For anyone reaching the Riviera from the other side of the mountain ridge the Apennine landscape presents him with an unexpected moment of astonishment: the greyness of fog fades away, the sky turns blue and the deep blue of the sea peeps out on the horizon. In a moment the promontory of Arenzano appears in all its beauty to disclose the beauties of the Western Ligurian Riviera.
Arenzano stands in an inlet of the Ligurian coast which is closed to the West by the promontory of Saint Martino Cape, an ancient terrace on the sea which nowadays gives hospitality to the tourist harbour and the golf club. The mountain spurs, which surround the town to the North rise so close to the coast line to outline a suggestive landscape with breathtaking views on the gulf. The Apennine watershed comes closest to the sea at this point.
An ancient fishing village, thanks to its particular orography, which mitigates the climate, and to its lucky geographical position located in the centre of the Ligurian coast, gradually turned into a seaside resort towards the end of the eighteenth century and became a fashionable tourist attraction. The noble residences (Villa Gramatica and the Figoli and Negrotto Cambiaso Parks) bear witness to a prestigious past. Thanks to the high quality of life, in recent decades Arenzano has become a residential centre and it figures among the Ligurian centres that show positive population trends.
The town is universally known for the Sanctuary of the “Bambino di Praga”, one of the most popular centres of devotion in Liguria. The Sanctuary “N.S. Annunziata delle Olivete” (1700), located on a picturesque hill among the olive trees, witnesses the sailors’ ancient devotion to the Virgin. The baroque church of SS. Nazario e Celso (1600), partially rebuilt after the last world war, is flanked by the Santa Chiara Oratory(1500). At “Casone”, a factory from the seventeenth century characterized by a reversed hull-shape roof, nowadays restructured, is home to Muvita, the first science centre in Italy dedicated exclusively to the relationship between man, energy and climate.