Genoa, August 2 - The food, culture, and lifestyle in Italy's Liguria region, perhaps best known for its capital city Genoa and as home to the Italian Riviera, will be featured at Milan Expo 2015. Liguria became the first region in the country to sign on this week to participate at the world's fair through the Italian Pavilion. Innovation in the region will also be featured during Expo, under the agreement signed between regional president Claudio Burlando and Diana Bracco, commissioner general of the Italian Pavilion. The new agreement promises that Liguria will be a focus of the Italian Pavilion for one full week during Milan Expo 2015, which is to begin May 1, 2015 and continue until October 31 of that year. "The Liguria proposal came with great timing, and was very charming," said Bracco. The region, which curves around the top of northwest Italy, is very popular with tourists for its beautiful scenery, great beaches, and its regional food specialities. Liguria is bordered by France to the west, the Italian region of Piedmont to the north, and Emilia-Romagna and Tuscany to its east. The narrow strip of land hugs the Ligurian Sea but it is also bordered by the Alps and the Apennines mountains. The international sea port of Genoa is Italy's busiest. Genoa was also the site of the last world's fair hosted by Italy in 1992, with a Christopher Columbus-themed Expo. The region's beaches are extremely popular with Italian tourists and seafood is a major staple of Ligurian cuisine. Liguria is also known as one of the birthplaces of pesto, and basil is a favourite ingredient in the region's cuisine, which is proud of its olive oil production. "I think Liguria, a region of solid tourism, can make an important contribution to the Exhibition of Milan," said Burlando. But good food and popularity with tourists is only part of what the region will bring into focus at Expo, he added. Research and technology are important to the region's economy. Genoa is host to the headquarters of the Italian Institute of Technology, which has included in its research topics the conservation and preservation of food – key themes for Expo, he noted. All this will be featured at Milan's Expo, where more than 130 countries have signed up from around the globe to join in a world's fair dedicated to sustainable food. The theme of the Expo 2015: "Feeding the Planet – Energy for Life", centres on fighting famine and malnutrition worldwide through sustainable and healthy development, global cooperation and new technology. Expo 2015 is expected to attract over 20 million visitors and to be a massive money spinner for Italy's business capital. Preparations on a 1.1-million-square-meter site have been underway for years. Former American vice-president and Nobel Peace Laureate Al Gore has endorsed the event, calling the theme "very solid" and designed to have "zero (negative) environmental impact". Meanwhile, work is progressing behind the scenes as well. Recently, organizers announced a flexible labour pact between unions and management of Milan Expo 2015 could create as many as 800 jobs for youth at the world's fair, including apprentices and on-the-job training in mounting special events. Some hope that the new protocol could also become a model of cooperation and employment flexibility for other major events in future if is approved by the Italian government.