Zuccarello is a small village on the Nera river among the wooded valleys in a quiet part of Liguria to the north-west of Albenga. The village is inscribed as one of the 'most beautiful villages in Italy'.
The village more or less follows one main street with just a few smaller streets off to the sides. so you won't get lost or disoriented visiting Zuccarello!
Although it is quite small, Zuccarello has a few sites of interest - most dating from the period between the 14th and 17th centuries when the town was the capital of a small state called the 'Marchesato di Zuccarello'.
Start your visit in the historic centre with its narrow paved streets which in places are lined by ancient arcades (sheltered areas entered by the arches along the road). There are several religious monuments that you will come across here in Zuccarello:
- the 13th century Church of Saint Bartholomew, dating from the earliest origins of the village. The church tower features arches in the stone that become more elaborate with each level.
- still in the centre of Zuccarello, in the Chapel of Saint Anthony Abbot there are some early medieval frescoes.
- the third religious monument in the centre is the Oratory of Santa Maria Rising and San Carlo, more recent than the other churches having been built in the 17th century.
- you can see more medieval frescoes in the chapel and church near the cemetery
You will also come across various other artefacts from the middle ages, such as ancient doorways that originally controlled access to the town centre, a medieval tower, the ancient bridge across the river, covered passages and other small architectural highlights. The Palazzo Marchionale is one of the most important ancient houses in Zuccarello, with a local peace treaty signed here between Genoa and Finale in 1459.
The ruined castle on the hill above Zuccarello is also very ancient, from the early 13th century or earlier, and perhaps stood here before the village itself. The castle was built to protect and control movement along the Nera Valley.
Most visitors will want to combine a trip to Zuccarello with a visit to Castelvecchio di Rocca Barbena, another small medieval village a few kilometres further to the north.
You can find more local travel ideas in the Liguria guide.