Diano Marina is an ideal starting-point for the excursions to discover the Riviera. From Diano, thanks to its central position, it is easy to reach both the West Riviera famous towns as Sanremo and Alassio and the French Coast renowned towns Menton, Montecarlo, Nice and Cannes.
Diano Castello, Diano San Pietro, Villa Faraldi and Diano Arentino are well preserved old villages. During the year, many guided visits and gastronomic festivals are organised by the local authorities and associations. Near Diano Marina, on the coast, there is the ancient medieval village of Cervo Ligure, with its typical narrow streets and alleys called "carrugi" and its characteristic small shops.
Moving eastwards (to the Riviera of Levante), Genoa and its famous Aquarium are only a 100 km far, and Albenga and its nice valleys is only 15 km far. Albenga is a town situated in the widest plain of Ligury, with many historical remains and a developed cultivation of early produce.
Plunge into the valleys, so to discover our food-and-wine culture!
It is possible to reach by car the inmost areas of the Alpi (the Ligurian mountains), and taste the typical products of the territory: from mushrooms to the well-known cheese "Brusso" (traditionally produced in the shepherd's huts in the mountains).
The gulf of Diano is a large bay of intense beauty, extending from Cape Berta to Cape Cervo. It has beaches with fine sand made of quartz, framed by a crowded promenade by the sea, surrounded by a vegetation both exotic and Mediterranean, so as palm trees, maritime pines, olive trees, agaves, citrus trees, and greenhouses of roses.
Diano Marina is its chief town, set in a privileged position within the Riviera of Flowers. It's a place with a very reduced temperature range, extraordinary mild winter temperatures, a high quantity of hours of sun per year (about 3.000 hours) and little rain.
Here we have a microclimate among the most favourables in the Mediterranean.
Looked from the Berta Cape slopes, the town shows the regularity of its 19th century urbanistic arrangement. The parish church of Saint Anthony is its outstanding witness: built in 1862, it has a neoclassical structure and has Baroque altars and paintings of the Ligurian school.
Near the small port there is the ancient oratory of Annunziata where some fifteenth-century frescoes are preserved: they are attributed to the Biasacci brothers from Busca.
Diano Marina, is waiting for you with its bathing establishments and well-patronized nightclubs!
The exquisite and simple food, inspired to the ancient Mediterranean flavours, will definitely help making your holiday delightful and comfortable.
The history of Diano Castello is much similar to that of Bergamo Alta and Bassa (lower and upper town). Diano Castello (once called Castrum Diani) may be compared to Bergamo Alta as it was the ancient Medieval village and Diano Marina to Bergamo Bassa: in fact till 1870 it was also called the "hamlet of the 30 fires", as there lived about 30 families of fishermen.
Since the seventh century A.D., Diano Castello was a post house along the roman road that led to Gallia (ancient France), where travellers could change their horses. The town was enclosed by walls and had towers and four gates. Inside, the alleys, the narrow streets called "carrugi" are paved with small stones white and black, took from the sea.
The first written document dates 1033, and is the donation act of the feud of Castello from the Marquise of Clavesana to her son Bonifazio.
The Marquise enjoyed many privileges, administered justice and exercised the "iux prime noctis". Diano Castello had its own mint and coined money.
In 1157 the inhabitants of the town shook off the Marquise by paying 300 "Genoani" (so was called their money at that time) and established the "Comunitas Diani"", which included all the neighbouring towns.
Right at the entrance of Castello, there's an old arcade: on it there are some brick-tiles, bearing the coats of arms of all the little villages composing the "Comunitas Diani" the year of its constitution (1157) and the year when these towns parted from Castello.
In 1284 Diano Castello provided Genoa with a flagship for the famous naval"battle of the Melory", as allies of Genoa against the city of Pisa. The battle was won and Genoa allowed Castello to bear its colours and its coat of arms, the "winged griffin".
In this medieval town there are important monuments as the church of San Giovanni Fuori Mura (outside the city walls) dating back to the 12th century, built in a perfect Roman style, with a roof trussed, coffered, decorated with pyrographies and coloured enamels.
The church of the Assunta, dated 1200, which has remarkable frescoes and two wooden triptychs, and was recently restored.
The collegiate church "Collegiata di San Nicola da Bari" (that is nowadays a parish), a typical Ligurian church of the Baroque period, frescoed by Mogari.
Remarkable are the famous wooden choir, the marble chapels, and the pipe organ, built by the firm Lingiardi from Pavia in 1844.
In this Collegiata, there's also a noteworthy crucifix sculptured by Maragliano, but especially a bust, made of silver and gold, sculptured by Benvenuto Cellini.
Moreover, some other interesting places must be quoted: the church of San Bernardino from Siena with its fresco made by the Biasacci brothers in 1503; the church of the Franciscan friars; the great nunnery of the Sisters of the Annunziata, where lies the body of the so-called "the God's servant", Sister Leonarda Ranixe, who found the order.
In this nunnery there is also a museum concerning Sister Leonarda.
Even if belonging to a later period, the Teatro Concordia with its stalls, its stage and gallery, makes a very good impression to its visitors.
Diano Castello is a very interesting place to discover: come and visit us! We'll tell you our story.
A majestic church dominates the village of Cervo.
It is the parish church of San Giovanni Battista, a remarkable example of Ligurian Baroque. The inhabitants commissioned it to the architect Gio Batta Marvaldi with the profits earned from their fishing industry and coral trade. During the summer, its parvis becomes the magnificent background for the concerts of the International Festival of Chamber Music.
On top of the hill, clung tightly to the rocks, you find the Clavesana castle where there's an ethnographic museum of West Ligury. The ancient bastions and crenels still tell us the original, primary role of military defence of the castle.
Along the "caruggi", the typical alleys, the old but almost intact medieval houses preserve, on the ground floor, the arches of the ancient porticoes.
Leaving from the Castle's square and walking up a road among the pines and olive trees, you get to the "Ciappa" area, from where you can enjoy a wide panorama of the Diano Gulf.
At the foot of Cervo hill, beautiful small bays hide among the rocks, an ideal place for those who look for peace.
The local restaurants offer specialities made with the fish catch: for instance pulp salad, cuttlefish or sepia risotto, seafood and grilled fish.