, marjoram and, of course, basil. This is all reflected in the cuisine with pesto, one of the very famous dishes of Genoa, made from the basil and pine nuts, sheep's milk cheeses, garlic and oil that are produced locally.



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