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Spring has sprung in Liguria

8th March 2016 Print

Spring is a time of re-birth in Liguria. Locals walk along tree-lined promenades by the seafront, mountain bikers take to the Ligurian hills, and the air is filled with the scent of festivities and celebrations. During the spring months Liguria has pleasant temperatures for outdoor activities, seasonal food festivals and exciting cultural events. Here are some of the best activities and events to enjoy in Liguria in spring:

A Taste Of Liguria In Spring

Liguria is the heart of Italian cuisine and is famous for its street vendors selling warm focaccia, award-winning pesto and seafood dishes filled with aromatic fresh herbs and seasonal vegetables. With spring comes an array of regional food festivals for visitors to choose from:  

Pesto Week in Genoa

From 8-17 April, Genoa will host the Pesto World Championship bringing together 100 participants competing against each other to make the best pesto sauce in the region. The event will take place in the cultural heart of Genoa, the 'Palazzo Ducale', a 15th century building that hosts high profile exhibitions and markets in its lofty atrium.

The 'Palazzo Ducale' will open its doors for free from 5pm on 16 April, allowing visitors to browse the exhibitions and take a tour of the cultural centre of Genoa. Throughout the entire week, Genoese and Ligurian restaurants will offer typical dishes based on pesto with special fixed price menus.

The aim of the championship is to promote the local food of Genoa and Liguria and its territory. This year the Genoese Pesto made by mortar has been nominated to receive UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage status.  

'Sagra Del Pesce', Camogli

On 8 May 2016, the picturesque fisherman's village of Camogli will be filled with the salty taste of the Mediterranean. Located to the west of Portofino in the province of Genoa, thousands of tourists and locals flock to the town to watch local fishermen cook three tons of fresh fish in the largest frying pan in the world. This festival is linked to the festival of San Fortunato, the patron saint of fishermen and guests come to feast on the fresh fish, dance, drink and admire fireworks over the bay.

'Sagra Del Limone', Monterosso

Each May Monterosso, one of the five villages of the 'Cinque Terre' in the province of La Spezia, is painted yellow for the 'Sagra Del Limone', a festival that celebrates the typical fruit of the area the lemon. On 15 May, the streets of Monterosso come alive with stalls offering tastings and selling all things lemon-based including “limoncino”, lemon cream, marmalade and lemon cake.

In the afternoon, the '8000 passi al profumo di limone', a walking tour of Monterosso, winds its way along the streets of the village with visits to typical lemon groves with food stalls and eateries. The day typically comes to an end with a party on the main square and a prize-giving for the best lemon-themed window display.

Active Liguria In Spring

Rolling hills, magnificent peaks and picture perfect coastlines make Liguria the perfect destination for travellers seeking an active and adventurous holiday. With spring comes the ideal weather that allows visitors to choose from an array of outdoor activities; from mountain biking along paths overlooking the sea, to hiking through natural parks high up in the Maritime Alps.

Mountain Biking in Liguria

Nestled between the sea and the mountains, the mountain bike trails in Liguria offer spectacular views in the whole region and annually welcome some of the most adrenalin-pumping mountain bike competitions in Europe.

One of the races, the 24 hour Finale Ligure, has become the most important mountain bike competition in Liguria with breathtaking views of the Gulf of Noli and Varigotti. Attracting over a thousand participants from around the world every year, this year the event will be hosted in Finale from 27 to 28 May.

Trekking in Liguria

Liguria is a haven of hiking paths suspended over the sea. From trekking 'Monte Saccarello', the highest peak of Liguria, to walking to the summit of Beigua or Mount Portofino, Liguria offers routes for all hiking levels.

The 'Alta Via dei Monti Liguri' is a 43 stage hike surrounded by spectacular views of the Mediterranean sea and the Italian Alps. The trail is made up of a variety of itineraries; some hikes stretch over several days whilst others can be enjoyed over a couple of hours starting from the road and reaching up to the closest summit. Along the 'Alta Via dei Monti Liguri' hostels welcome weary walkers for the night and offer warming feasts of local Ligurian products. Further information can be found here.

Cultural Liguria In Spring

An exciting number of cultural events can be enjoyed during spring in Liguria. With its palazzos, national galleries and UNESCO World Heritage sites, Liguria is a veritable playground for cultural holiday seekers.

Rolli Weekends

Liguria's historic city of Genoa will offer exclusive access to the incredible 'Palazzi dei Rolli' from 2 – 3 April and 28- 29 May 2016.The 42 palaces in Genoa's historical centre, which are collectively known as the 'Palazzi dei Rolli', will have their doors flung open over these two weekends in spring.

The palaces have UNESCO World Heritage status due to their historical, economic and aesthetic significance and in 2016 Genoa celebrates the 10th anniversary of the appointment to UNESCO Heritage status. 

A total of 21 palaces which are not usually accessible to the public will be opened, as well as two opening for the first time; the Palazzo Nicola Grimaldi and the Villa Pallavicino. From 28 – 29 May, a new path will be opened to the public, linking the Palazzo Bianco and the Palazzo Tursi, two of the most important historical houses in Genoa.

Villas and Gardens

Spring sunshine and the lack of summer crowds make it a perfect time to enjoy some of the beautiful villas and gardens scattered across Liguria.

The Hanbury Gardens in Ventimiglia, located to the south west of Genoa, is home to the garden of scents and a rose garden which comes alive with delicious aromas in the spring months.

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