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Liguria - land of mountain villages and olives

Over the past year, we have once again completely fallen in love with Liguria, an elongated region that essentially lines the entire northwest coast of Italy, stretching from Southern France to Tuscany. Twenty years ago, we worked at the Palazzo del Maggiore, a fantastic hotel with a bar, restaurant, and its own little chapel. Now, we go there to enjoy the tranquility, the mountains, and the views.

Due to the region's elongated shape, there are quite a few differences. Liguria is known for its beautiful beaches and stunning coastal villages like Portofino and the villages that make up the Cinque Terre. Genoa is the capital of the area and also the proud creator of the world-famous pesto alla genovese. It is said that in this large port city, women awaited with bowls full of fragrant dishes as their men (including the most famous of all: Columbus!), after months or years at sea, craved fresh vegetables and herbs from their homeland.

And indeed, quite a bit grows on that homeland. Fresh thyme, wild fennel, sage, and wild oregano are found everywhere in the wild. The narrow strip between the coast and mountains is full of various fruit trees and, of course, olive trees. Ligurian oil is considered one of the best in Italy; soft in taste, light in color, grassy, delightful! In the inland areas, the hills and mountains are mostly covered with overgrown olive trees. Harvesting on the slopes and difficult-to-reach areas is so costly that, for a long time, it did not outweigh the yield.

Furthermore, we regularly pick up a piece of torta verde from the local alimentari, but the supermarket also has a tasty one at the fresh department. A cake with green vegetables like chard and spinach, rice, and fresh herbs. Nutritious, healthy, and convenient as a snack. Oh, and the Taggiasca olives, small black-brown olives with pits - very flavorful. A substantial amount always comes back home with us; to eat as is or to use in a stew with rabbit, typical of Liguria.

I haven't even mentioned the fish yet. With charming coastal towns like Bordighera and Imperia in the west, the Cinque Terre in the center, and also Monaco, Nice, and the rest of the French Riviera nearby, there is plenty to find there. See you soon, beautiful Liguria!

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