Italy is the land of the hundred bell towers … and of as many characters: from North to South you will find people with a completely different nature and, although no one here loves stereotypes, we must recognize that some characteristics are in fact well marked among the inhabitants of the different territories.
Many will arrive in Liguria, but not everyone will be prepared…for the Ligurians!
So, here is a post written especially for you: follow our advices and you will discover wonderful people!
The character of the Ligurian
In Italy, who lives in Genoa, La Spezia, Savona and Imperia (and its surroundings) has a bad reputation: stingy, grouchy and with hard-personality, but even if there is a part of truth, don’t make the mistake to classifying us (of course, we are Ligurian!) and not deepening our knowledge.
For those who are coming from abroad: the “Belpaese” made by pizza, mandolin and sun, is a postcard that is not true: so, don’t reach our country thinking to find this situation. They exhist, of course, but just as parts of this beautiful place!
Focaccia and breakfast
Because the beloved “Margherita” is really the queen of tables throughout Italy (with spaghetti), but in Liguria – where you can find however excellent pizza – is the legendary focaccia the top bakery food: greasy the right amont, crunchy outside and soft inside … it’s really mouth-watering just to talk about it … there are those who like to eat it in strips and those round or triangle, but you will not find an inhabitant between Ortonovo, on the border with Tuscany and Ventimiglia, close to France, who is not ready to praise them … and eat focaccia at every hour of the day and night.
And remember: who criticize the wonderful habit of having breakfast with caffellatte (milk and coffee) and this magical bakery product…makes a big mistake; in fact, do not waste time: try it and immediately convert to this custom of locals, who in this way will no longer consider you a “foresto” (foreigner), but one of them.
Then, if you want to taste the top cuisine, try the Recco’s focaccia, cheese-based and its variants with sauce or pesto. And don’t forget to tell those who prepared it or served it as heavenly: because eating is an integral part of our identity, and even if we look like people with thick skin, for us is really important being appreciates be all of you.
Mandolin and songwriters
The mandolin, which actually exists in its Genoese version, is not at the center of our music as it may be for the traditional Neapolitan one. What we really want, is to introduce you to the world of our incredible songwriters. Starting from the one that for many was the greatest: Fabrizio “Faber” De Andrè, who like few others has been able to tell with his poetry, his wit and his sagacity the alleys of Genoa and its people, and not only.
It’s the first name of a long list (Paoli, Tenco, Lauzi), all united by a common denominator and an extraordinary ability to merge notes and words: a cultural heritage and identity that will reveal a lot of us and region.
Chapter: Sun. Some scandalmonger said that Liguria has the form of a smile downwards.
In fact it is a beautiful and wide arch that receives up to the last ray at sunset, open on a beautiful sea from one extreme to the other: not by chance, usually – with some sad exceptions that we will tell you a little later – for us, the summer lasts from the end of March to at least the end of October, and we use to sail by boat all year round.
If during the summer the good weather is assured, unfortunately the sky has not always been mild: from the clouds came the floods that hit different parts of the region, bringing destruction and death.
Rain, bad weather and disasters
Who reach the Cinque Terre, for example, will see the photos of the dramatic days of October 2011 posted on the wall under the Vernazza station, in those streets of the village that had been completely invaded by water, mud and debris. And if go to Genoa, you will find more than one person willing to tell you how “La Superba” has been able to react and return to shine after the various disasters that have struck.
Of thick skin, but with a generous heart, the Ligurians on these occasions have come down the streets and squares, ready to work with their arms and an incredible resistance to help those affected. Not only that: in silence, without gestures exhibited, they supported families and reconstructions.
You can’t say that you really know us, without knowing what we are able to do when someone needs help. Besides the pride of our land, its treasures and its tradition, there is a factor that distinguishes every inhabitant of Liguria.
It must not catch you unprepared: the grumble.
That’s right: forget the festive joy of the Neapolitans, the perennial smile of the Romagnoli and the irony of the Tuscans.
Here we always have the controversy and the joke in the mouth. No Ligurian is worthy to call himself by this name if he doesn’t begin to complain about everything possible: the weather, the public transport, the invasion of tourists (even if he is proud of it and he constantly works to give you the best services), politics, the money that is not enough, the paper on the ground …
If by any chance you came across a person who was too smiling… alert! His DNA is evidently from another region.
Is better a real Ligurian: if you will listen with patience to his complaint (“mugugno”), he will considere you as a friend and he will be so well disposed towards you, be available at every suggestion, and maybe it will also accompany you to your destination.
In Italy we say that the character reflects the place where you are born and raised: here, in many parts, we came up between the rocks and we saw our grandparents and our parents tear with difficulty every square inch of arable land to a harsh territory, to create spectacular landscapes such as terraces and the dry-walls of Cinque Terre.
You can imagine how was the weight of this influence on us! Very different than the long sandy beaches of Adriatic Sea…
The God Money
And now, another chapter that you absolutely must investigate: money. Yes, it’s a nerve for us! Because it’s true, we pay lot attention to them, even for historical reasons. And so, do not ask for too many discounts, because then …the vertigo might come. In the same way, however, we pay also lot of attention to your wallet and we will always try to give you the best services and to guarantee the high quality.
And if there is something that doesn’t make a lot of sense, here we suggest you the magic word: “belin”.
Yes, it is true, the meaning is not properly fine – it refers to what men have, but not women – but for us, in fact, it is a word that does not have a rude meaning. And often, we use it in every sentence. Of course, maybe not in front of Queen Elizabeth or the POTUS, but it’s always good.
And if something is wrong, just say “me ne batto il belin” (“I don’t care”), and everything passes.