Western Riviera, Genoa
The Western Genoese district has been for 150 tears the industrial pole of the city and the ancient maritime and agricultural boroughs became lively industrial centres.
Prà and Voltri still keeps thei building yards and fruit and vegetables gardens and their historic centres are well preserved. At the westernmost edge of the city of Genoa, Vesima is a well known summer bathing place, with its beautiful pebble beach and limpid sea.
In the second half of the 19th century Pegli was a fashionable holiday resort, where the smartest English, German, Russian and Swiss tourists spent winter time. They loved the beautiful seafront, the gardens, the luxury hotels, that haven't so much changed in the meantime. Once upon a time, also Acquasanta, a small village above Voltri, was a famous spa.
Today, at the feast of Assumption, the Ligurian confraternities gather in the Sanctuary and show off their huge decorated Crucifixes.
In the inland of Pegli, close to seaside, there is a wild, mountain place.
An interesting route goes up to Val Varenna, passing by old paper mills and the small lakes and falls of Rio Gandolfi, amid an unpoulluted, enchanting landscape.
Marques Ignazio Pallavicini and Duchess Maria Brignole Sale di Galliera bequeathed to the city of Genoa their magnificient villas and parks. Villa Pallavicini houses the Museo Civico di Archeologia Ligure (Archaeological Museum) and is surrounded by a Romantic park, planned in the 19th century as the background of a fairy-tale.
The main route climbs to the hill passing by exotic and medieval buildings, grottoes, lakes and age-old trees.
At Pegli there is also the Museo Navale (Maritime Museum) housed in the Villa Centurione Doria, that once belonged to a relative of Andrea Doria.
The Villa Duchessa di Galliera at Voltri boasts the most extensive Genoese park, with Italianate gardens, woods and meadows where deer and tibetan kids live. At the top of the hill is the Sanctuary delle Grazie, where Duchess Maria is buried.