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Castled on the hills or overlooking the sea, the picturesque villages, countries and the Ligurian town centers, offer a unique experience in every season. Dedicate a weekend to discover picturesque villages, with good flavors of traditional cuisine, it is always a good alternative to dives, in the summer period or a pleasant moment of charging for the body and mind, in the rest of the year.
Definitely worth a visit:
It 'a fortified medieval village (portico structured), among the most beautiful of Liguria. Winds along a single street, flanked on both sides by porticos, arches and pillars in various shapes, which housed artisan and commercial shops. Inside the village start the narrow streets with their colorful houses and the buildings-fortress outward. The bridge over the Neva river is one of the main elements of the village. Well worth a stop to the Parish, dedicated to St. Bartholomew (the saint patron of the town), which houses the painting of "the Virgin and Saints" by Orazio De Ferrari and a wooden statue of St.Bartolomeo, of Paul Olivari; the Romanesque bell tower; the oratory dedicated to Santa Maria; the municipal theatre "Attilio Quinzio Delfino", located in the structure of an old church.
It 'a beautiful Ligurian village dating back to the eleventh century. The stone houses, characteristic of the historic center of Castelvecchio, cling to the mountain as if to reach the castle that rises imposing and dominant on Barbena fortress, from which it takes its name the village. Castelvecchio was the protagonist of many and many historic battles, nevertheless still retains its original fortified architectural layout. Crossing the village, your eyesight often catches views, not damaged by the time, as the old wash-houses and the characteristic ovens, that form protruding humps visible from the exterior walls of the old houses.
Arriving in Balestrino you can not help but looking up to the top and getting caught by the imposing structure of the castle which, from its position of dominance, still controls the ancient uninhabited village. In the '60s, due to continuous landslides of the ground, it was decided to rebuild a new Balestrino further downstream. The old village was definetively abandoned by the population, leaving to the nature the task of taking possession it. Walking through the ancient narrow streets you notice the grass that gradually filled the cobbled paving and old empty and dark houses emit an unnatural silence. Everything stopped in this abandoned village, the clock of the Church and the ancient sun-dial no longer mark the hours, here in the old village everything is stopped, inanimate walls that retain all their history reflecting an aura of suggestion in the shady alleys . It is expected at any moment to hear some noise ...
Castled on the hill of Orera, the "saracen" town presents itself as a harmonious set of four different villages, characterized by pink stone buildings, set in a rocky and marine landscape, and connected by narrow alleys, mule trails and lanes - the "crêuze" (dialect name) - once used by mules and chariots. The houses, one against the other in a harmonic confusion of volumes and masses, it seems one single variously articulated housing, springing from the rock as its natural continuation. The walls of the houses, the steps in front of the entrances, the picturesque connection between arches facing houses, the archivolts and the porches, made as tunnel under the houses, the downpipes of roofs and tipical lunettes that support the pergolas, the stairs used up by centuries of transit, and the paving of the mule trails: everything is stone
This is an ancient medieval village castled on a hill, just a few kilometers from the coast, surrounded by green "Pennavaire Valley". It was gradually abandoned by its inhabitants, and in mid-1900 was reduced to a picturesque heap of ruins. Today, its stone houses and narrow streets have been totally restored and once again its windows look olive trees and cherry trees, planted in the valley. The restoration of the village is unique in Italy, as it combines an ancient esthetism with the latest technology, while respecting the beauty of the ancient stone staircases and vaulted ceilings, discreetly incorporating the contemporary high technology.
With its alleyways, little squares by the sea, the pink-lilac tones of the houses in the protective shade of the monumental church of San Matteo, Laigueglia retains the charm of the old fishing village, that most of the coastal towns in Liguria has lost. From the beach, that in winter is filled with colorful boats and nets, we see the particular form of the town, almost an amphitheater, which is the only one not to have altered much the shape of the buildings, keeping the volumes and the heights . The ancient heart remained in its little squares, in its narrow streets, in its colors, in the Saracen tower of 1564, so named because of the defensive positions from pirate invasions.Worthy of note, the “Percfest”, important jazz festival that, free of charge, for over twenty years, for the length of about a week, hosts the most important names of Italian and international jazz. During the day, on the beach, interesting laboratories of music and rhythm and, late in the evening, jam sessions with the artists.
With its quiet bay, sheltered from the winds, ending with the promontory of Capo Noli, it is one of the most interesting historical centers of western Liguria. It's located in a bay, enclosed in the Bergeggi Island and the Cape (named in the same way). Noli stands out for its charming old fishing-village, considered one of the most beautiful villages in Italy, characterized by narrow streets, alleyways, many of which are topped by supporting arches. Of particular interest is the Cathedral of St. Paragorio, built over an early Christian church; restoration brought back to light the original aspect in the Lombard Romanesque style of 'XI century.
Characteristic image of the town, the Baroque Church of St. John the Baptist or the Corallini's, with its concave facade. Viable only by foot, the historic center of Cervo, preserved with its buildings and the cobblestone alleyways, offers a starting point for a short walk among its narrow streets, where you can still run into shops of artisans and local artists. For trekking's lovers, above the village, around the ruins of an earlier era, the hills are full of pine forests and olive groves, crossed by quiet paths where to enjoy the sounds of nature. Cervo is known for the international Chamber Music Festival, that takes place on the scenic churchyard of Church of Corallini. During July and August, for over forty years, major European artists take part in this renowned event. Encased in a wonderful setting, below a starry sky, the Festival and the renowned music Academies have earned to Cervo the title "Village of Music."
This millennial village of the beautiful Argentina Valley, was the scene, in the sixteenth century, of one of the most famous witch trials. The old village, although partially depopulated and still scarred by the destruction wrought by the Germans in 1944, maintains considerable charm. There are many places that release an ineffable sense of mystery and a great union with the forces of nature. Walking into the alleyways, under vaults and arches carved in the rock, in the dark caves of ruined houses, it is like stepping back in time. A sort of medieval astonishment assails you in covering dark arcades, obscure alleyways, staircases, catacomb roads, blackened by the smoke of centuries. Everything is presence of signs of the past, of destroyed blazons, of ancient footsteps, echoing on the pavement of stones polished by use. Particularly interesting to see the fountains, cut in stone and the ruins of the castle built by the Genoese in sec. XIII, to defend its borders.
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