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Halfway between Genoa and France, in the Ligurian Riviera delle Palme, Spotorno, due to its climate and its beautiful scenery, is an ideal holiday destination for both summer and winter holidays.
The city offers tourists, along with vast beaches, a promenade with palm trees and gardens, and the Marine Protected Area of Bergeggi with its fantastic Island is a precious starting point for fascinating nautical and naturalistic itineraries; snorkeling, canoeing, diving.
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The name derives from the Latin spelta with the suffix -urnum which forms the names of plant associations; the meaning is that of "place where spelled is cultivated" In the 12th century the village was under the dominion of the Del Carretto marquises and subsequently passed under the dominion of the bishop of Savona.
A military alliance between the soldiers of Noli, of Segno (now part of Vado Ligure) and of Genoa succeeded in carrying out an attack on the "bishop" village of Spotorno and its castle, linked to the municipality of Savona. However after this war experience Spotorno was however subjected to the diocese of Noli and the seaside village remained firmly in the hands of the bishop of Savona.
It was then Pope Urban VI to sell the fief of Spotorno (and the nearby Pietra Ligure) to the Republic of Genoa (in 1385) for the sum of 60,000 florins. Under the mayor of Genoa, Spotorno was incorporated under the control of Capo di Vado together with the main centers of Vado, Bergeggi and Noli.
The economy of the country was based mainly on maritime trade, carried out with boats called "flaps" able to go towards France, Sardinia and Sicily, on the construction of ships (brigantini above all) and on the production of lime, of which the remains of ancient furnaces.
With the fall of the Republic of Genoa (1797), in the wake of the French revolution and following the first Italian campaign by Napoleon Bonaparte, the territory of Spotorno returned from December 2, 1797 to the Letimbro Department, with its capital Savona, inside of the Ligurian Republic.
In 1815 it was incorporated into the Kingdom of Sardinia, as it established the Congress of Vienna in 1814, and later into the Kingdom of Italy from 1861. From 1859 to 1927 the territory was included in the VI district of Noli of the Savona district, part of the Province of Genoa. In 1927 the spotornese municipal territory also came under the newly established Province of Savona.
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Parish Church of the Santissima Annunziata, in the historic center, rededicated in 1694, preserves many valuable artistic works dating back to the 17th and 18th centuries:
There is news of a church dedicated to Santa Maria in some documents dating back to the year 1198 and again in 1446. The current title is mentioned for the first time in a pastoral visit of 1585 from which we learn that the church was divided into three aisles and had ten altars.
The church was re-consecrated in 1694 following interventions that changed its appearance to the current one. The floor is from 1751 and 17 sepulchres open on it, the oldest of which bears the date 1582. In 1798 the building was subject to depredations by Napoleon's troops who removed in total (between church and country chapels) over 40 kg of silver.
On February 16, 1814, Pope Pius VII returned from France where he had been a prisoner for a few hours.
Today the church houses some important pictorial works:
- Immacolata Concezione, by Giovanni Lorenzo Bertolotto
- Apparition of the Child Jesus to St. Philip Neri (1687), by Giovanni Andrea Carlone
- Baptism of Christ in the presence of Saint Lucia, probably by Bernardo Castello
- Madonna and Child with Saints Peter and Paul, by Giovanni Andrea De Ferrari
- Annunciation of the Virgin (1760), by Giuseppe Galeotti
- Madonna with the Child, Saint Peter, Saint Bernard and devotees and Madonna and Saints Joseph, Erasmus, Clare and the purgative souls, by Giovanni Battista Merano
- Madonna and Child with Saints Antonio da Padova and Francesco (1667), by Domenico Piola
- Torie della Madonna, by Giovanni Agostino Ratti.
Oratory of the Santissima Annunziata, site of the homonymous confraternity, probably from the mid-seventeenth century, it contains paintings by Giulio Benso and again by Domenico Piola and Giovanni Battista Merano and many ex voto of sailors. Napoleonic troops between 1794 and 1804.
The village of Spotorno was equipped, like other nearby villages, with a good defensive system thanks to the presence on the territory of a local castle - the first of which dates back to the 12th century, while the present quadrangular structure from the 16th century - and some sighting towers.
The sighting posts were instead built by the Republic of Genoa during the sixteenth century, including those of Sant'Antonio (to the east) and Coreallo (to the west), for greater control of the mountain territory and especially of the coast to avert the increasingly frequent raids by Saracen pirates.
Spotorno castle: The castle of Spotorno was a defensive building of the coastal municipality of the same name. The station is located in a semi-elevated position on a hill north of today's spotornese village.
Historical notes: The castle was built in a period before or during the feudal domination of the bishops of Savona, so much so that already in 1180 the fortress appears to be among the feudal properties of the Savona diocese.
Downed at the beginning of the 13th century and rebuilt in 1218, it was again destroyed in 1227 by the population of Noli and Segno, the latter faithful allies and supporters of Genoa.
Newly rebuilt in the current quadrangular forms between the 14th and 16th centuries, it became the property of the Municipality of Savona in 1333 and of the De Loterio family in the second half of the sixteenth century and which remained in possession until the outbreak of the First World War. Today the castle, which is located on the hill overlooking the village and subjected to protection by the Superintendency for Architectural Heritage since 1933, is in a state of ruin.
Among the municipal areas of Spotorno, Bergeggi, Noli, Quiliano, Vado Ligure and Vezzi Portio a site of community interest is present and preserved, proposed by the Natura 2000 network of Liguria, for its particular natural, faunistic and geological interest.
The site is located in the wooded area between Mount Mao, Rocca dei Corni and Monte Mortou in which Mediterranean maquis, grassy areas and agricultural cultivations insist.
Not far away, in the Borghetto S. Spirito area, you can visit the famous Toirano caves, important for the prehistoric rock figures and geological beauty.