NEW YORK -- Though Tuscany and Umbria have captured much of the
limelight among Americans looking for culinary, art and adventure
destinations in Italy, the region of Liguria is an up-and-coming
Maria Paola Profumo, minister of tourism and culture for the
Liguria region, was in New York recently to promote the
destination's new slogan, "Adagio de Liguria," which can be
translated, more or less, as "Liguria, slowly." "Adagio de Liguria
means that we urge people to savor the atmosphere of Liguria rather
than eat and run," Profumo said.
The area, also called the Italian Riviera, is best known for its
principal city, Genoa, which has undergone a makeover in recent
years, she said. "Genoa was an industrial port city at one time but
now is really becoming a city of arts," she said. She cited the
waterfront as one of the areas refurbished for the 1992
celebrations commemorating the 500th anniversary of Christopher
Columbus' voyage to America.
Other Genoa attractions include art museums, notably the Palazzo
Rosso and Palazzo Bianco on the Via Garibaldi; the city aquarium,
and the restored childhood home of Columbus.
Liguria also boasts two distinct coasts: the Riviera di Ponente,
west of Genoa, stretching to the French border, and the Riviera di
Levante, east-southeast of Genoa. Popular destinations along the
coast include Portofino, the Cinque Terre ("five lands," acutally
five towns) and Ameglia. "We want to highlight two main
characteristics of the area for people who are not familiar with
Liguria: the culture and health and fitness," Profumo said.
"Year-round you can do many sports, such as biking, cycling, rock
climbing, horseback riding, golfing and aquatic sports, such as
The Cinque Terre, which has become increasingly popular for
hiking in the last few years, is just one of the regions suitable
for off-the-beaten-track adventures, Profumo said.
Two new "cultural parks" -- Val di Magra-Terra di Luni and
Riviera dei Fiori-Alpi Maritime -- offer walks highlighting the
works of poets, writers and painters of the area. Also of interest
is a private collection of 19th century art donated by American art
collector Mitchell Wolfson to the city of Genoa.
Describing Liguria as an "outdoor museum," Profumo said the
region is dotted with nature parks, reserves, botanical gardens and
marine parks. Two museums -- La Via dell'Ardesia in Val Fontanabuon
and the Museum of Pigna -- focus on the natural attractions of the
Profumo said the region is preparing for the papally designated
Jubilee Year of 2000 with a series of special events and
itineraries. "I think these activities will be important not only
for religious travelers but also for general tourism," she
An exhibition of miniature paintings and other items created by
sailors is planned for Savona for the Jubilee Year, she said.
Another big exhibition, set to kick off in Genoa in 2000 before
moving to other cities in Europe, will be called "Voyages en
Italie." The show will focus on the works of artists and authors
who traveled to Italy, such as Rubens and Flaubert.
Italian Government Tourist Office, Agent phone: (212)