The small market town of ALBENGA is one of the most attractive places along this part of the Ligurian coast, an ex-port whose estuary silted up long ago but left a wanderable old quarter, still within medieval walls and following the grid pattern of its ancient Roman predecessor, Albingaunum.

In the centre of town, Piazza San Michele is home to the elegant cathedral, the main part of which was built in the eleventh century and enlarged in the early fourteenth. Just beyond, in the Torre Comunale, the Museo Civico Ingauno is home to an array of Roman masonry and fragments, including a patch of first-century mosaic floor. Around the corner from the museum, the ingenious fifth-century baptistry combines a ten-sided exterior with an octagonal interior. Inside are fragmentary mosaics showing the Apostles represented by twelve doves. Behind the baptistry to the north, the archbishop’s palace houses the diverting Museo Diocesano, Via Episcopio 5, where there are paintings by Lanfranco and Guido Reni. The archbishop’s partially frescoed bedchamber, next door to his private chapel, is also decorated with fifteenth-century frescoes. A few metres from here, at the junction of Via Medaglie d’Oro and Via Ricci, the thirteenth-century Loggia dei Quattro Canti marks the centre of the Roman town, while some 500m further north, beyond Piazza Garibaldi and along Viale Pontelungo, is the elegant, arcaded Pontelungo bridge. Built in the twelfth century to cross the river, which shifted course soon afterwards, it now makes an odd sight.

In the opposite direction, five minutes’ walk beyond the train station, lies Albenga’s seafront and beaches – mostly sandy and with a couple of reasonable free sections.

Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners

Italy features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

20 picturesque Christmas destinations

20 picturesque Christmas destinations

Dreaming of a trip this Christmas? We're here to help. From glittering cities to a few snowy escapes, here are 20 classic destinations for a festive break. …

12 Dec 2017 • Rough Guides Editors camera_alt Gallery
Discovering Palermo: why you should give Sicily’s capital a chance

Discovering Palermo: why you should give Sicily’s capital a chance

A city of grit and forgotten grandeur, for too long Palermo has resigned itself to being a film set of crumbling palaces, sun-worn facades and pockmarked backst…

08 Dec 2017 • Olivia Rawes insert_drive_file Article
19 places to get utterly lost

19 places to get utterly lost

One of the great joys of travelling is stumbling across unexpected places, wandering without a single destination in mind and embracing the journey. These place…

12 Sep 2017 • Keith Drew camera_alt Gallery
View more featureschevron_right