Liguria, tucked into Italy’s northwest coast, is one of the most picture-perfect spots in Europe, often called “The Italian Riviera.” The stunning province of Cinque Terre, a 5-mile, five-village stretch of coastline with steeply terraced vineyards and colorful buildings perched on its sloping cliffs is a popular tourist destination. Ligurians use the resources of their dramatic landscape wisely. Regional cooking relies on earthy ingredients from the hills like chestnuts, legumes, porcini mushrooms, and nuts. An abundance of vegetables are featured in an array of savory tarts and cakes, a Ligurian specialty. In part to satisfy the seafarers’ cravings for food from the land, these ingredients are central to dishes like panizza, a polenta made from chickpeas, and salsa di noci, a walnut sauce for pasta. Liguria is known for its ports, most famously that of Genoa, and seafood plays a leading role in Ligurian dishes. Liguria’s pasta is famous throughout Italy (Ligurians take credit for inventing ravioli). Trofie, tiny twisted noodles, are traditionally prepared with pesto alla Genovese. Pesto expresses one of the most notable aspects of the region’s cuisine: the abundance of fresh and wild herbs, which are used as the base of many sauces. Along with basil and pine-nuts, pesto’s other key ingredient is Ligurian olive oil (some of the world’s best) with a mild, rich, and buttery flavor completely distinctive to this region. Ligurian food is called “la cucina del ritorno” (cuisine of return) because it once catered to the tastes of sailors returning home from long voyages at sea.