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Portofino & Tigullio Gulf Guide Italy

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History and culture

The history of Tigullio Gulf towns is very ancient, with necropolis remains found in several locations dating back to pre-Roman times, when the region was inhabited by the ancient Ligurians. Numerous wars between Rome and the Ligurian people between the 3rd and 2nd centuries B.C. led to Roman domination of the region.

Yet it was not until the Middle Ages that Tigullian towns acquired their prestige. In the 11th and 12th centuries, Rapallo and other towns stood by Genoa in its battle against Pisa, and in the first crusade. Since then, the settlements in the Tigullian area were taken under the power of Genoa and maintained political links with the city until modern times.

From the end of the 11th century to the end of the 18th Genoa was a Republican oligarchy, governed by consuls chosen from the most influential families. Thanks to this form of government, which guaranteed the interests of the most powerful classes, for around five centuries Genoese territories flourished throughout the Mediterranean, in the form of trade centres and colonies. The crusades also contributed to Genoas role as maritime leader in the Mediterranean area throughout the subsequent centuries.

In 1805 Napoleon annexed the whole of Liguria to the French Empire, but just ten years later, the Congress of Vienna decreed that the ancient Republic of Genoa should be annexed to the Kingdom of Sardinia, belonging to the House of Savoy, which was to become part of unified Italy a few decades later. In the meantime the tourism potential of this coastline became apparent and forever marked the character of the area.

Photos courtesy of: APT Tigullio, APT Cinque Terre Golfo dei Poeti

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