Visit Campo Ligure
Campo Ligure is a small town in central Liguria (north-west Italy), in the hills to the north-west of Genoa and close to the border with the Piedmont region.
It is true that Campo Ligure is not a major tourist destination, but there are a few sites of interest to see here if you are in the region.
Exploring Campo Ligure
The historic centre of Campo Ligure, and the part that is of interest to visitors, is the area along the river and to the east of the old (pedestrian only) stone bridge across the Stura river. This area is pedestrianised and based around roads Via Giuseppe Saracco and Via della Giustizia and the Piazza Vittorio Emanuele between these two streets.
The Campo Ligure Tourist Office is also here, at 5 Via della Giustizia.
The bridge itself appears ancient, but while it is true that a bridge has stood in this location for more than 1000 years the version we see today is actually an 19th century reconstruction - the most recent of several as flood damage has damaged earlier versions.
This part of Campo Ligure is very typical of country towns of the region, with the narrow streets lined with houses and occasional shops that look as if they haven't changed at all in the last 50 years, the faded paintwork and sleeping cats adding to the charm.
Note that Campo Ligure is officially classified as one of the 'most beautiful villages in Italy'.
Monuments of note here in the centre of Campo Ligure include the 14th-17th century Palazzo Spinola with an impressive facade and on Piazza Vittorio Emanuele. There are two main religious monuments: the town church, called the Church of the Natività di Maria Vergine and on the same square as the Palazzo Spinola, and the Oratory of Nostra Signora Assunta. Both churches are in the baroque style of the 18th century having been renovated at that time.
From various places in the town you will get a view of the most important historic monument here. The castle, on a hill behind the town, dates from the early 14th century although the round tower in the centre of the castle is a more recent addition.
Just below the castle there is a quite recent addition to the town: the Tugnin Garden is a sort of open-air art gallery of wooden sculptures by local artist Gianfranco Timossi arranged in a natural environment - you might well find these fascinating artworks occupy as much time during your visit as the castle itself!
Back in Campo Ligure town centre and near the other end of the old stone bridge there is another church. This is actually one of the oldest churches in Campo Ligure, dating from the 12th century, but you might find that hard to believe as the church was rebuilt in the middle of the 20th century and now looks quite modern.
Close to Campo Ligure, garden enthusiasts will want to visit the Botanical Gardens at Pratorondanino. Established in the 1970's as a center for orchids the gardens now also feature lots of other species of trees and shrubs typical of those found in the mountains of Italy and in many other diverse environments. Note that the gardens are closed all winter and best visited during the period from May to July.