A fascinating legend envelops Alassio.

“It is told that in the 10th century Adelasia, the daughter of Otto I of Saxony, Holy Roman Empire Emperor, escaped with a squire, Aleramo, took shelter on the Alaxia hills at the foot of the Tirasso Mount, becoming charcoal burners and giving life to the Aleramic ancestry. The valour demonstrated by Aleramo fighting against the Saracens and the intervention of the Albenga bishop, favoured the reconciliation between the emperor and the two fugitives who finally received as a donation the Marquisate of Aqui, Monferrato, Savoia and others”.

On the other hand, the history tells that Alassio was born between the 10th and 11th centuries from settlements of Liguri (ancient tribe) on the hills (Sant’Anna, Madonna delle Grazie) moving towards the coast afterwards.

During the 16th century Alassio had to face many pirates’ attacks and it became necessary to build the first defensive walls.
In the middle of the century Alassio had become a flourishing fishermen’s village and the Alassio inhabitants were popular sailors.
Thanks to the increasing exchanges with the other European nations, Alassio became an important commercial centre, particularly focused on the red coral trade.
This situation lasted until the 18th century when the Napoleonic raids threatened the village stability.

Alassio flourished again at the end of the 19th century when, thanks to the opening of the rail system, many English colons (the well-known Hambury family for example), chose Alassio as their favorite destination because of its always mild climate, the air salubrity, the fine sand and the unpolluted nature.
Consequently, the Anglican Church was built along with the English Library, the Tennis Club, the beautiful gardens and villas. The first touristic and seaside activities were born.

In the 1950s Alassio was a well-known seaside resort all over the Europe, a meeting point for the “Dolce Vita” of artists and celebrities.
At that time the painter Mario Berrino together with Ernest Hemingway, designed the famous “Muretto” with the celebrities’ signatures.
This was also the time agatha Christie mentioned Alassio in one of her most important pieces.
Alassio standed out as a “Pearl of the Riviera”, a typical ligurian village with small alleys and a long “carruggio”parallel to the sea, enlivened by ancient buildings and trendy boutiques.

The Alassio “Muretto”

In 1953, the artist Mario Berrino, owner of the memorable Caffé Roma, along with Hernest Hemingway, decided to embellish the public park wall with ceramic tiles displaying celebrities autographs.

The “Budello”

This is the well-known old town of Alassio and the European longest open air shopping centre. It is a long alley that goes through the town and shows historical buildings and beautiful boutiques.

St. Ambrogio Church

Built in the 15th century on the remains of a 10th century church.
The ensuing extension works lent the church an interesting stylistic variety:
romanic, gothic and baroque features that we can appreciate today.
The inside hosts pieces by great ligurian painters: Giovanni Andrea De Ferrari, Giulio Benso and Bernardo Castello.
It is a parish since 1507.

Borgo Coscia fortified tower

Erected in the 16th century by the Genoa Republic, the bastion had a defensive function against the pirates raids that afflicted the ligurian coast.
We can admire it today with its circular and solid structure made of stone and bricks.
It is one of the most important symbol of Alassio.

The Cappelletta

At the touristic harbor “Luca Ferrari”, the Cappelletta is a sea fallen memorial since 1929. Magic and romantic place, you can enjoy from here a wonderful view of the sea and the bay.

Santa Croce Church

Built by the Benedictine monks in romanic style in the 11th century, it has an amazing position on the sea.
Here is the beginning of the Iulia Augusta, the part of roman street between Albenga and Alassio, a path rich of nature and historical findings.

Richard West Memorial Gallery

Inaugurated in 1907, it was designed by the Londoner architect W.D. Caroe.
The gallery holds a rich collection of the Irish painter Richard West, who lived in Alassio many years. It is an important evidence of the artist’s creativity and a valuable cross section of Alassio life at the end of 1800.

Carlo Levi art gallery

In the heart of the budello, the 17th century Palazzo Morteo hosts a small art gallery dedicated to the painter Carlo Levi from Turin, who habitually went to Alassio in the mid 1900s. He was very good at depicting Alassio landscapes with its olive trees, carob trees and rocks.