Discover Albenga, a hidden gem that exudes quintessential Italian charm, nestled between the sparkling blue Ligurian Sea and the verdant hills of the hinterland.

Rich in historical treasures and scenic charm, Albenga is the perfect addition to your Ligurian Riviera itinerary. This guide will take you through the vibrant history, gastronomy, and attractions that make Albenga unmissable.


If you are planning a trip to the Ligurian Riviera, venture beyond the beaten path and add Albenga to your list-an authentic Italian experience awaits you.

What to see in Albenga

Dating back to Roman times, Albenga’s historic center, the Centro Storico, is like an open-air museum. Its medieval layout features majestic architectural gems such as the Towers, remnants of 12th-century aristocratic houses that mingle with colorful modern buildings, creating a fascinating contrast.

The municipality of Albenga hides within its borders numerous attractions and places of interest, including:

Gallinara Island


If you have ever admired the sparkling Ligurian Sea from the coast of Albenga, one intriguing sight has surely drawn you in: the lonely Gallinara Island, peeping out of the azure waters of the Mediterranean.

The history of Gallinara Island is as remarkable as its natural beauty. Named after the wild chickens that were once its main inhabitants, its historical significance can be traced back to Roman times, when it served as a monastic retreat. Over the centuries it has hosted Benedictine monks, sanctified saints and even Napoleon Bonaparte.

Gallinara Island is an absolute paradise for nature lovers. Its protected status as a Regional Nature Park helps maintain its pristine condition-a sanctuary for a range of native flora and fauna.

The marine area around Gallinara Island holds a fascinating underwater biodiversity. Snorkeling or diving here may reveal sightings of spectacular species such as red coral, starfish, seahorses and a wide range of fish.

Guided boat tours are available to visit Gallinara Island from Albenga and Alassio. Access to the island is subject to weather conditions, considering the unpredictable Mediterranean climate.

It is not every day that you have the opportunity to set foot on a private island rich in history and rich in biodiversity. If you are along the Ligurian coast, take the opportunity and make sure your Italian escapade includes the unforgettable Gallinara Island.

Gallinara Island Reserve Multimedia Center

Looking to explore the charms of Gallinara Island but cannot undertake a boat tour or cannot access the island due to its private nature? Don’t worry. The Gallinara Island Reserve Multimedia Center offers an unparalleled virtual journey to the island, immersing you in its history, natural beauty and enchanting splendor, all from the comfort of the mainland near the charming town of Albenga.

Located in the heart of Albenga’s historic center, the Gallinara Island Reserve Multimedia Center serves as an interactive portal to Gallinara Island, virtually transporting visitors to its secluded shores. This state-of-the-art facility uses a combination of multimedia projections, 3D models, and audiovisual exhibits to showcase the island’s fascinating history, unique geological features, and spectacular biodiversity.

The Gallinara Island Reserve Multimedia Center is easily accessible within the historic center of Albenga, a short walk from the city train station, and is open to the public, with an entrance fee.

Piazza San Michele, 14, 17031 Albenga SV, Italy

Magical Transparencies Museum

Museo Magiche Trasparenze

Perched in Albenga’s beautifully preserved historic center, the Magical Transparencies Museum, or the Museum of Magical Transparencies, offers visitors a unique look at Albenga’s ancient Roman glass artifacts. Housed inside Palazzo Oddo, an aristocratic building dating back to the 14th century, this museum is a brilliant space where science, history and art converge.

The primary objective of the Magical Transparencies Museum is to present an exhibition that allows people to appreciate the glass artifacts found during excavations in the Albenga necropolis.

One of the prominent pieces in the vast collection is undoubtedly the famous “Blue Plate.” This unique artifact illustrates the exceptional craftsmanship and skill of Albenga’s ancient glassmakers. The variety of shapes and colors of the glassware makes Albenga’s antique glass collection one of the most valuable and unique.

Through an engaging display that cleverly combines visual and auditory elements, visitors are encouraged to fully immerse themselves in each historical period represented within the museum enclosure. This dynamic journey allows a greater understanding of the intricate details and processes involved in creating each delicate piece of glass.

Roman Naval Museum


As part of the city’s robust historical and cultural offerings, the Roman Naval Museum is a beacon for those interested in ancient maritime culture and naval architecture. Presents a compelling narrative of the central role that the sea and naval activity played in the daily life and economy of Roman Albenga.

The Roman Naval Museum offers a dive into Albenga’s maritime past, supported by significant archaeological finds from diving expeditions in the local sea. The museum houses a robust collection of ancient shipwreck remains, including amphorae, anchors and navigational instruments.

Among the finds, the replica of the Oneglia wreck undoubtedly stands out. Discovered in the 1950s off the coast of nearby Imperia, the submerged cargo ship dates back to the 1st century B.C., and its detailed miniature in the museum gives visitors a realistic impression of the merchant ship’s appearance and structure.

The highlight of any visit to the Roman Naval Museum must be its interactive exhibits and carefully crafted scale models, which offer an engaging and accessible understanding of the intricacies of naval architecture and life aboard these ships. Replicas of various types of seagoing vessels provide a comprehensive visualization of the evolution of shipbuilding through the span of the Roman Empire.

Cathedral of St. Michael the Archangel

Cattedrale di San Michele Arcangelo Albenga

As one of the oldest monuments in the region, the Cathedral of St. Michael the Archangel is an indispensable part of the historic center and remains an ever-present testimony to Albenga’s rich cultural heritage.

The Cathedral of St. Michael the Archangel dates back to the 5th century, with its current structure boasting a fascinating mix of architectural styles, ranging from early Christian to Baroque. The site on which the cathedral stands has seen many incarnations, including early Christian and Roman structures, which add complex layers to the church’s history.

Notable features of the exterior of the Cathedral of St. Michael the Archangel include the 11th-century bell tower, which sports a polygonal spire, and the central octagonal dome that crowns the elegant structure

Inside the cathedral, visitors can enjoy artistic bounty. Highlights include the finely carved wooden choir stalls adorned with biblical figures and scenes. The sumptuous frescoes lining the cathedral walls are complemented by remarkable paintings, such as the 15th-century “Triptych of the Annunciation” by Ludovico Brea, which adorns the high altar.

Diocesan Museum of Albenga

Located in the heart of Albenga’s historic center, the Diocesan Museum, is a veritable treasure chest of religious art and history. As part of the Museum Complex of the Diocese of Albenga-Imperia, the Diocesan Museum presents an impressive collection of artifacts that shed light on the region’s rich religious heritage.

The main objective of the Diocesan Museum is to preserve and enhance the artistic and historical heritage of the Diocese. It features a remarkable wealth of liturgical furnishings, manuscripts, paintings and precious artifacts from the Romanesque to Baroque periods.

The Baptistery and the Bell Tower

While the main museum houses an abundance of religious art and artifacts, the museum complex also includes the ancient Baptistery and Bell Tower. The Baptistery features striking 5th-century mosaics, while the Bell Tower, a symbol of Albenga, boasts picturesque panoramic views of the city and surrounding landscapes.

The Diocesan Museum is conveniently located in Albenga’s Cathedral Square, making it an essential part of any itinerary in Albenga’s historic center. Whether you are an art enthusiast, a history buff or simply curious about the city’s heritage, a visit to the Diocesan Museum is a great way to enrich your understanding of Albenga’s varied past.

The Historic Palaces of Albenga

Nestled along the picturesque Ligurian Riviera, Albenga boasts an extraordinary array of ancient buildings and monuments that echo the stories of its fascinating past. This travel guide is your key to unlocking the beauty and splendor of Albenga’s most iconic historic buildings, including architectural wonders such as Palazzo Vecchio, Palazzo Costa, Palazzo Scotto Niccolari, Casa Fieschi Ricci, and Casa d’Aste Basso.

Old Palace

Palazzo Vecchio, also known as the Old Palace, dates back to the 13th century and served as Albenga’s City Hall. As one of the city’s most historic structures, Palazzo Vecchio testifies to Albenga’s legacy and political importance during the Middle Ages.

This elegant building features a mixture of Gothic and Romanesque architectural styles, boasting a striking facade adorned with intricate decoration and a large bell tower. The interior of Palazzo Vecchio houses beautiful frescoes and intricate stonework.

Today Palazzo Vecchio houses local municipal offices and is open for public visits. Visitors can explore the building’s opulent rooms, learn more about its rich history from informative exhibits, and enjoy contemporary art installations.

Costa Palace

Palazzo Costa showcases exquisite Baroque elements with carved details and a sumptuous facade. The magnificent interiors include richly decorated walls, magnificent chandeliers and painted ceilings depicting mythological scenes.

The building is now a privately owned residence, which limits its accessibility to the public. However, during special events and guided tours, visitors may have the opportunity to admire the luxurious interior and the art collection housed within.

Scotto Niccolari Palace

The palace constitutes an illustrious example of Renaissance architecture in Albenga. The building’s striking facade features a mixture of warm-colored stones and intricate carvings. The interior of Palazzo Scotto Niccolari boasts an elegant courtyard and beautiful frescoes, illustrating the influence of the Renaissance on the region’s architecture and art.

Today, Palazzo Scotto Niccolari is a private property, and its accessibility to visitors depends on the discretion of the owners. Occasionally, the palace opens its doors for cultural events, allowing the public to appreciate its artistic and historical importance.

Fieschi Ricci House

Casa Fieschi Ricci, located in the heart of Albenga’s historic center, is a 15th-century building that once belonged to the Fieschi family, one of the city’s most important political and aristocratic families.

This impressive Gothic-style building features an eye-catching facade adorned with coat-of-arms decorations and mullioned windows with two lights. The property features intricate stonework, original wood beams and elegantly designed interiors.

Basso Auction House

The building itself boasts a unique facade characterized by a series of narrow windows and sturdy masonry. Inside, Casa d’Aste Basso features vaulted ceilings and atmospheric nooks and crannies, perfect for displaying the art and antiquities being auctioned.

Today Casa d’Aste Basso continues to function as an auction house and cultural space, hosting exhibitions and events that tell the story of Albenga’s history and art. The building is open to the public during these events, offering visitors a chance to experience a piece of Ala benga history firsthand.

The Towers of Albenga


Albenga’s historic towers-Torre della Ciò, Torre Costa and Torre Navone-are a tangible link to Albenga’s illustrious past.

Tower of This

Nestled in the heart of Albenga’s historic center, the Torre della Ciò Tower stands as a medieval marvel dating back to the 14th century. This illustrious building testifies to the city’s past leadership, once serving as a watchtower and defense, a symbol of Albenga’s determination to safeguard its sovereignty and its people.

Today, the Ciò Tower invites visitors to climb its spiral staircase to the top. Here there is a panoramic view of Albenga’s historic center, a reward for those willing to tackle the climb.

Tower Coast

Just a stone’s throw away is the Costa Tower, a characteristic keep named after the aristocratic Costa family who owned it in the 17th century. The tower has witnessed countless pivotal moments in Albenga’s history, serving a variety of functions: from defensive tower to noble residence.

Although currently a private property, its imposing facade can be admired from the outside, making it a must-see landmark on any visit to the city.

Navone Tower

As we go deeper into the heart of Albenga, the Navone Tower emerges. A vestige of Albenga’s medieval past, Torre Navone was a central part of the city’s intricate network of defensive ramparts, a palpable reminder of the city’s relentless defense against invasion.

Torre Navone, now privately owned, is not open for public tours. However, its formidable profile, visible from various points in Albenga, hints at the city’s medieval past.

Beaches of Albenga


Albenga’s diverse beaches cater to a variety of travelers, including families, couples, and young people. Along the 1.5-kilometer coastline, with picturesque views of Gallinara Island, visitors can find a beach to suit their preferences.

Albenga also offers a dog friendly beach complete with amenities for your little friends.

In addition to its lovely beaches, Albenga is a strategic base for exploring some of the most beautiful locations in western Liguria, such as Bordighera, San Remo, Diano Marina, and Alassio. Soak up the sun and enjoy exploring the Ligurian Riviera when you visit Albenga.

Where to sleep in Albenga

In Albenga there is a wide choice of hotels, many B&Bs, room rentals, vacation homes and apartments for tourists.

This makes Albenga hotels and apartments especially popular for sea view rooms.

Here too, as in many places in Liguria, it is definitely advisable to book early to have the best possible choice.

How to get to Albenga

Reaching Albenga is very easy.

Along the A10, the Genoa-Ventimiglia highway, there is just the Albenga exit. From the tollbooth, all locations in the Albenga area can be reached in a few minutes.

The train is just as comfortable. Virtually all trains on the Genoa-Ventimiglia Line stop in Albenga, and the station is in the center of town.

The nearest airport is Genoa airport.

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