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 over view
Eritrea stretches along the Red Sea, bordering Ethiopia, Djibouti and Sudan. The low-lying coastal area is very humid. The mountainous interior is largely cultivated.Eritrea's capital Asmara was only a small cluster of villages at the beginning of the 19th century. In 1897 the Italian colonial government moved the administration from Massawa. Today, Italian architecture prevails in the city. The magnificent Cathedral (1922), built in the Lombardian style, is not far from a bustling market.The road from Asmara to Massawa, 105km (65 miles) long, is both spectacular and beautiful. It descends from 2438m (8000ft) to sea level, with hairpin bends on the escarpment, and magnificent views over the coastal desert strip. The road also passes the famous Orthodox Monastery of Debre Bizen. North of Massawa is the white sandy beach of Gergussum. It is a good place to sunbathe or swim. The Turkish and Egyptian colonial periods left their legacy in the form of numerous interesting buildings and sites in Agordet (Barka Province) including the tomb of Said Mustafa wad Hasan.Italian cuisine dominates but staple foods include kitcha, a thin bread made from wheat and injera, a spongy pancake.