Cogoleto is a small town located in west Liguria. Actually, it is not very touristic and it is absolutely a pity! In Liguria, this town is known cause it declared itself the Christopher Columbus birthplace … however, it is also Genoa that claims to be the birth city of the famous discoverer of America … so ??? The rest I will explain you below 🙂
How to reach Cogoleto?
– by car – if you arrive here by using A10 motorway, you have to exit by using Arenzano or Varazze motorway exit. After leaving motorway you have to follow the road signs to Cogoleto. You arrive at the town centre in about 10/15 minutes. More info about the motorway here. However, you can also arrive here using SS1 Aurelia– the state road. It is much more picturesque than the motorway but it takes much more time to reach the place.
– by bus – Cogoleto is connected with Varazze, Arenzano and Genoa Voltri with the 8 line. More info here.
During the Roman domination, the area of Cogoleto was named Hasta, with a bridge (destroyed in World War II by Allied bombings). The first mention of the town dates to 1039, and in 1091 it was included in Bonifacio del Vasto’s Marquisate of Savona. In 1343 it was acquired by the Republic of Genoa. In 1800 it was the seat of a battle between the French and Austrian armies. Cogoleto became part of the Kingdom of Sardinia in 1815, following its history in the unification of Italy and modern Italian history.
The things to see & do
The historical centre of Cogoleto is small and quite compact. It has one, long carrugio which is via Rati. When you move into the direction of the sea you will arrive at the SS1 Aurelia – the state road that passes through the whole region. Cogoleto has long, pebble beaches – both public and private. However, the biggest and the most important attraction here is the birth home of Christopher Columbus!
As you probably remember I have already published a post about the birth house of Christopher Columbus … that is located in GENOA! So you can ask how it is possible that now I’m writing about another Columbus birth house!
So, the matter is that Columbus was living more than 600 years ago and there are not many documents left that prove for sure where he was born and where he lived. That’s why both Genoa and Cogoleto compete to be recognized as the birthplace of Christopher Columbus. Both cities have already presented many, different documents that in their opinion show off that Columbus was born in Genoa/Cogoleto. Of course, inhabitants of Cogoleto are convinced that the famous sailor was born in their town 🙂 And they even indicate his house. You can still see it! It is located in via Rati 64. In fact, the archives of the townhall confirm that the house was the propriety of the Columbus family. Nowadays it is a private house, however from outside you can admire the XII century frescos on the facade of the building. That frescos are dedicated to Columbus.
So … Columbus was born in Cogoleto? Probably we will never know it for sure 🙂 But we can see his house … well, one of numerous Columbus’s houses 😉
Apart from the competition between Cogoleto and Genoa, I think that the biggest attraction of Cogoleto is its cycle lane. It leads through old, train tunnels and it is adapted to bicycles and pedestrians. It starts in Cogoleto and connects it to Varazze.
Length: 5 km (3,1 m)
Along the cycle lane, you will see many, beautiful beaches, crystal clear water and spectacular Ligurian shore. It is also the fastest way to move from Cogoleto to Varazze. On the way, you will find some bars, restaurants, private beaches. This is an absolutely fantastic alternative to spending your time with kids! No cars, only pedestrians, cyclists and nature.
Parco Naturale Regionale del Beigua is a natural park located between the province of Savona and province of Genoa. It’s the largest protected area of Liguria and it gets the name from the highest mountain of that area, Monte Beigua (1287m). In 2015, the whole zone was recognized with the name BEIGUA UNESCO GLOBAL GEOPARK and has been included in that prestigious list of international geoparks. Who of you is interest in geologic stuff absolutely will be amazed of it! More about the park here.
Cogoleto is a hidden, undiscovered gem that offers many attractions for tourists. What is more, I Think that now is the perfect moment to visit it! Before it becomes touristic and overpopulated! Enjoy! 😉
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