The north-west of the country is the area closest to the French Alps. It is a beautiful area but also a busy region that has been subject to great industrial activity over the years. It combines the lowlands of the Italian Riviera with the high mountain passes which makes for a great variety of locations that are popular for tourists to visit.
The Italian Riviera is a narrow strip of land between the Capo Corvo near Tuscany and the French border on the Cote d’Azur. In the centre of the Riviera lies Genoa, which divides the region in half, with the area to the west, the Riviera di Ponente, being where the sun falls and the area to the east, the Riviera di Levante, where the sun rises.
The whole of the coastline is known for its mild climate and the relaxed way of life. It is not known for vast beaches but picturesque harbors and fishing ports. Its charms were recognized by the poets Byron and Shelley who wrote fondly about the region. The area is known as the being the heart of the nation’s flower industry particularly is the Riviera di Fiori, with the market resort of Ventimiglia attracting many visitors.
Genoa has a population of more than 850,000 people and is famed for its steel making industry. It has the busiest port in Italy and is part of the Turin, Genoa, Milan industrial triangle, and many of the tourists who fly into the region arrive at the city’s airport. It receives many visitors who come to visit the history of the city. In 2004 it was named the European Capital of Culture and many of Italy’s leading companies base their headquarters in the city.
Another popular industrial city of Northwest Italy is Turin. The City sits on the River Po at the foot of the Alps and has a population of 890,000 people. The city was the capital of Italy between 1861 and 1865, and has many buildings that reflect being a city of such rank.
There are many reasons why tourists are attracted to Turin. The city has numerous museums, art galleries, opera houses, theatres and vast piazzas. It is home to Juventus football club which is the eight most successful club in the world.
The city has a unique culture with its cuisine and music attracting many people. The city is famed for its style of architecture and was once a major European political centre. Its role in the economic success of the country has made it a popular destination for visitors.
Many tourists who visit Northwest Italy are attracted by the great lakes, Lake Como and Lake Garda. Lake Como is the third largest lake in Italy and was formed when receding glaciers flooded the huge U-shaped valleys. The lake is 400 meters deep in places with the bottom being 200 meters below sea level.
It is an area of beautiful scenery and the lakeside is surrounded by towns and villas that people have visited over the centuries to take a break away from city life. The lake is so large that it has its own climate warming the region in the cold winters.
There are many ferry services on the lake that connect the towns, and the city of Como is the 4th most visited city in Lombardy. There are many water based activities that keep visitors happy plus Como is home to numerous museums and high class restaurants.
Lake Garda is another lake that has been filled by melted glaciers, with it being the largest lake in Italy stretching for over 50 kilometers and being as wide as 16 kilometers in places. There are many towns that surround the lake and there are ferries that cross the water.
The lake is situated both in the mountains to the north and the lowlands to the south. There are five main islands to be found within the lake, which have their own unique ecosystems. The towns of the region are beautiful settlements and are popular destinations for tourists who visit the lake.