Alassio, Province of Savona, Liguria
Fine health and seaside resort on the Genoa Gulf with one of the most beautiful beaches in the Liguria region, stretching from the small port of Capo Santa Croce to Capo Mele, in an enchanting natural amphitheater. The old center has typical narrow lanes and small square crowded with fashionable shops, full of people and tourists in the summer. Below the gardens in Alassio is the renowned Muretto, after which the Summer Festival is named.
- Altitude: 6 m a.s.l
- Population: about 11,000 inhabitants
- Zip/postal code: 17021
- Phone Area Code: 0182
- Patron Saint: St Ambrosio, celebrated on 7 December
- Frazioni & Localities: Caso, Moglio, Solva
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History - the Middle Ages
The town was founded in the 10th century AD, and according to the tradition named after Adelasia, the daughter of German Emperor Otto I, who allegedely eloped with Aleramo, a squire at court, and settled with him on the hills of the hinterland; later on the Emperor pardoned the couple and gave to them and their descendants the marquisates of Acqui, Monferrato and Savoy giving origin to the Aleramic family.
In the 11th century the area was under the control of the Benedictine monks of Gallinara and later under the town of Albenga.
History - Modern Times
As a protection against pirate raids the town was surrounded by walls in 1521. Soon after, it came under the control of the Genoese Republic. In 1815 the Congress of Vienna suppressed the Republic of Genoa and assigned Liguria to the Sardinia Kingdom. In the 1960's, when the so-called "economic boom" in Italy was at its highest, Alassio was with Portofino and Sanremo a fashionable destination of the jet-set people. In those years local painter Mario Berrino started the "Muretto di Alassio" a kind of Italian version of Hollywood House of Fame.
What to see
- The Muretto di Alassio, a wall near the seafront consisting of 550 tiles signed by celebrities who visited the place in the past decades.
- The parish church of Sant'Ambrogio, built in the 11th century, sided by a tall bell tower, was renovated in the 15th century, and the facade remade in 1896. The central door, dated 1511, is in ardesia. The church preserves inside paintings by Giovanni Andrea De Ferrari and Giulio Benso, as well as a St. Lucy by Giovan Battista Castello Pentecoste.