In Liguria the sea is never far away. That's because of the region's unusual shape: It is a thin coastal stripe, stretching from the French border to the beginning of the Italian "boot", where the coast turns South. Liguria is 240 kilometers long and between seven and 35 kilometers long. So indeed, wherever you are in Liguria, the sea can never be far from you. This close proximity to the water has, throughout history, made the people of Liguria the ones in Italy whose lives got most shaped by the oceans - their legendary seafaring traditions are what this helped establish. Genoa, Italy's most important port city, is the prime example of this. Christopher Columbus was a proud citizen of this town. This may serve as an excellent example of the adventurous spirit of Liguria.
Genoa is also the region's capital and biggest city (population: over 600 thousand). It was founded even before the arrival of the Romans who later turned it into one of the economic hubs of their empire. One could say that ever since Genoa has had this very role - and currently its importance is clearly growing exponentially. One reason for this appears to be globalization with its emphasis on worldwide trade - Genoa has greatly benefited from this. But it is far from being an economic mono-culture. The service sector and especially banking (after all an Italian invention!) have always been big in Genoa, and they certainly still are. The other great source of income for the city is of course tourism. Genoa is blessed with an idyllic location, sandwiched between the sea and the Ligurian mountains. The city has a beautiful and large old town with a multitude of amazing monuments.
Obviously, tourism plays an important role for the whole of Liguria. There is hardly a spot in the region that is not worthy of being discovered by curious visitors. Wherever you go, this combination of the sea and mountains always amazes you with its beauty. As it is common in Northern Italy, the people of Liguria too feel a greater affinity to Northern and Central Europeans than to their own compatriots in the South.