Liguria is the region that includes the Thyrrhenian side of the Alps and a part of those Apennine face the Thyrrhenian sea: the coast is divided between the elevated and harsh Levante Riviera and the more open western riviera even though the hills arrive to the sea forming a series of promontories; the level zone and the Albenga plain were formed by the flooding of the Centa river. The protection offered by this mountainous chain and the nearness of the sea confer to this region an extraordinary mild climate, that favours agriculture. It is possible to distinguish three agricultural zones: that which is developed on the level zone at the end of the major valleys, along the sea and on the lower slopes of the hills where there are grown vegetables, flowers and plants, fruit trees, olive groves and vineyards. The middle zone of coast and mountain characterised other than by olives and vines, but also by cereals, potatoes and forage; and the ground, above 600mts, covered with woods and chestnut trees. The third zone composed of the mountainous slopes and the valley on the side of the Po cultivated and fit for seeding, pastures, vineyards, here high up appear woods, meadows and pastures. Not widely spread - due to the restrictions of the hinterland - the breeding of animals, whereas the inhabitants of the coast are dedicated above all to fish.
Sea and mountains are the geographic elements that characterise Ligurian cooking very rich and varied thanks to the wide range of local produce other than the contributions of the commercial traffic from Genoa, an important historic port, and a city that has always dominated, unopposed, the entire region. But Ligurian cooking is distinguished also by the industriousness of its thrifty people, able to use and elaborate every fruit of the earth, of the river and the sea. The Ligurian gastronomy harmonises in fact the produce of the woods (that provide mushrooms, black truffles and berries), with vegetables and seafoods.