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Liguria - Giving something back
It’s good to give something back when you travel and that’s hard to do in a sophisticated Western country. Italy, however, has just gone through a very bad economic crisis and simply by coming and spending your money here you are helping.
Devastating floods caused widespread destruction in the autumn of 2011 in the Cinque Terre and the hinterland behind. Many of the villages that were affected received no government aid despite promises. Reconstruction has been carried out, but paid for by people who are already suffering from rising taxes. (http://aid.cinqueterre.com/)
In Genoa there is also a restaurant, A Lanterna, which was founded by a local priest, who has died recently. It employs people who have ended up on the street, so go and enjoy a slap-up lunch with a clear conscience.
Be sure to support local producers, too. One way of doing this is by looking for the Slow Food label on products and for restaurants associated with the movement.