The city of Savona is the capital of the Ligurian province of Savona. The province of Imperia lies to the west and the city and province of Genoa to the east. The region of Piemonte is inland, as are the Ligurian Alps and the Apennines.
Map of Savona Province
The map of Savona province shows the major cities of tourist interest.
The Cities of Savona Province
Starting in the east, the city of Varazze is notable for its many churches. The Church of San Domenico and cloister (1419) includes Sienese school frescoes and a 16th-century polyptych. The Church of Santa Maria in Latronorio features a large 13th century fresco. In some parts of the city you can see the remains of the Medieval walls.
Outside the city you’ll find the Eremo del Deserto (“Hermitage of the Desert”). You’ll need a car to get there, unless you’re in very good shape. It’s a 28.43 kilometer walk rated as “difficult”.
On the north and south sides of the cloister you’ll find the ten cells of the monks (five on each side), each with its own vegetable garden. Scattered around the nearby hillsides are seven chapels called “Romitori”, where the friars spent periods in solitude and penance.
The hermitage is located inside the Parco del Beigua, a UNESCO Global Geopark. You can get further information on all the park activities in Varazze:
Information point “Palazzo Beato Iacopo”
Corso Giacomo Matteotti
17019 Varazze (SV)
Savona was once a big shouldered city with heavy industry. It was a titan of the Italian heavy iron for shipbuilding and railway work. But that’s mostly gone now, and with tourism taking its place the historic center has undergone a revival, with many new shops and restaurants getting squeezed into the fabric of the old town.
You’ll want to visit the baroque Cattedrale di Nostra Signora Assunta and the restored Fortezza del Priamàr, offering fantastic sea views. The 1542 Fortezza was built in record time for such a sprawling complex, 8 months from start to finish. You can enter the fortress for free, and there are eateries inside, but there are also museums (Archaeological Civic Museum or the Sandro Pertini Museum) which charge admission.
The Museo della Ceramica showcases the region’s ceramics, while the connected Pinacoteca Civica displays Renaissance works as well as modern art.
Savona offers some food specialties you won’t find in many places in Liguria. Panissa consists of slices of dough made from chickpea flour, similar to polenta, served either raw or fried. Savona offers a twist on traditional Ligurian chickpea farinata with farinata bianca, a wheat flour pancake you’ll find only in Savona.
You can reach Savona by ferry from the islands of Sardinia and Corsica.
Noli is one of the Borghi piu Belli d’Italia, most beautiful villages of Italy. It’s beaches have been designated as blue flag beaches so they’re clean and safe for swimming. But the attraction doesn’t end there. The picturesque historic center once held 73 towers (one more than San Gimignano)—and a few remain—but it indicates that this was a very important town in history.
The story of this history is told inside the incredible Romanesque Church of San Paragorio with its long, well-documented history.
Walkers will appreciate the many historic trails from Noli to interesting places inland and along the coast.
To find out about Noli in depth, see the Noli Travel Guide: on Martha’s Italy.
Finale Ligure has two sections, the part by the sea has its own historic center behind the wall of structures separating it from the beach, a short walk op the hill takes you to Finalborgo, another of the Borghi Piu Belli d’Italia like Noli. Here you’ll find plenty of little restaurants and cafes and small shops.
Finale Ligure’s grey sand beach stretches for a few kilometres before being bookmarked by limestone cliffs at one end and a small castle perched above the sea at the other. There are lots of beach clubs; the large free section of beach is found at the eastern end side of the beach.
Castel Govone was a fortress that turned into an imperial residence. The unique Torre dei Diamanti was added later at the end of the 15th century. It is in ruins, but still recognizable as a castle.
The exact building date of Castel Gavone (from “Castrum Govonis”), the former seat of the Del Carretto Marquisses, is still unknown. The castle rises on a huge, steep curvilinear rampart on top of the Becchignolo hill.
The castle was allegedly built by Enrico II in 1181 on remains of previous defensive structures. It was certainly fortified in 1292. Destroyed during the struggles with Genoa, it was rebuilt by Giovanni I in 1451-1452, along with the Borgo walls. — Castel Gavone
Albegna offers the wanderer an interesting medieval centre with a 5th century baptistry (a visit may be the highlight of your trip) and Romanesque cathedral, and the museum that contains the remains of a 1st century ship.
To discover Albegna’s history, you’ll head over to the Ingauno Museum, which holds many important remains from the ancient Roman and Byzantine town that stood here. It is situated in the Palazzo Vecchio del Comune, a 14th century palace.
Palazzo Peloso Cepolla houses the Museo Navale Romano, Roman Ship Museum_ where you can gawk at the the remains of some amphorae of a Roman ship and other maritime artefacts
North of Albenga you’ll find the impressive caves of the Grotte de Toirano—and can visit the comelling little village of Toirano as well.
Weather and Historic Climate
Savona has a Meditteranean climate, relatively dry in the summer with winter rain. The sea moderates the temperature differences between night and day. See Savona’s Weather and Climate Charts for more.
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