Third largest city of the Liguria Region, Savona, situated on the West side (Ponente) of the Riviera, was founded by the Liguri Sabatii (a local colony) and dominated over the Ages by the Romans and the Byzantines. It is actually built where the first stone on the sea "Priamar" was placed by the Genoese in the XVI century, on the ruins of the old city, to build a fortress that is still well kept today. This strategic positioned and well constructed military complex that has been recently refurbished, hosts an important Art Collection offered by Sandro Pertini (President of the Italian Republic between 1978 and 1985) and an Archeological Civic Museum.
In the old town centre, Savona offers the atmosphere of a typical medieval district of the Liguria Region. The entrance is fortified by the towers of Corsi and Guarnieri, edified in the XII century with a tough aspect due to its roughly cut stones. At the back of these, the tallest and most elegant Civic Bell Tower of Brandale was built. Its large Bell, known as the "Campanassa", is one of the symbols of the city. Another one is the Tower of Leon Pancaldo, known as the "Torretta", which is one of the last pieces of the fortified walls, near to the old harbor.
There are a lot of noble mansions and buildings that face onto the caruggi (typical Genoese alleys) of the old city. Some host important museums such as: Palazzo Gavotti in Chabrol Square with the "Civic Art Gallery" and in the nearby 600' Cathedral, dedicated to Santa Maria Assunta, the "Church Treasury Museum". Walking through the Cloister of the Cathedral it is possible to reach the memorable Sistine Chapel, similar to the one in the Vatican City as it was commissioned by the Pope Sisto IV, who was born in Savona, as a sepulchre for his parents .
Savona offers a wide range of examples of Liberty architecture, the most important are: Palazzo dei Pavoni, located in the central street via Paleocapa, with splendid decorations "a laggioni" (majolica tiles); Palazzo Dellepiane, in Corso Italia and Palazzo dei Gatti in via Luigi Corsi, famous for the decoration combination of flower patterns and representations of cats.
Not to miss is the Chiabrera Theatre, in Piazza Diaz, which offers a white façade in Neoclassic style that highlights the elegance of the building.