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Angela
06-03-14, 16:48
Trekking Liguria-Tra Mare e Monti

There is barely a demarcation line between the sea and the mountains in Liguria, as the mountains plunge precipitously straight into the Mediterranean. Even far into the entroterra or hinterlands, you can often catch a glimpse of the sea.





http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eaIuDq-sdP8

Aberdeen
06-03-14, 18:32
That's very beautiful. Any place where the mountains meet the sea is magical, but Liguria is like no place I've ever been to.

Angela
06-03-14, 22:05
That's very beautiful. Any place where the mountains meet the sea is magical, but Liguria is like no place I've ever been to.


I'm glad you like it, Aberdeen. If one can be said to be in love with one's land, then I am in love with mine...although the Liguria of my youth will soon be relegated to the National Park Areas. (which thankfully are very large)

This is a very well made video of the hiking close to the sea in the Cinque Terre. (A UNESCO protected site, and, as per above, a very large National Park area. As this is virtually my back yard, I hike here often.

I only wish that there were a way to communicate the smells...wild lavender, rosemary, marjoram, thyme, bay leaf, sage, and fennel, the basil and flowers from the farmers' pots, ripening grapes, lemons in some areas, the Mediterranean pine, and the salt smell of the sea, all warmed by the sun. The air is as intoxicating as Sciacchetrà, our white wine.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uwDfPfHZ6cg

Angela
06-03-14, 23:02
Hiking in Montemarcello, even closer to me, and easier to access (you can actually drive there and park, unlike in the Cinque Terre, where some of the towns are accessible only by train or by sea) The river which appears after about a minute and a half is the Magra, along whose banks I was born...marvelous fishing.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E-QkM_EwSc8

Aberdeen
07-03-14, 00:10
I know what you mean about the scents of a place. My favorite spot is not in my native province but in coastal British Columbia, where the mountains come down to the sea, and also on some of the Gulf islands off the coast of British Columbia. If you take a boat ride up the coast of British Columbia, you can see small towns that are only accessible by sea and wilderness areas, fiords where the eagles fly in large numbers. it's difficult to describe the sights and sounds of the mountains and forests, the waves crashing against the rocks and the calls of the sea birds. But the easiest way to recall it is by the unique scent of the plants that grow there. And I've learned that each part of the world smells differently. Since Liguria is much further south than British Columbia, the scents are probably stronger and more varied there. But so far I've never set foot in Italy.

It's interesting that you mention the Liguria of your youth being preserved mostly in the national park system. When I think of places on the islands off the coast of British Columbia where I used to roam in the seventies, isolated coves where I camped for free, I know that if I went back and tried to find those spots, I'd find condominiums and marinas instead of wilderness, except for those areas that are parkland. And many of the biggest trees along the coast of British Columbia have been cut down by the logging companies with the use of helicopters, unless they're in a national park area. And it's been necessary to put more and more restrictions on fishing, in order to protect what's left. People have been far too successful at dominating the world's landscape, and it can't end well, I think.

Angela
07-03-14, 20:13
I know what you mean about the scents of a place. My favorite spot is not in my native province but in coastal British Columbia, where the mountains come down to the sea, and also on some of the Gulf islands off the coast of British Columbia. If you take a boat ride up the coast of British Columbia, you can see small towns that are only accessible by sea and wilderness areas, fiords where the eagles fly in large numbers. it's difficult to describe the sights and sounds of the mountains and forests, the waves crashing against the rocks and the calls of the sea birds. But the easiest way to recall it is by the unique scent of the plants that grow there. And I've learned that each part of the world smells differently. Since Liguria is much further south than British Columbia, the scents are probably stronger and more varied there. But so far I've never set foot in Italy.

It's interesting that you mention the Liguria of your youth being preserved mostly in the national park system. When I think of places on the islands off the coast of British Columbia where I used to roam in the seventies, isolated coves where I camped for free, I know that if I went back and tried to find those spots, I'd find condominiums and marinas instead of wilderness, except for those areas that are parkland. And many of the biggest trees along the coast of British Columbia have been cut down by the logging companies with the use of helicopters, unless they're in a national park area. And it's been necessary to put more and more restrictions on fishing, in order to protect what's left. People have been far too successful at dominating the world's landscape, and it can't end well, I think.

Ed. How completely bizarre to be computer edited for calling fichi d'India the *****ly pear. What is the "clean" translation then? LOL!!!!!!!

I've heard that British Columbia is very beautiful. Going there is definitely on my 'bucket list'. So far, the furthest north I've been up the west coast of North America is northern California. One of my favorite things to do is to drive along Highway 1 in California. I absolutely love it. Unfortunately, for most of its length, the waters off the coast are not optimal for swimming, not for me anyway!

True story...the first time my parents went to California, we did a tour with them of San Francisco, Carmel, Monterrey, the Napa and Sonoma valleys etc. The topography, the flora, the smells, were all very familiar...in Sonoma, my Dad even filled his hat with figs straight from the tree! (The owner was happy to have him do it...they all ripen at once...although why she didn't make fig compote or jam or pastries is beyond me.)

In one restaurant, a poor waiter began to explain to us how to eat artichokes...to be told by my father that he had been eating artichokes since before the young man was a twinkle in his father's eye! My parents were in their element. My sainted mother more than once asked my father why on earth, if America indeed contained such a place, he had taken her to live in the cold of the northeast. When she saw the boulevard along the sea in Santa Barbara, she started to cry. It is a dead ringer for the Lungomare along the Mediterranean in La Spezia.
http://www.apuania.it/piccolomondo/spezia.jpg

Palm trees are not indigenous to the Riviera btw...however, in this protected mircroclimate (it has a "Mediterranean" climate not consistent with its latitude), they thrive. And I think warmth releases scent...it's how perfume works, I think. The scent is released by the heat of the body.

I agree about the sense of smell...it can connect to one's memories and emotions in a way that sight cannot, at least for me.

When I was very young indeed, I saw the Costa Gavras film "Z" in a film class. A woman (the great Irene Papas), whose man had been killed, stands in their closet, picks up and smells his clothes, and shatters...it was devastating to watch...

As to condominium blight, thank God we haven't experienced it. Zoning laws along the coast are draconian and, as I said, much of the land is protected as parkland. In Italy as a whole, a very large percentage of our land has been designated as parklands, and the percentage is much higher in Liguria, alta Toscana, Emilia, and the Ligurian Alps, the Apennines and the Apuan Alps that surround the Magra Valley. However, Liguria is home to two major commercial and naval ports, Genova and LaSpezia, and we have quite a large commerical flower industry (for perfume). The Liguri have often turned to the sea...it is an inhospitable land in many ways, and needs must...one can't eat beauty. In addition, Liguria is being spoiled by...well, I won't ruin my reverie by veering into politics.

It is true, as you say of British Columbia, that restrictions have been put on fishing etc. The 'dateri' a special type of mollusk that used to be found in the Bay of La Spezia, is long gone. But then, our Ligurian sea, because of the currents, has never been abundant with fish...we make do with the bonier, smaller fish. It's not like the Bay of Naples, another wonder of nature where the mountains meet the sea, in that regard.

In fact, there's a rude comment about Genova, which can be generalized to all of Liguria, I suppose, to the effect that: "Genova, monti senza (http://www.dialettando.com/regioni/pages/proverbi_dialetto.lasso?cerca=&regione=Liguria&saltarec=1530&results_curpage=154#) legna, mare senza pesci, uomini senza fede, donne senza vergogna." Genova, mountains without wood, a sea without fish, men without loyalty, women without shame. It was written by a disgruntled sea captain from Genova who felt he had been maltreated by the powers that be in La Superba, and who was also apparently made a cornuto (a cuckold) by his wife! Poor man, he obviously couldn't catch a break, as they say.

Of course, this is a calumny which I disdain to address, just as I disdain to address the stereotypes held by other Italians as to the "closedness" or reserve(?), excessive pride, haughtiness, grumpiness, and gruffness, in addition to the notorious stinginess or tight-fistedness of the Liguri!http://cdn.eupedia.com/forum/images/smilies/main/grin.png Sometimes it seems as if they think they're not sufficiently "Italian"! They just don't understand them. The Liguri are like the ficchi d'India, the *****ly pear...spiny on the outside, but very sweet within.
http://static.buttalapasta.it/625X0/www/buttalapasta/it/img/fichi-d-india.jpg


HA! No wonder I like the French, Aberdeen,...they speak to the Ligurian part of me!

Aberdeen
08-03-14, 16:26
Fascinating story, Angela. I didn't realize that parts of California are a lot like parts of Italy. But I have to laugh about the internet censoring your reference to "thorny pears".

Angela
10-03-14, 20:19
Fascinating story, Angela. I didn't realize that parts of California are a lot like parts of Italy. But I have to laugh about the internet censoring your reference to "thorny pears".

You don't know how funny it is that I, of all people, should be censored for "salty" language! (And thank you for the "clean" translation.)

Anyway, stupidly, I didn't put the comparison fotos that made my point-Cabrillo Boulevard and the surrounding mountains in Santa Barbara


http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2228/2379350862_66705a2d23_z.jpg?zz=1



http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_YFsFAodNbhg/TE3DFEFzG0I/AAAAAAAAA3A/EHlKqEDR8_0/s400/santabarbara5.jpg

LaSpezia-

http://www.apuania.it/piccolomondo/spezia.jpg
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-ZibMN-FYOCw/Uem8S9wTjCI/AAAAAAAABCs/VqUrc_GKGnA/s1600/5-passeggiata_Morin_a_La_Spezia.JPG

Equally pricey real property for those who hit the jackpot too:

Santa Barbara:
http://www.luxuryportfolio.com/photos/property/full/13-333_Santa%20Barbara%20MLS_p1.jpg

La Spezia-
http://img87.imageshack.us/img87/4307/visititalycinqueterre03.jpg

Aberdeen
10-03-14, 20:36
Wow. Those are beautiful photos. I guess I should make more effort to visit warmer climate, instead of sticking to the northern regions. Interesting that the photo of the house in Santa Barbara looks more like an imperial Roman villa than the houses in Italy. Imperial California, I guess.

Angela
10-03-14, 21:30
Wow. Those are beautiful photos. I guess I should make more effort to visit warmer climate, instead of sticking to the northern regions. Interesting that the photo of the house in Santa Barbara looks more like an imperial Roman villa than the houses in Italy. Imperial California, I guess.

California is driving distance for you, correct? I know, a very long drive, but it's so worth it...or do what we do...fly into San Francisco and do the city, then rent a car and do the Redwoods (although I'm sure you've seen wonderful specimens), the Napa and Sonoma Valleys (the food is to die for, really, and the vineyard tours are great...that's one thing we should adopt in Italy), Carmel, Monterrey, (fabulous aquarium) and then down Highway One, to Hearst's Castle, down to Santa Barbara, and then winding up in L.A. It's not my favorite place, but it's good to see it once, and then fly home.

On second thought, do it in the opposite direction, that way you hug the mountains when you're on Highway One. The time that I did it from S.F. south, I was on the ocean side the whole way, and when the fog rolled in at sunset, and my babies were crying, well...let's say I suddenly rediscovered God for a while...it's as bad as the one on the Amalfi coast.

http://media-cache-ec0.pinimg.com/736x/bd/2b/c3/bd2bc3d8876a249974e3bf83e32de96b.jpg

I should work for their tourism department!:grin:

Oh, and speaking of warm places, or at least warm summers...the American southwest...Santa Fe is spectacular...all of New Mexico really is fabulous.

As for this part of Italy, see it before it changes beyond recognition. The woman who did this video is a Californian who married an Italian and now lives here and runs a travel agency. Her video is one of the best I've seen...around 3minutes in, she showcases the entroterra where I was born, the countryside, the food, as well as the ruins of Luni etc. Oh, and the white on those particular mountains isn't snow...it's marble. The song is great too...All Roads Bring Me Here...


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-YQSt6SLEwY

Just to show you that we do get the occasional dusting of snow, here is one of my favorite pictures. It doesn't actually look real, does it?
Manarola under the snow:
http://www.studentessamatta.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/cinqueterre.jpg

Aberdeen
10-03-14, 22:50
Cali would be a very long drive for me, since I live in Ontario, some way north of the Great Lakes. I could cross over into Michigan and head south and west, but I don't intend to ever drive through the Rockies again, and I wouldn't drive along that coastal road - I'm not as brave as I used to be.

Manarola is very beautiful in the snow, but it does look very unreal to me - more like a magic realist painting than a photo, even though I know it's a photo.

ebAmerican
10-03-14, 23:49
You wouldn't drive through the Rockies again, why? The Rockies are beautiful. The Collegiate Peaks are right out of a Tolken novel. Colorado has to be one of the most beautiful places on Earth, but I'm biases cause I live 20 minutes from the mountain range outside Boulder, lol.

Angela
12-03-14, 17:15
The highest levels of R1b in Italy have been recorded in the Garfagnana, a mountainous area of northwest Tuscany contiguous with the Lunigiana, also administratively part of Tuscany. The mountains in the area are called the Alpi Apuane. These were supposedly the refuge areas for the Celti-Liguri when they lost their protracted war against Rome. This is it...marvelous hiking, even into the heart of the Marble mountains of Carrarra.

These are the mountains as seen from the coast, from the plain around Luni (and the mouth of the Magra River), which was the Roman colony established to pacify the area after the wars.
http://www.comune.pisa.it/gr-archeologico/musvir/steleit/land.jpg


This is a particularly well made video showing the topography and people actually hiking, and it begins with hikers traversing the marble mountain and then shows an explosion to release the marble for commercial gain. Sometimes I think they'll mine so much marble from our mountains that the mountains themselves will disappear.

The creator's passionate, poetic ode to his "terra" is lovely, but you don't need to understand it to understand the visuals.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Td-qenP5aWg

Mars
16-03-14, 16:44
That's very beautiful. Any place where the mountains meet the sea is magical, but Liguria is like no place I've ever been to.
I'm from Liguria, I'm glad to know you like my region so much :) I can suggest trekkers to visit the Castello della Pietra (Stone Castle) in Vobbia. It's in the appenninic area, behind Genoa. Not a very hard path, but absolutely evocative.