The historic center of Albenga, Ligurian city of towers
Proud giants try to touch the sky as ancient mysteries re-emerge from the earth
What it is and where it is
A wonderful historic center that is far from renowned in Italy. Yet here it is, in all its splendor, unfolding before our eyes as we pass through the gate that leads us to Torlaro Square. Already from here we can catch a glimpse of the city's highest peaks, namely both its towers, all extraordinary and all so different from each other. A historical-artistic heritage perhaps little known nationally, but every year an attraction for many foreigners, particularly from northern Europe.
Why it is special
The richness of the historic center of this small town has nothing to envy to many other large cities that are definitely better known. The feeling in passing through the characteristic carruggi and observing surprising architectural details coming out of the plaster of some of the buildings in the historic center, or the ancient ruins that emerge from the ground near the Centa River, is indescribable. There are not only the towers, then, emblems of the city. There is so much more to rediscover!
Not to be missed
Certainly seeing the city with the expert eye of an accompanying guide can help you understand much better what is the long history of these towers: some have been preserved almost intact while others have undergone modifications over the centuries. Cut and turned into terraces, incorporated within houses until they disappeared, severed or tilted due to land subsidence, or collapsed due to disastrous earthquakes. Not to mention the importance of the noble families who had commissioned them.
A bit of history
We enter a bakery set in one of the "surviving" towers. The lady at the counter greets us with a kind smile. "You are tourists, aren't you?" she immediately asks us. "Yes," we reply. "Well, know that you have just entered the Cazzulini Tower, one of the oldest in the city. Think of it as dating back to the 13th century. What these four vertical walls have not seen and endured!" So we hear directly from the living voice of a local resident and merchant a tiny piece of the long history of Albenga's towers.
From old marshy areas later reclaimed, some of the city's greatest mysteries have resurfaced. In particular, the Albenga findings of the "Pontelungo Skeleton" and the "child witches" burials have ignited the public's imagination and interest, in reference, precisely, to some burials found to be anomalous, near areas of ancient necropolis.
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