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Region (pop., 2001 prelim.: 1,560,748), northwestern Italy. Covering 2,092 sq mi (5,418 sq km) and located on the Ligurian Sea between France and Tuscany, it has its capital at Genoa. Under Roman rule from the 1st century BC, the region was briefly controlled by the Lombards and Franks during the Middle Ages. The city of Genoa emerged as a leading power as early as the 11th century, and by 1400 the entire region benefited from its maritime and commercial powers. In 1815 the Congress of Vienna gave Liguria to the kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia. It contributed significantly to the union of Italy in 1861. Its economy is based on agriculture, tourism, and industries centred on its major cities, including Genoa. La Spezia is a major naval base.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Liguria, visit Britannica.com.