This article is about the modern Ligurian language. For the distantly-related ancient language, see Ligurian language (ancient). Ligurian (lìgure or lengoa lìgure) is a Gallo-Romance language spoken in Liguria in Northern Italy, parts of the Mediterranean coastal zone of France, Monaco and in the villages of Carloforte and Calasetta in Sardinia. Genoese (Zenéize), spoken in Genoa, the capital of Liguria, is its most important dialect. Ligurian has almost 500,000 speakers, and is still widely spoken by many in Genoa and in many of the small towns and villages in the region. There are also many groups dedicated to the preservation of the language such as Associazione Culturale O Castello in Chiavari, which offers Ligurian (Genovese) language courses. Notable native speakers of Ligurian include Niccolò Paganini, Giuseppe Garibaldi, Christopher Columbus, Eugenio Montale, Giulio Natta, Italo Calvino, and Fabrizio De André. There is also a popular musical group, Buio Pesto, who compose songs entirely in the Genoese subdialect. There is, however, a long literary tradition of Ligurian poets and writers that goes from the 13th century to the present, such as Luchetto (the Genoese Anonym), Martin Piaggio and Gian Giacomo Cavalli.