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The Liguria Region of Italy

Highlights

 

 

Liguria, squeezed between the magnificient mountains and the incomparable sea landscapes of poetic beauty, is full of wonderful itineraries weaving between the coast and the interior regions. From the high mountains, to the seaport villages, beaches, to the cities of the interior parts, Liguria with its 235 municipalities offers something for everyone.

The unique coastline of Liguria is known as the Italian Riviera, and there are resort towns too numerous and too famous to note. Located in northwest Italy, Liguria includes some of the most interesting cultural and environmental destinations in Italy.

 

Stem Ventimiglia

Ventimiglia might be considered the "Gateway to Italia" since it is located close to the border between France and Italy. Ventimiglia has a lovely beach of small stones and is a popular summer destination for tourists visiting the French Rivera. particlularly popular is the Friday open air market along the beach of the new part of town. Tourists often visit the Roman theater ruins (below right) dating from the first half of the second century, as well as the ruins of many other ancient buildings and traces of the city walls.. there are also some ancient tombs west of the city walls.

 

VentimigliaRoman theater

 

San Michele

 

The Church of San Michele the Archangel (right) was built by the Counts of Ventimiglia in the 10th century as their personal chapel and was later given to the Benedictine monks of Lerino. It was the Romanesque style of the 11th century and then underwent reconstruction in the 12th century This reconsrtuction was limited to the apse, the nave and the bell tower. The romanesque cript was constructed using various marbles thought to be taken from the Citta` Nervina among which was a military monument from the Emperor Caracalla.

 

Ventimiglia Cathedral

 

 

 

The Cathedral of the Risen Virgin was errected between the 11th and 12th centuries over the ruins of the earlier cathedral built in the Carolingian era. The idea that it was constructed over an earlier pagan temple is based on the inscription dedicated to a Giunone Regina that is still conserved in the interior of the cathedral. In the late middle ages the cathedral had only one nave, but in the 11th century, it was internally reconsrtucted in the Basilica form which had three naves. Around 1200 the three apses were rnovated along with the octagonal forms above them, while the roof truses were replaced with a vault susrained by half columns attached to Roman pilasters.

 

The Baptistry is a Romanesque edifice of the 11th century as we can read along the border of the baptismal font. We can admire this imposing baptismal font along with a series of 14th century frescos discovered recently during restorations.

 

HanburyGardensVillaHanbury

The Villa Hanbury (above) so fascinated Thomas Hanbury that he left his home on the Costa Azzurra and purchase this villa. His fascination was with the promontory, La Mortola, that juts itself out into the sea in a steep decline. His plan was to make an adaptive garden of it, introducing exotic plants from the farthest parts of the world. It was originally the villa of the Marchesi Orengo. The spectacular garden is the final resting place of Thomas hanbury, and the gardens with their exotic vegetation, fountains and school were donated to the Botanical Institute of the University of Genoa. The garden sustained much damage during the war, and it was not possible to return it to its original splendor. In 1960 Lady Dorothy Hanbury sold the property to the Italian State.

 

Ventimiglia can be reached by car via the autistrada A8 from France and the A10 from Genoa. It can also be reached by train from genoa, Torino and from france on the Marsiglia-Nice-Ventimiglia line.

 

San RemoSan Remo

San Remo, the largest city of the Riviera Ponente, was once its glamorous crown jewel, probably up until World war II. It is located on the western Mediterranean coast of Liguria, and was once a Roman settlement. Its population today numbers about 57,000. Sanremo's harbor (below right) lies below its unusual medieval center called la Pigna, a walled village protecting the nobility from the Saracen raids.A number of narrow footpaths walk wind up the hill.There are many cafes and restaurants along the waterfront. The harbor serves both pleasure boats and fishing boats bringing fresh fish in Sanremo's restaurants.

 

 

Harbor

pignapignacenter

 

LaPigna meaning "pinecone" was founded around 1000 and was named for the streets which were amassed around the center like a pinecone. The medieval center was continually reinforced to protect against the Saracens until the 1500's.

The center which is inhabited revolves around the hill in concentric rings with covered passages, arches, courtyards, fountains and stairways .

 

MadonnaChurch

The Sanctuary of the Madonna della Costa is situated on a knoll that dominates the historic center of SanRemo called LaPigna. According to some historians, the birth of the sanctuary occurred around 1361 when the castle of the Doria family was surrendered to the Republic of Genoa. In that occasion, the feast of the chains was inaugurated by the inhabitants who dragged chains up to the sanctuary to celebrate the liberation from the Dorias.

 

The construction of the sanctuary is attributed, as the popular story recounts, thanks to the miraculous discovery of a box containing the funds already allocated by the populace

underwritten by a sailor who escaped from the Saracens. The people of SanRemo sought the help of the Madonna of the Coast to alleviate the drought or to deliver them from the plagues of 1656-1657, as well as the colera plague of 1845. L'aiuto della Madonna della Costa fu nei secoli più volte invocata dai sanremesi per il flagello della siccità o per la liberazione della peste tra il1656-1657. Alla Vergine è attribuita dalla popolazione anche la protezione dal colera scoppiato nel 1835. Every 15 years on the feast of August 15, there is a procession through the streets of SanRemo to commemorate the deliverance.

 

SanSiro

 

SanSiro

The first Christian church in San Rem, San Siro, is dated around 811 A.D.and according to the legend, it was the place where Bishop Siro became a saint while he was celebrating mass alone. The church that we know today( left) was constructed around 1143 by the masters of Comancino in the romanesque style. Beginning in 1619, a series of modifications began transforming the church from romanesque to baroque.The church was bombarded several times, and in 1901, its romanesque design was restored.

 

Madonna

 

 

 

 

The Madonna del Rosario (left) is found in the Cathedral of San Siro in San Remo is the work of the sculptor Anton Maria Maragliano. Her beauty is that of a virgin nobily dressed sitting majestically above a cloud. She is beautifully adorned with a crown and she exhibits the tender affection of a divine mother. She gracefully leans her right arm forward and her left arm holds the baby Jesus firmly on her knee while the child offers grapes to an angel below. Definitely worth a visit!

 

devachan

The Castello Devachan (right) was built by engineer Pietro Agosti in the Liberty style and was completed in 1909. It was later bought by the English Count John Horatio Seville for his second wife Lady Lucie. It has had many owners and today after 80 years of history, it has become the residence of one family who lives in its splendor.

 

Ariston

The Ariston Theater is the scene of the very famous San Remo Music Festival, whihc is the most popular song festival in Europe. It began in 1951 and in 1956 Domenico Modugno won the festival with his internatioally known "Volare". Many activities are held in the theater including the Flower Parade in January and the Fireworks International Contest in August.

Casino

 

The Municipal Casino of San Remo (right)was built in 1905 in the "Art Nouveau style". The Casino` was the work of the French architect Eugene Ferret. It is open to the public and sports magnificient gardens as well as a roof top restaurant. A variety of games are played each night. It also houses a wonderful theater where many famous Italian and European artists perform during the winter months.

 

Rpallo

 

Rapallo

A seaside resort, Rapallo has much to offer; it is a small city rich with documents, witnesses and signs of a glorious past. Its monuments and historic buildings are the vehicle transporting its inhabitants to a collective identity and a feeling of belonging to this city. These buildings and monuments invite the visitor to share in the cultural life of the city.

 

Harbor

The beautiful harbor (right) welcomes visitors with its many pleasure boats and sea faring boats while displaying fascinating villas situated among the palm trees in which the grand names of the restoration period resided along the mountainside.

 

CastelloThe antique Castello sul Mare (left) is situated along the extreme west of Lungomare Vittorio veneto surrounded by the sea and connected to land by a small pier. Its unmistakeable image reproduced on postcards, stamps and souvenirs, has become a symbol of the city. The castle was constructed in 1550 as a defensive edifice after the sacking and destruction of the inhabitated area by the pirate Dragut who forced the inhabitants into slavery. It was used for a long time as a jail after whihc it was restored. It is now used for many prestigious shows and conferences.

 

The Antico Castello sul Mare is free and open to the public on Friday, saturday and Sunday. Check to see if there are any spacial events occurring before visiting the castle.

 

SanFrancesco

Facing a piazza and near the Antico Castello sul Mare,the Church and the convent of Saint Francis date back to 1519. Despite the modest dimensions, this unique church of Rapallo is made up of four naves. Inside it is divided into duotone octagonal pilasters; conserved in the first altar of the nave is a painting attributed to Giovanni Battista Borzone and portrays Saint Anthony reviving a dead person, and in the chapel on the left of the major nave is the sculpture of Christ crowned with thorns by Anton Maria Maragliano. Also in the church, Saint Francis is depicted sitting on a couch of brambles by GiovanBatista Casoni and the Baptism of Jesus by Luca Cambiaso.

 

The convent next to the Church became the property of Rapallo in 1850 and is used for scholastic and other functions.


Porto

 

On the extreme left of Lungomare Vittorio Veneto we find the "Porta delle Saline" (right),which marks the dividing line between the sea and the walking zone of the historic center. the only one of the five gates of the antique walled zone of the city gets its name from the nearby salt flats owned by the genovese family Doria which was active for many centuries in the flat zone near the beach at the center of the gulf. On the side that looks out on the historic center, the gate is embellished by a Baroque altar reproducing the celebrated icon of the Madonna of Montallegro. The gate avoided demolition thanks to successive restorations. the other gates were demolished.

 

NostraSignoraThe Sanctuary of Montallegro(left) is the most important sanctuary of Rapallo and one of the most important marian sites in Liguria. It was constructed to celebrate the apparition of the Virgin to the peasant Giovanni Chicizola on the 2nd of July 1557 on the ridge of the end of what was called Montis Laeti (Mountain of the Dead). The name was changed to Monteallegro after the Virgin's appearance. Every year the anniversary of the apparitionis celebrated and lasts for three days with a religious celebration in the Basicica of the Sanctuary and fabulous fireworks day and night on the beach.

It is a truly fascinating experience in Rapallo.

 

 



The Region of Liguria



The Comune of Ventimiglia


The Comune of San Remo



The Comune of Rapallo
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