After having taken in all the art and culture in Pisa and Lucca, we spent the last days of our holiday relaxing in the beautiful town of Arenzano in the province of Genoa.
If you are wondering why we chose Arenzano, it’s because when I was a child, I used to spend holidays here and I hold fond memories of it. Arenzano has 11,500 residents and it is never too crowded. In addition, it is a well-kept, clean town, suitable for families. I also love it because of the magnificent villa and park- Villa Negrotta Cambiaso.
As you probably know, Liguria is not particularly famous for its nightlife, but rather, thanks to its climate, it is a lovely place for families, seniors and even young couples who just want to relax.
Reaching Arenzano is easy. It has its own highway junction on the A10 and a stop on the Genoa-Ventimiglia railway line.
Due to the mild weather, you can visit all year round. When I was a child, my family and I usually spent our winter holiday here and it was never too cold. It’s warm in the summer, but never humid.
What to See and Do
The landscape surrounding Arenzano is the perfect combination of the mountains and sea. It is the ideal destination for those who want to diversify their holiday. You can choose between walking through the Beigua Natural Park or on the stony beaches. You can hike or relax and sunbathe.
Villa Negrotto Cambiaso
In my opinion, the most characteristic part of Arenzano is the Villa Negrotto Cambiaso with its beautiful park. Originally, it was a watchtower but in the 16th century, the Pallavicino noble family decided to enlarge it. At the end of the 19th century, Marquess Luisa Sauli Pallavicino refurbished the villa and the fields around it.
Nowadays the villa is the seat of the municipality and a recent restoration has brought to light the splendor of the frescoed coats of arms, both below the battlements of the tower and around the windows of the first floor.
The park of the villa is public. It is an example of a romantic English garden. According to this model, nature must be wild and frighten the visitor precisely because of the apparent lack of regularity. In order to follow this model, the architect designed artificial pools, winding streams, and terraces. You can see unusual trees, cluster pines, palm trees, and an ancient cedar tree. Several animals live in the park, such as peacocks and turtles. On the southern side, there is also a well-equipped playground for children.
In the park, there is a medieval village (not a real one), but the result of a modern renovation of preexisting buildings commissioned by Marquess Luisa. The village is connected to the villa by walkways.
An architectural element of particular value is the greenhouse, which was commissioned by the marquise Matilda Negrotto Cambiaso in the 20th century. Today it often hosts exhibitions and flower shows.
Other beautiful villas in Arenzano include Villa Maddalena, Villa Mina near the church of Saints Nazario and Celso, Villa Arosio and Villa Figoli with its Italian garden park of about 35,000 m².
Enjoying the Outdoors
You can enjoy the cycling path built on the old track of the Genoa-Ventimiglia railway line, which connects the village to the town of Cogoleto. If you like diving, I suggest you visit the port of Arenzano where you will find the wreck of the oil tanker Haven, which sank in 1991.
The most famous event in Arenzano is the international marathon Mari & Monti, which is usually scheduled in September.
During your visit to this village, I suggest you taste the local specialty Focaccia di Arenzano. It is like the traditional Genoese focaccia, but it is topped with stracchino cheese.
Copyright photos: www.comune.arenzano.ge.it; www.footgolfliguria.it; www.arenzanoturismo.it