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.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Italy features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

24 breaks for bookworms

24 breaks for bookworms

1. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas In 1971, fuelled by a cornucopia of drugs, Hunter S. Thompson set off for Las Vegas on his “savage journey to the heart of …

02 Mar 2017 • Eleanor Aldridge camera_alt Gallery
26 awe-inspiring architectural wonders

26 awe-inspiring architectural wonders

From ancient temples to hyper-modern skyscrapers, these are just a few of the world's most incredible architectural wonders. Whether you're looking to wander l…

01 Feb 2017 • Rough Guides Editors camera_alt Gallery
The best places to get off the tourist trail in Rome 

The best places to get off the tourist trail in Rome 

Ticked off Rome’s big sights and wondering where to go next? Natasha Foges picks some of the city’s off-the-beaten track highlights. Lose yourself in the Q…

25 Jan 2017 • Natasha Foges insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month