The ancient Villa dei Pellegrini village is part of the seven districts of Borgomaro, the province of Imperia. It is a small urban settlement with scattered houses between the olive trees on terraces built on dry stone walls, which are small spaces stolen with enormous efforts, strong commitment and determination from rocks despite the rough mountain territory. In fact, the stones that create the terraces were transported by shoulder along the ridge. The result is a perfect combination between arts craft and nature. The village, which lies between Maro Castello and Villa San Pietro, originally received its unique economic resource from the cultivation of olive trees, but over the ages it added to its activities, a new source of wealth, cattle raising, which is practiced in an intensive way. From the main center departs a narrow road that leads to the Shrine of Our Lady of the Snow. The town of Villas San Sebastian has two churches: the Parish Church entitled to Saints Nazario and Celso and the Churcn entitled to San Sebastian. The first is situated along a mule track that connects the town to Borgomaro and Maro Castello. The church is dedicated to Saints Nazario and Celso, that during the early and difficult years of the spreading of Christianity, practiced their work of evangelization in this part of Liguria, due to the fact that most inhabitants were firmly pagan. The second, built in the XV century, was restored in a Baroque style. The village is well known, as indeed the whole area, for the production and sale of precious olive oil.
From the historical point of view, the village has suffered the vicissitudes experienced by the entire valley of Maro.
Not to miss:
The Church of Saints Nazario and Celso is one of the most important buildings in the area. Around the year 1000, in their honor, the residents built a magnificent church that was a reference point for the valley of Maro. It was church with jurisdiction over fourteen villages. The interior features one major nave and two aisles, archways with columns with capitals in black stone and a special multicolour display. Outside there are highlighted sections of the original Romanesque walls and of particular interest is the beautiful black stone portal with precious decorations.
The Church of San Sebastiano, dating from the XV century, features a Bell tower composed of two elements: the first simply decorated with pilasters, and a second one that stands on the hill nearby.
The Sanctuary of Our Lady of the Snow which houses a precious XVII century marble statue depicting the Madonna and Child.