Everyone knows the “Riviera dei Fiori”, or at least have heard about; but do you know as well the Italian Riviera? Maybe not; the city of Savona is located right here, on what is also called the western Ligurian Riviera. This whole area of Liguria, the Italian Riviera and the “Riviera delle Palme”, has always been appreciated by travelers from around the world, and rightly so, given the extreme beauty of the coast.
Savona is an important tourist port, and a nice city: although full of animation and fun, it is still fairly quiet. At the port daily cruise ships, ferries (click here) and luxury private yachts arrive every day. The story of Savona dates back to ancient times, and the city retains the testimonies of those time still nowadays. It is very pleasant to stroll through its streets and it is simply amazing to relax on its beautiful beaches.
Here is a small list of beauty, not to be missed, of this city:
– The Church of St. John the Baptist has been built in Baroque style and it is full of paintings and statues of the sixteenth and seventeenth century. The interior of the Church of SS. Annunziata is as well Baroque. The Church of SS. Conception is from the eighteenth century.
– The Cathedral of the XVI century and its facade is of Baroque style. Nearby is the Sistine Chapel, with its rococo interior, built by Pope Sixtus IV.
– Savona has many ancient buildings: the elegant “Palazzo della Rovere” is located in the old city; It was built in 1495 by Giuliano di Sangallo. The Gavotti Palace houses the Public Library which contains more than 85,000 volumes and many precious manuscripts. In the Bishop’s Palace is a fourteenth century Cloister and Diocesan Museum.
– The Priamar Fortress is located in a strategic position overlooking the city and harbor. Its construction dates back to 1542; now the structure houses the Archaeological Museum and it is also home to cultural activities and events such as concerts and exhibitions. In front of the fort you can admire the sculpture “The Rose in the Desert.”
– To access the port, dating from the twelfth century, we pass by the Tower of Leon Pancaldo. This tower facing the sea is the symbol of Savona and is called simply “The Tower”. The original name was Tower of Quarda, a name later changed in honor of Leon Pancaldo, Savona famous captain who joined Magellan in his travels.
– Ca. 7 km from Savona there is the Shrine of Our Lady of Mercy, which is a Basilica; the interior is sumptuously decorated. In the close museum there are vestments, gold and sculptures.
– Albissola Marina, which is located 5 km from Savona, is a tourist destination also known for the traditional art of pottery. The most beautiful collections of this crafts are preserved in the Museum of Ceramics is located in Villa Faraggiana. In the Church of Our Lady of the Concordia you can admire a Nativity of 1576 made all of ceramic tiles.
– The Spotorno resort is 13 km far from Savona; the island of Bergeggi, home to a tenth-century monastery, is located right in front of the town. The island is also a nature reserve.
– In Noli, which is 15 km from Savona, you can admire remarkable medieval remains, such as the Romanesque Church of S.Paragonio of the twelfth century. Inside there are medieval and Gothic tombs and sarcophagi.
– Following the direction to Imperia, just after the city of Noli, you will be enchanted by Malpasso; this stretch of coastline offers an extraordinary view because here the rocks take on a beautiful rosy, unique hue.