• Salvatore Fuda

Alassio ... the exclusive pearl of the western Ligurian sea

Located between Capo Mele and Capo Santa Croce, Alassio is an ancient fishing village, which since the 1960s has become one of the best-known seaside resorts of the Ligurian Riviera di Ponente. To present her, it would suffice to say that the great American writer Ernest Hemingway fell in love with her as soon as he saw her and it certainly was no coincidence. Located in a beautiful gulf, Alassio is surrounded by greenery and has a beach of fine sand, the clean blue water of the Ligurian Sea and a mild climate that makes it an ideal holiday destination in the period between spring and November. Furthermore, a stay in one of the hotels in Alassio is embellished by the beauty of the village and by the presence of exclusive shops, restaurants and clubs that animate the life of the place and attract numerous international VIPs and personalities of the Italian jet set.

The heart of worldliness is obviously the center of Alassio, which winds through alleys and streets in the typical interweaving of Ligurian villages. Among the streets of the center, the most frequented by the promenade is the "Budello", an ancient paved alleyway that crosses the town parallel to the coast, from Borgo Coscia to the Ciccione seafront: it is here, at the "Budello", that the commercial activities are located. , from fashion brands to antiques to gastronomic specialties.

In the historic center of Alassio there is no shortage of monuments to visit. For example, it is worth admiring the Church of Sant'Ambrogio, which was built in the Romanesque style during the 15th century on the remains of a small church from the 10th century and then converted to Baroque style at the beginning of the 18th century. , some precious works by Ligurian artists are kept, including some famous exponents of the Genoese seventeenth century such as Giovanni Andrea De Ferrari, Bernardo Castello and Giulio Benso. Of great interest, then, are the two watchtowers, Saraceno and Vegliasco, present in the town's coat of arms.

However, staying in hotels in Alassio means above all living by the sea and taking advantage of the long beach, which stretches for almost four kilometers, up to the splendid village of Laigueglia. The bay of Alassio, thanks to its width and shallow waters, sheltered from the currents, is ideal for bathing and the approximately 100 bathing establishments offer comfort and quality of services.

Credit photo Genova

Some historical notes

It is said that it dates back to the 10th century, when the first nucleus was built near the church of Sant'Anna ai Monti and then others settled on the hill behind the current Madonna delle Grazie village where one of the oldest can still be seen coats of arms of Alassio.

Regarding the origins of its name, it seems that Alassio derives from Adelasia, daughter of Emperor Otto I, who fled with a squire named Aleramo; the couple would have settled on the hills of Alaxia - today's Alassio - giving rise to the Aleramici lineage.

The feud in the 11th century was owned by the Benedictine monks from the Gallinara island and then passed under the control of Albenga who administered it until the 16th century.

In 1521, following the continuous pirate raids, the first defensive walls were built.

Having entered the territories of the Republic of Genoa, Alassio took part in the war against France in 1528, with eighteen galleons, and obtained from Genoa ample autonomy, especially in the economic sector.

In 1540 it became the seat of the local podesta office and the Genoese Republic encouraged trade with France, Spain, Portugal, Sicily, Sardinia and the Netherlands, thus transforming the seaside village of Alassio into a commercial center and, as in other coastal towns in Liguria, it was the collection and trade of red coral is particularly active.

Alassio participated in the battle of Lepanto in 1571 with an entire naval fleet.

In 1625 it came into possession of the Savoy but was later reconquered by the Genoese republic.

In 1797 Napoleon Bonaparte occupied the town during the Italian campaign and, after the fall of the Republic of Genoa, incorporated the territory into the new Ligurian Republic annexed to the First French Empire.

In 1815, it became part of the Kingdom of Sardinia and from 1861 of the Kingdom of Italy.

Towards the end of the nineteenth century it became an important tourist and tourist center, "chosen" mainly by the British, of whom a good community still exists today thanks to a conspicuous presence of vacationers of nationality.

And between the fifties and sixties it became a fashionable location together with Portofino and Sanremo.

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