Pietra Ligure Travel GuideEdit This The best resource for sights, hotels, restaurants, bars, what to do and see
Situated on the Riviera to the west of Capo Caprazoppa, it was a Byzantine stronghold with the name of Castrum Petrae, perched like an eagle’s aerie in a picturesque setting on a wild and isolated limestone crag (“la Pietra”) to the east of the present town. In the twelfth century the castrum passed to the bishop of Albenga, who had it rebuilt, and in 1385 it was sold to Genoa by Pope Urban VII. Recently the fortress has been consolidated and its rooms used to house exhibitions of porcelain, prints and antique furniture. It also contains an extensive library with a bar and restaurant. The oldest of the monuments documenting Pietra Ligure’s history is the oratory of the Bianchi, dating from the tenth century and now used as an auditorium, located on the characteristic Piazza Vecchia or Piazza del Mercato. It used to be the parish church, dedicated to the town’s patron saint, Nicholas, and was restructured in the baroque era. The interior is divided into a nave and two aisles with columns made of local stone. It now houses oil measures from the republic of Genoa and the remains of a medieval well that used to be located in the square in front. The campanile still has the sacred bell that, according to tradition, was rung by the hand of St. Nicholas to announce the end of the outbreak of plague in 1525. The present parish church of San Nicolò dates from the second half of the eighteenth century: the interior, roofed by a fine, frescoed vault, is a huge rectangular space surrounded by chapels of different sizes. It contains a collection of pictures and a wooden choir from the sixteenth century, which used to be in Marseilles Cathedral. In addition to being a popular summer vacation resort, Pietra Ligure is famous for its shipyard and hospital facilities, which include the complex of Santa Corona, a renowned rehabilitation center.