Diano Castello is a town in the province of Imperia ,perched on a hill and situated in the hinterland of Diano Marina, surrounded by vineyards, olive trees and palms. The town's name derives from the Latin words Castrum Diani. Devoted to agriculture (olive trees and the cultivation of vines that produce a fine Vermentino wine), Diano Castello features the character of a medieval town with arcades, narrow alleys and covered passages, fortified city walls and four entrance gates, of which remains are still visible.
It was founded by the inhabitants of the coast, that had to escape from the raids of Saracen pirates around the X century. It was part of the domain of the Clavesana Family until the second half of 1100, when the inhabitants of the village and the entire valley proclaimed themselves autonomous communities under the name "Communitas Diani". Subsequently it was incorporated in the dominions of the Republic of Genoa and shared the fate of Meloria, participating in the famous battle in 1284. During the mid XVIII century the town submitted the occupation of the Austro-Hungarian troups and fifty years later by the soldiers of Napoleon. It was then inserted into the Kingdom of Sardinia, after the Congress of Vienna and later, into the Kingdom of Italy, newly established in 1861. It suffered considerable damage as a result of the disastrous earthquake of 1887.
Not to miss:
The Church of St. Nicholas of Bari was built in the XVIII century in Baroque style by Marvaldi. It houses a fine inlaid marble altar, a choir of the XVIII century and the wooden crucifix by Maragliano. From the front courtyard it is possible to admire the surrounding hills and the sea.
The Church of San Giovanni Battista, built in Romanesque style and features a single longitudinal plan nave. It is a rare example of archways and fine decorations of this style in this specific area.
The Church of Santa Maria degli Angeli.
The Church of Santa Maria Assunta, built in the XII century in Romanesque style, inside it preserves a fresco dating from the XV century.
The Oratory of San Bernardino and Santa Croce, built in the Late Middle Ages and restored in the XVII century.
The austere Convent of the Franciscan friars of the XVI century, with the altarpiece by Giovanni Battista Carlone.
The Oratory of San Mauro in the village of Varcavello and preserves inside an altarpiece of Ramoino.
The Town Hall, built in the XV century and features a fresco on the façade that represents the victory of Genoa in the Battle of Meloria.