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Alassio and its area
What to see in the City of Lovers, and the prettiest nearby villages

Alassio – less than an hour from the City of Flowers and its exclusive The Mall Sanremo – has become one of the top summer destinations, frequented now as in the past by illustrious visitors. Many of their names can be found on the celebrated and romantic Muretto, a wall with over 1,000 autographed ceramic tiles. But the heart of Alassio is the Budello, the main shopping street and picturesque carrùggio that bisects the town. Among its shop windows you’ll find the 17th-century Palazzo Morteo, home to the Pinacoteca of Carlo Levi, who chose Alassio as his summer residence and spent his time here painting, as did Richard West, who attempted to capture the late 19th-century Riviera’s light and beauty in a number of works. For a better understanding of what made them fall in love with the place, contemplate the view from the Cappelletta ai caduti del mare (near the port), the Torrione del borgo Coscia, or the truly marvellous Gardens of Villa Pergola, set like a diamond among Alassio’s lush green hills and overlooking the blue sea. 22,000 square metres with fountains and ponds adorned with nymphs, 34 varieties of wisteria and Europe’s largest collections of agapanthus and citrus plants.

(ph. Marcus Ganahl – Unsplash)

In just a few minutes’ drive we move from the 19th century to the Middle Ages and the ancient towers of Albenga – the most important are the 12th-century Torre della Ciò, Torre Costa, Torre Navone and those of the Town Hall – the Fortino genovese, built in the 16th century, the houses with 14th-century loggias, and the churches, like the Cathedral of San Michele Arcangelo and the nearby Church of Santa Maria in Fontibus.

Inland (about half an hour from Alassio), on a wooded rocky spur of the Ligurian Apennines, sits this picturesque village with its huddle of stone houses and its humpback bridges. Once an abandoned ancient village, it has become Italy’s first telematic medieval village, a multi-building hotel with private digital connectivity, completely restored.

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