Welcome to Alassio, a place where spectacular coastal landscapes meet with irresistible flavors and a rich dose of history and cultural charm. This travel guide is your ideal companion to best explore this charming town located on the coast of Liguria, Italy.
Alassio, with its crystal blue sea and golden sandy beaches, is truly a paradise for lovers of sun and relaxation. But it is not only the natural beauty that makes this location a must-see destination in Italy. Historic atractions such as the famous ‘Muretto of Alassio’ and the charming streets of the old town make it a city full of charm and history.
Discover the exquisite local cuisine, with its abundance of fresh seafood and delicious traditional dishes such as ‘trofie al pesto’. Strolling through the downtown alleys and discovering small craft stores and unique boutiques is an experience that is sure to enrich you.
Alassio is also home to numerous events throughout the year, from the spectacular “Giraglia Rolex Cup” to cultural and gastronomic events that celebrate local excellence.
This jewel of the Ligurian Riviera offers a perfect synthesis of natural beauty, cultural and culinary richness, and an authentic Italian spirit. Ready to begin your journey? Welcome to Alassio, prepare to fall under its enchantment.
What to see in Alassio
Alassio, a beautiful city on the Ligurian coast in Italy, is a destination rich in cultural attractions, natural beauty and culinary delights. This brilliant Italian gem is ideal as a summer stopover, but offers unquestionable attractions throughout the year.
Here is a list of the best things to do and see in Alassio.
The Wall of Alassio
The Alassio Wall is a unique art installation consisting of a wall on which, over the years, numerous ceramic tiles have been affixed, decorated with the signatures of celebrities from all over the world.
The idea of the wall was born in the 1950s, when the first famous people were invited to sign tiles. Since then, the wall has been enriched with new tiles, containing the signatures of distinguished visitors to the Ligurian town.
This peculiar creation was desired by Café Roma owner and friend Mario Berrino, and the first signature was that of writer Ernest Hemingway in 1953. Over the years, many other celebrities have helped make the wall iconic, including Salvador Dali, Niki Lauda, and Italian singer Mina.
Today, the Alassio Wall is a symbol of the city and a must-see tourist attraction for visitors, who curiously admire the more than 550 tiles signed by celebrities.
The Budello di Alassio, sometimes called simply “The Budello,” is the beating heart of the historic center of this charming Ligurian town. This long narrow street, which runs parallel to the sea line, has been the main street of the town since the Middle Ages, a period when Alassio began to develop as an important center for trade and fishing.
Today, the street is a vibrant urban and pedestrian artery, featuring stores, cafes, restaurants, local craft stores and charming historic buildings. Here you can find everything from high-fashion boutiques and local grocery stores to artisan ice cream shops, bookstores and jewelry stores.
Respecting its medieval origin, the Gut maintains its historic atmosphere, with cobblestone streets, low arches and old buildings. Its unique and fascinating structure makes it one of the most characteristic pedestrian streets in Italy.
What makes “The Gut” really special, however, is its extraordinary liveliness. Locals and tourists flock to the Gut year-round, making it a social gathering place.
The Gardens of Villa della Pergola
The Villa della Pergola Gardens are a charming historic garden built in the late 19th century and offer breathtaking panoramic views of the Gulf of Alassio and Gallinara Island. This restored 22,000-square-meter area houses several renowned botanical collections and rarities.
Exotic plants and Mediterranean vegetation combine beautifully in these gardens. The Villa della Pergola’s collection of Wisteria, includes more than 40 varieties different in shape and color.
The Gardens are open daily from March to October, with guided tour times at 9:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. Admission is by reservation and the cost of the guided tour is 15€ per person.
Among the historic buildings in the garden is a splendid villa, Villa della Pergola itself, whose origin dates back to the last years of the 19th century. In addition to the historic Villa della Pergola, the property offers panoramic views of the Gulf of Alassio and Gallinara Island and boasts world-renowned botanical heritages.
Surrounded by magnificent views, The Gardens of Villa della Pergola offer a unique experience for lovers of greenery, art and history, with a wonderful location on the Ligurian Riviera.
Gallinara Island, belonging to the municipality of Albenga has a long history, dating back to its frequentation by Phoenicians, Greeks and Romans, as evidenced by the various artifacts and wrecks found in the surrounding seabed.
The island was named “Gallinara” because it was home to numerous wild roosters, recognized as sacred by various ancient peoples.
The excursion to Gallinara Island is interesting. The island can be reached by boat from Alassio, but docking is not permitted.
Protected as a regional nature reserve, it is covered with lush Mediterranean vegetation, and has remarkable natural-environmental features: herring gulls live and nest on the island and more than 200 species of flora grow there.
Its high and rugged coasts, shaped by erosion, hide sea caves.
Caffè Balzola and the kisses of Alassio
Caffè Balzola is a prestigious meeting place in the heart of Alassio, known for its fascinating historical and cultural heritage. Founded in 1902, Caffè Balzola has been serving tourism and hospitality for more than a century, preserving a strong passion for tradition and innovation.
An emblematic product of this historic pastry shop is the “Bacio di Alassio,” a very Italian dessert that originated in the city of Alassio itself. The original recipe, which dates back to the Balzola family’s first confectioner, Rinaldo, has been preserved and continues to be used today.
In addition, Rinaldo Balzola became the personal pastry chef to King Victor Emmanuel III of Italy from 1932 to 1938 These delicious chocolate and hazelnut treats, known as “Baci di Alassio” or simply “Baci,” were so popular that they were supplied to the Royal Household and the Quirinal Palace.
To this day, Balzola’s Baci di Alassio represent a jewel of the Italian pastry tradition and continue to be loved by locals and tourists alike. Their unique flavor and rich history make Caffè Balzola and its Baci di Alassio one of the best-known points of interest in this fascinating city.
The Saracen Tower of Alassio
The Saracen Tower, also known as the Torrione della Coscia, is one of the distinctive symbols of the city of Alassio on the Ligurian coast.
It is an old defensive bastion from the 16th century, which is an icon of Alassio’s past, symbolizing the shared history of many Italian coastal towns once fortified to resist pirate threats in the Mediterranean.
The tower, located to the east of Alassio near the Borgo Coscia neighborhood, served as a garrison used to sight and defend the town from assaults from the sea.
Characterized by a solid circular masonry structure, the tower was built facing the sea, in line with other defensive towers on the Ligurian coast.
Today, despite being a private property and not accessible to the public, it retains a great historical, aesthetic and touristic value, attracting the attention of both the people of Alassio and visitors, thanks in part to the fascinating view it offers of the coast.
Beaches of Alassio
In the heart of the Ligurian Riviera, Alassio stands out as one of Italy’s most fascinating seaside destinations. The city attracts thousands of tourists each year because of its golden beaches, crystal clear waters and lively local atmosphere.
Alassio’s beach stretches more than 4 kilometers along the coast, offering wide expanses of fine, golden sand. The sand is believed to be one of the softest and most pleasant to walk on of all Italian beaches.
Due to its vastness, the beach can comfortably accommodate both visitors who prefer equipped bathing establishments and those who opt to spend a day at the beach in complete freedom.
This long beach, however, is not very deep, especially in the central part of the city: the rows of sunbeds in the bathing establishments are rather limited especially when the sea is rough.
The Beach here is perfect for families and inexperienced swimmers because the seabed slopes gently and it is possible to walk several dozen meters before your feet no longer touch. The slope of the seabed up to 200 meters from the beach averages is 3.3 percent: in practice, to reach a depth of 1 meter you have to move 33 meters away from the shore.
The Beach in Alassio is ideal for children who can play safely in shallow water and under the careful supervision of lifeguards and, thanks to the fine sand, play at building articulated castles.
In Alassio there are numerous small bathing establishments, many of which have bars.
If you are looking for free beaches, however, you will struggle: the largest are located at the east and west ends of the city.
Where to sleep in Alassio
Alassio, with its golden beaches and crystal clear waters, offers a wide range of accommodation options for every type of visitor.
For the most authentic experience of the Ligurian Riviera, you can choose to stay in one of the city’s many historic hotels, characterized by elegant, refined architectural style and warm Italian hospitality.
For those looking for a cheaper option, there are numerous bed & breakfasts and hostels that offer comfortable accommodations at an affordable price.
Finally, for those who want maximum flexibility and independence, there are many vacation homes and apartments for rent, ranging from inexpensive to luxury options.
Each accommodation in Alassio offers a unique experience, ensuring an unforgettable vacation in the heart of the Ligurian Riviera.
To find the best low-cost solutions, it’s best to plan your holidays in advance and book your room right away.
How to get to Alassio
Getting to Alassio is relatively easy, thanks to its accessibility by both land and sea.
For those traveling by car, the town is easily accessible via the A10 Genoa-Ventimiglia highway, exiting at the Albenga toll booth, and then continuing on the SS1 Via Aurelia for about 10 kilometers westbound.
If you arrive by train, Alassio station is well connected to major Italian cities (Genoa, Milan, Turin, Rome) and offers a widespread network of local connections.
In addition, for those arriving from abroad or distant Italian destinations, the closest airports are Genoa and Nice, which offer international and domestic flights.
From either airport, you can opt for bus or train transfers, or rent a car.
Finally, for those traveling by sea, the “Marina di Alassio” marina offers berths and services for boats and yachts.
Localities in the surroundings
ACCOMMODATION AD ALASSIO
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