Varazze, a charming coastal town on the Riviera delle Palme, is a delight waiting to be discovered. Its charm lies in the harmonized blend of historical riches, the sunny coastline, and the fascinating beauty of nature that unfolds in every corner.
Varazze is rich in history and antiquity. It is not only a place of sun, sea and sand, it transports you back in time, making you feel part of a centuries-old history.
The city is dotted with ancient villas, chapels, churches and fortresses dating back to the medieval period, showcasing unique Ligurian architecture.
Visitors can also get a taste of Varazze’s rich cultural heritage, celebrated through numerous festivals and annual events filled with traditional food, music and more.
No visit to Varazze would be complete without taking time to bask in the vibrant free life of its beaches.
Although renowned for its pebble beaches, the Varazze coastline also offers sandy beaches for all tastes.
The city is a popular surfing destination because of its constant surf breaks.
Varazze is also the gateway to experience the unspoiled and majestic beauty of nature: hiking trails through Beigua Natural Park reveal the region’s extraordinary flora and fauna.
For adrenaline lovers, there are several mountain bike trails that guarantee unforgettable thrills and adventures.
Whether you are a history buff, a nature lover, a food connoisseur or simply looking for a serene vacation, Varazze’s charm will draw you into its rhythm and invite you to immerse yourself in its authentic Italian spirit.
What to see in Varazze
If you are ready to embark on a trip outside the usual tourist routes, then this guide is right for you. As we explore the must-see sites, we will not only delve into the city’s cultural heritage, but also introduce you to the incredible natural wonders that frame this sun-kissed corner of Italy.
The municipality of Varazze hides within its borders numerous attractions and places of interest, including:
Historic Center of Varazze
Varazze is a city that perfectly blends its rich cultural heritage with the natural beauty of the Ligurian Riviera. However, the true heart and soul of this city lies in the cobblestone streets of its historic center, a place where time seems to have blissfully stood still.
A walk through the historic center of Varazze, with its well-preserved medieval architecture and charm, gives a glimpse of a simpler time.
The historic center is graced with a series of old houses, chapels, and churches, each with its own unique backdrop. Noteworthy among these is The Church of St. Ambrose, a 16th-century masterpiece of late Renaissance style. Its breathtaking frescoes, wood carvings, and beautiful altar will surely captivate every visitor.
One of the most enchanting aspects of Varazze’s historic center is its labyrinthine network of narrow streets, known as Caruggi. These alleys are filled with small stores, offices and homes, all nestled together in a friendly and welcoming community. A leisurely exploration of these winding streets can lead to numerous hidden gems, from quaint cafes and traditional boutiques to picturesque squares and serene corners.
Your history-rich journey through the historic center of Varazze will not be complete without delighting in the local cuisine. The old town is home to a number of trattorias, where you can enjoy authentic Ligurian dishes such as pesto al Genovese, focaccia with cheese, and freshly caught fish specialties.
One of the jewels in the crown of the charming coastal town of Varazze is undoubtedly the Lungomare Europa, an illustrious route that offers a truly unique mix of breathtaking views, cultural immersion and serene relaxation.
The Lungomare Europa is an old railway track converted into a spectacular waterfront promenade that stretches for about 5 kilometers, connecting Varazze to Cogoleto. Lined with bike path, trail and sandy beaches, it offers unspoiled views of the sparkling Ligurian Sea, making it an ideal mix of nature, relaxation and physical activity.
A walk or bike ride along the Europa Promenade offers uninterrupted views of the azure seascape, where waves dance gracefully on the pebbly shoreline. But the enchantment does not end there. The route is dotted with small beaches, intriguing caves and even a natural rock bridge, known as the Queen’s Arch, that perfectly frames the boundless blue beyond, creating an Instagram-worthy view.
From leisurely walks and picnics on secluded beaches to cycling and skating on the scenic highway-the options for outdoor activities are immense. The trail is remarkably inclusive, equipped to accommodate joggers, cyclists and even wheelchair users.
As the day ends on Varazze, the Lungomare Europa turns into a perfect setting to watch the sunset.
Waterfront between Varazze and Celle Ligure
The Varazze-Celle Ligure Promenade is a 4-kilometer promenade enclosed by the seductive beauty of the Mediterranean Sea on one side and the lush greenery of the Ligurian landscape on the other. The footbridge, frequented by tourists and locals alike, offers unspoiled views of the coast as it connects the quaint towns of Varazze and Celle Ligure.
Your walk will be shaded by pine and eucalyptus trees, providing a refreshing refuge from the sun and filling the air with their fresh aroma.
Parallel to the trail are secluded beaches, perfect for those seeking a quiet retreat or a fun family day at the beach.
Nestled in the fascinating landscapes of the Ligurian Alps, Beigua Park is a treasure trove of natural beauty. Extending over an area of 397 square kilometers, this regional nature park is recognized as a UNESCO Global Geopark.
Offering an engaging environment of diverse flora and fauna along with intriguing geological sites, the park is a paradise for nature lovers and geotourists.
The park is home to remarkable biodiversity, presenting a splendid variety of flora. It boasts a wide range of ecosystems, from lush Mediterranean shrubs and fragrant coniferous forests to extensive heathlands and flowery meadows. These ecosystems are home to thousands of plant species, some of which are endemic to the area.
Equally remarkable for its wildlife richness is Beigua Park. Here you are likely to encounter a wide variety of raptors, including the elusive peregrine falcon, which finds its natural habitat within the park. You can also find many resident mammals, such as roe deer, wild boar and, if you are lucky, the elusive Italian wolf.
Recognized as a Global Geopark under the auspices of UNESCO, Beigua Park is a living museum of geology and history. It exhibits an amazing variety of geological formations, minerals and fossils that tell a 200-million-year timeline.
For adventure seekers, the park offers an extensive network of trails. Whether trekking, mountain biking, horseback riding or just a leisurely stroll, there is a trail for everyone. Guided tours and educational workshops are also available, which are another enriching way to explore this beautiful natural park.
Shrine of Our Lady of the Guard
Perched in the hills overlooking the sparkling Ligurian Sea, the Sanctuary of Our Lady of the Guard in Varazze captivates visitors with an extraordinary blend of spirituality, history, and panoramic views.
It is located on the summit of Mount Grosso at an altitude of 402 meters. To reach it you have to walk for about an hour after parking your car near a barrier.
The hilly location offers incredible views, with the lush hills and valleys blending seamlessly with the cerulean waters of the coast. It is a perfect place for photography enthusiasts or simply for those seeking a quiet moment.
The journey to the shrine can also be an exhilarating adventure, as several hiking trails lead from Varazze up the hill. Some of these trekking routes pass through lush forests, ancient ruins and viewpoints, each offering a majestic experience that complements the serenity of the sanctuary.
Beaches of Varazze
An absolutely delightful blend of pristine sand and clear waters, Varazze’s beaches offer an invigorating coastal escape, enhanced by the typical Ligurian backdrop.
Varazze beach is full of bathing establishments and equipped free beaches that offer all kinds of services to visitors.
You will find beaches perfect for relaxing in the sun, as well as beaches offering facilities and equipment for surfing and water sports. If you are looking for a sports vacation, the right beach for you is located near the mariners’ pier.
As the day goes on, these beaches present a majestic spectacle; the sunset, not to be missed while enjoying an aperitif.
Soak up the sun and enjoy exploring the Ligurian Riviera when you visit Varazze.
Where to sleep in Varazze
In Varazze there is a wide choice of hotels, many B&Bs, room rentals, vacation homes and apartments for tourists.
This makes Varazze’s 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 Varazze
Reaching Varazze is very easy.
Along the A10, the Genoa-Ventimiglia highway, there is just the Varazze exit. From the toll gate, the city center can be reached in a few minutes.
The train is just as comfortable. Virtually all trains on the Genoa-Ventimiglia Line stop in Varazze, and the station is in the center of town.
The nearest airport is Genoa airport.
ACCOMMODATIONS IN VARAZZE
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