Levanto

Levanto is divided into two parts: the old town, which is formed around the church of Sant’Andrea, and the new town, which developed in the fifteenth century on the plain of the River Ghiararo. The territory extends from the coast up to the 875 metres altitude of Monte Bardellone, passing through a number of municipal districts, some of them very old and hidden away among the vineyards and olive groves.

Lavaggiorosso is a very interesting rural centre; Montale is perhaps where the founders of Levanto originally came from. The coastal town belonged to Genoa for many centuries: it was always loyal to the Republic of Genoa, which repaid this loyalty by making it the headquarters of a very important Captaincy that extended its jurisdiction from Moneglia to Monterosso and the Vara valley.
There are many villas in the old town centre, most from the seventeenth and eighteenth century, when many noble Genoese families chose Levanto as their place of summer residence: one of these is Palazzo Vannoni, which is situated opposite the town hall and incorporates the former convent of the Poor Clares. The villa of Santa Caterina is an older building. The town’s most popular meeting-place is Piazza della Loggia.
The church of Sant’Andrea dates from the thirteenth century but the parish church of San Siro in Montale is much older (sixth century). The church of San Nicolò in Chiesanuova was built in the twelfth century. The Franciscan monastery of the Annunziata dates back to the fifteenth century. The former Augustinian monastery has been turned into a hostel and auditorium for the Jubilee Year: some interesting frescoes were discovered during restoration work and these are now being studied by experts. The oratory of San Giacomo preserves a fifteenth-century bas-relief, which has been chosen as the Jubilee symbol for Liguria.
The red marble and serpentine quarries were once very busy, but today only one is still being worked. The local sports facilities are excellent: football pitches and tennis courts, an athletics track, a swimming pool and a bowling green. The beaches are fully equipped for windsurfing and beach volleyball enthusiasts, although Levanto is best known for surfing in the Mesco area.
Besides the excellent fish dishes, a dish called “gattafin” is the best-known local speciality: it is made with ravioli stuffed with herbs fried in olive oil.
Levanto was the birthplace of the cartographer Matteo Vinzoni and the botanist Domenico Viviani, both of whom lived in the eighteenth century.

Source: turismoinliguria.it


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