The Principality of Seborga claims its independence from the Italian state since 954, when the territory of Seborga was donated by the Count of Ventimiglia to the Benedictine monks. In 1729 the monks ceded the Principality to Vittorio Amedeo II di Savoia. The inhabitants of Seborga, however, have never recognized the validity of this document, thus...

The Protected Marine Area of the Cinque Terre National Park extends along the stretch of coast that comprises such famous places as Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza and Monterosso al Mare, the five villages collectively known as the Cinque Terre. Beautiful spots are everywhere within this protected area, and not necessarily as sought-afte...

Although of very ancient origins, the city of Viterbo became a real urban center in the Etruscan era. The Etruscan name of the city, Surina, was due to the presence, according to their beliefs, of the God Suri. The city soon expanded until the Roman period when it took the name of Sorrina Nova, becoming an important Latin center. With the fall of t...

Sandwiched between the sea and the mountains, Genoa was once a powerful maritime republic. Its great expansion began after the year 1000, extending its trading and military power over much of the Mediterranean. In 1528, with Doge Andrea Doria, who belonged to a family of rich merchants and extraordinary seafarers, the Republic of Genoa reached the...

COVID has been a ‘total disaster’ for tourism to Sicily, as it has been for many destinations.  But now the Italian region is investing millions of euro to incentivise international visitors to return. “Tourism is worth 15% of the gross domestic product, and in some areas it even represents 40%”, says tourism councillor Manlio Messina. 2020 will be...

Some of the most sought-after destinations on the Italian Riviera, like Portofino and Cinque Terre, were once quiet fishing villages, a situation hard to imagine now, considering how these alluring havens attracted throngs of visitors in pre-pandemic times. (The Local reports about 2.5 million tourists a year for Cinque Terre.) No doubt they will r...

The global pandemic is having a huge impact on the international economy and according to the Institute of International Finance this crisis could be considered the third but greatest financial and social nightmare of the current century, after 9/11 and the global financial crisis of 2008. Even the tourism industry, one of the most profitable, has...

What a peculiar summer this is: if it weren’t for the unbearable heat, it wouldn’t feel like a summer at all. Don’t get me wrong, Italians didn’t renounce to their Ferragosto-by-the-sea tradition, in fact, they’ve been letting loose a tad too much, if we look at the mild yet steady increase in Covid-19 infections of the past couple of weeks.  It’s...

CINQUE TERRE IS A FAMOUS area of the Italian Riviera along the coast of Liguria. The rugged and mountainous terrain that makes up this coast creates many promontories and inlets. A medieval fortress known as Doria Castle (Castello Doria) stands on top of a rocky ridge near the village of Vernazza. The first nucleus of the fortress was dedicated dur...

Gilda Siena likes to talk – so much so she is known among her guests as “the chatty woman”. In the decade since she bought a 19th-century building once inhabited by Venetian nobility in the Salento area – at the southern tip (the heel) of Italy’s Puglia region – and made it into boutique hotel Palazzo Siena-Home & More, this aspect of her personali...