The honorary title “Riviera” is awarded to exceptionally beautiful stretches of coast around the world. It all started with the Ligurian Sea coastline stretching between France and Italy. The French called their coastline "Côte d'Azur", the Italians chose the name "Riviera" (sea coast). Sub-areas of the Riviera were given additional decorative designations.
Riviera delle Palme - Noli
Riviera delle Palme - Noli
The Riviera delle Palme
One of these sections is the 70 kilometer long coastal region “Riviera delle Palme”, in English Palmenriviera. It stretches from Varazze in the north to Laigueglia in the south. The most important city in this region is Savona. The port and industrial city with almost 60.000 inhabitants is also the capital of the province of the same name.
The rise and fall of the city of Savona
Ligurian Sabatians settled the area around Savona in the Bronze Age. At the time of the Romans, the settlement was of little importance. During the Renaissance, the transition from the Middle Ages to the modern age, Savona grew into an important trading power. Merchants from Savona did business all over the Mediterranean, the Orient, England and Flanders. The city flourished. Some historical buildings with precious slate and marble applications still testify to the prosperity achieved in this epoch. And there is one more thing that makes the people of Savona proud. The local aristocratic family Della Rovere provided two popes in the 15th and 16th centuries.
Savona - mixed mediaeval and modern times
So much fortune displeased the Maritime Republic of Genoa, which was competing with Savona. In 1528 a navy led by the Genoese Admiral Andrea Doria set course for Savona. The result: Savona's port was destroyed and the city was forced to Genoa to subjugate. In order not to jeopardize the victory, the winners had Savona's port filled in and the Fortezza del Priamàr built near the port. The fortress, for which an entire district including the cathedral, was torn down, still dominates the area around the port today.
Savona - Priamàr fortress
The new beginning in the 19th century
With the victory of Genoa over Savona, prosperity and culture ended. The city then stagnated for a long time. At the beginning of the 19th century, Savona experienced another economic boom under the prefect Chabrol de Volvic. Many of the city's neo-classical buildings are witnesses of that time. The port developed into one of the five most important ports in Italy. Not least because the Turin-based car manufacturer Fiat has new vehicles shipped all over the world via the seaport of Savona.
Savona - Buildings in the port area
Savona at first sight
In direct comparison with the neighboring communities of the Palm Riviera, Savona is an unattractive city. Visitors criticize the urban sprawl on the outskirts and desolate industrial facilities. With its center, Liguria's third largest city does not win any beauty awards either. Apart from that, Savona has two prestigious boulevards: Via Pietro Paleocapa, lined with arcades on both sides, and Corso Italia, which is lined with trees. There are also a few attractive streets, such as the narrow Via Pia, which is closed to traffic, with attractive shops, as well as some interesting squares and a few remarkable buildings.
Savona - in the shadow of the cathedral
Savona - port of cruise ships
Savona has not only made a name for itself as a ferry port. As a cruise destination, Savona's futuristic cruise terminal primarily serves the shipping company's ships Costa Cruises.
Savona - Palacrociere cruise terminal
We report on what to see before or after a cruise in Savona below Savona - Landmarks.