Laigueglia is a charming, small town in western Liguria. It is so beautiful that it was enrolled, together with nearby Cervo and Finalborgo on the list of the most beautiful hamlets in Italy. Laigueglia is not so popular with tourists and it is not so crowded. So surely it is worth to be visited!
How get to Laigueglia?
- motorway A10 – exit by Andora motorway exit and then follow road signs to Laigueglia; you will reach the town after about 15 minutes 🙂
- SS1 Aurelia – state road, very panoramic 🙂 It is very picturesque in this part of Liguria. Warning! During the summer season, it is often congested!
–by train – in Laigueglia you can find a train station … however, not many trains stop here… More info here.
-by bus – line no. 40 that connects towns Andora and Finale Ligure. Ticket costs 1,50€/per More info here.
I start from the pronunciation of the name of the town 🙂 When I saw it for the first time I really wasn’t sure how to pronounce the name LAIGUEGLIA 🙂 So here I write a phonetic version: Læiguelja 🙂 (I hope it helps!)
It is believed that the name of the town was given by the ancient Romans that conquered that part of Liguria. However, the first, written proofs of the existence of the town come from the XII century when Laigueglia was a part of the Republic of Genoa. Then between the XII/XIII century, many inhabitants of Catalonia came here for working as hunters of corals. In that period the town became very flourishing. It was one of the reasons why Saracen pirates attacked it so often during the XV century. In the XVII century, Laigueglia became very thriving again. This time because of the commerce of wheat, wine and olive oil. Then arrived the Napoleone Bonaparte domination and after that Italy became unite. Laigueglia lost its previous, commercial importance and became a calm, fisherman town.
It is believed that it was invented by the ancient Romans. The name Laigueglia comes from word aquila, that means eagle. The black eagle was a symbol of the Romans legions and nowadays the black eagle is the symbol of Laigueglia.
Things to see and do
As I mentioned before the town is very small and you can’t lose there. The oldest part of Laigueglia is long and located along the seashore. Its principal caruggio (more about Ligurian names you find here) is via Dante Alighieri, and it leads from the heart of the old town to railway station.
If you arrived by train, the first, interesting building that you see will be a medieval fortified tower.
Fortified tower (Bastione di Levante)
It was built in the XV century when the Ligurian coast was very often attacked by Saracen pirates. That’s why was decided to create the fortified towers that could help the inhabitants to protect themselves from the attacks. In the past Laigueglia had even 3 of these towers. Nowadays only one of them is still visible. Other towers were destroyed during the Napoleone era.
From the fortified tower, you can continue and pass through the town gate. Now you are at the heart of Laigueglia. You can turn right ( via Dante Alighieri) and you arrived at the road SS1, Aurelia. In front of you will see a magnificent, Baroque-style church!
St Mathiew Church (Chiesa di San Matteo)
The first church was built in that place already in the VII century (!) However, the actual construction was built in the XVIII century. Outside and inside it was created in the Baroque style. It is very rich and magnificent. Inside you can admire beautiful frescos and paintings of the local, XVIII century artists.
When you back to the old town you will surely notice a beach … 😉
It is long and sandy! Who is looking for that kind of beaches will be satisfied. Moreover, the sea here is not so deep as in the other parts of Liguria. Laigueglia is a perfect place if you come to Liguria with kids! And along the beach, you will find everything: bars, restaurants, shops, etc.
Every year Laigueglia organizes a jazz and drums festival. During that 3 day festival, numerous events are organized. You can see the concerts of famous jazz stars or unknown, new talents. This year PercFest will take a place from 14th – 17th June.
Saracens attack (Sbarco dei Saraceni)
Every year at the end of July or the beginning of August (this year August 9th) the sea of Laigueglia becomes a stage of a fantastic stage version. About 10.00 pm more than 200 actors dress up as pirates and medieval inhabitants of the town and they stage a heroic defence of Laigueglia. The show finishes with fireworks and the victory of the inhabitants of Laigueglia 🙂 Very nice!
In my opinion, Laigueglia is one of the most charming places in WHOLE Liguria. I think that definitely, you should visit it 🙂