The region Liguria is long and tight and "crushed" to the sea of the Apennine.
The region comprises the Thyrrenic side of the Alps and a part of the Apennine, and it faces the Thyrrenean sea: the coast is divided into the elevated and harsh Riviera di Levante and the Riviera di Ponente which is more open, even if the hills arrive at the sea and form different promontories.
The whole territory is dominated by two main "geographical criteria": the sea and the mountains.
The region Liguria has seen the men's presence in very remote times. In fact, numerous discoveries prove that the region is one of the most constantly populated European zones in the course of the various époques.
The region's history is characterized by the Romans (the most important evidence: the big Roman streets - Aurelia and Julia Augusta along the coast, Postumia and Aemilia Scauri towards the internal side), by the struggle between feudal overlords and bishops, by the invasions of the Saraceni, by crusades, by the maritime traffic etc.
The region Liguria is Italy's first tourist region. Its first tourists go back to the end of the 18th century, and they come from England in order to pass the winter in the mild climate of the south. We are in the époque of the elite tourism.
The visitors are not really interested in discovering historical-cultural works, but they are searching for the coast's climatic oasis, like e.g. villas, hotels, and equipped clinics.
The fifties of the 20th century cause a radical change: the necessity of relax, after the depressing years of war together with a bigger social security cause a journey boom towards Italy.
The Italian Riviera is no longer an "exclusive" zone, but it becomes a common good that represents, above all for foreign tourists, the quintessence of the "Dolcefarniente".
Nowadays the tourist is more sensible for environmental problems, and he/she is more interested in discovering unpolluted places.
In spite of the tourist development explained above, exists still a part of the Riviera which has not been mutated by the modern civilization, and which is therefor able to satisfy the tourist's new necessities. We are talking about the coast's most eastern part, the National Park of the Cinque Terre.
This zone is no destination for those who want to have fun in discotheques or pubs, but it is visited by "travelers" who consider the Cinque Terre's unique landscape one of the most beautiful zones of Italy.