Celle Ligure is one of Italy's most renowned resorts of the Ligure di Ponente Riviera, near Savona, between Punta dell'Olmo and Punta della Madonnetta. It features a long sandy beach and includes the villages of Cassis, Costa, Ferrari, Natta, Sanda and Pecorile. It is also known for being the birthplace of Pope Sixtus IV, elected in 1471.
The town is divided into two districts, connected to each other by the seafront promenade "Lungomare della Crocetta": a modern area located East and the Old centre located West, which represents the first settlement developed along the stream Ghiare.
Recorded for the first time in an official document in 1014, which talks about the Aleramicis that in an earlier period had built a monastery in honour of San Benigno. The Marquis of Ponzone, descendants of Aleramo of Monferrato and relatives of the Doria, inherited the fief in the XII century and held it for two centuries, during which they often came in conflict with the rulers of Genoa and Savona, until the Lords of Celle swore allegiance with Savona. In the XIII century, the territory was under the dominion of the family Malocello until the lands were sold, in 1290, to the Republic of Genoa. In 1343, Genoa granted liberty to the Town Council. The sharp contrast with Savona in 1529 led to a war, during which Celle underwent a number of major damages: the port, and most of the ancient city walls were destroyed. During the same period the fear of an attack by pirates led Genoa to support the construction of two forts: one near the sea, called the Fortress of Levante, the second on the hill, called the Fortress of Ponente. In the XVII and XVIII centuries the town started to trade with the Americas, France and Spain, a period of great prosperity ended with Napoleon's conquest, which was followed by the annexation to the Kingdom of Sardinia and, finally, to the Kingdom of Italy.
Not to miss:
The Parish Church of San Michele Arcangelo, built in the XVII century on the ruins of an old medieval church of which only the original tower remains. It presents a particularly rich façade, embellished with columns, carved windows and doorways. Inside it preserves a XVI century altarpiece by Perino del Vaga, a pupil of Raphael.
The Oratory of St. Michael the Archangel of the XVI century, which is adjacent to the parish.
The Church of Our Lady of Consolation, located on the waterfront, has a characteristic two-tone façade.
The Parish Church of San Giorgio in Sanda.
The Tower of Bacci, restored in the XIX century and has a square plan.
The Tower of Babel.