Luisavillas - Albenga - Zuccarello Castelvecchio di Rocca Barbena - Toirano - Luisavillas
Leaving Luisavillas, follow the highway A10/E80 to Ventimiglia. After 29 km, you’ll find Albenga, the “city of 100 towers”, a little capital for art history, roman and medieval culture: in fact, it is told it was founded around VI – IV century B.C.
In the central square, San Michele, you’ll see towers, medieval palaces and the cathedral, with it’s late – gothic bell tower. These monuments, along with the early Christian baptistery, make Albenga a valuable site to visit. There’s also in Peloso Cepolla’s palace a naval museum containing the remainings of a roman ship form the I century B.C.
Following the road SP 582 to “colle di S.Bernando” from Albenga you’ll find Zuccarello. It was the ancient capital of a marquisate, and it became famous thanks to its beautiful roman bridge, which was used by the journal “Times” as a cover in the 60’s.
You can enter in Zuccarello through two magnificent entrances: Porta di Ponte Neva and Porta del Molino. Inside the little village there’s the Marchionale late – medieval palace, where there are many frescoes, the San Bartolomeo’s Church, with its roman – styled bell tower, and the oratory named to Santa Maria Nascente, where you can find a beautiful wooden Christ from the ‘400.
Just outside the village, proceeding to the South, you’ll find beautiful frescoes from the late – medieval period in Sant’Antonio’s church, and the nice Madonna della Neve’s, next to a graveyard.
Following the road SP582 you’ll get to Castelvecchio di Rocca Barbena, perched under it’s castle of the XI century, main military defence point of the valley. You can reach it walking through the tight and tortuous streets which branch off from the main road of the village. Sant’Assunta’s Church, despite it was partially reconstructed during the baroque period, maintains its bell tower from the original building. In the tower square, where there was the gallows, there is the Disciplinanti’s oratory. Following the street which lead to the graveyard, you can reach the knoll over which the Madonna delle Grazie’s sanctuary (XVII century) is built.
The road SP44 goes down through woods and olive trees heading to Balestrino, then it becomes road SP34: entering the road SP1, in 30 minutes (15 km) you’ll reach Toirano, famous for its caves, the “gumbi”, the tight streets and murals.
Getting again on highway A10/E80, you’ll be back at Luisavillas in 30 minutes.