In Liguria, a few kilometers from the lively Genoa and the unmissable Cinque Terre, we find Chiavari, a real surprise overlooking the Gulf of Tigullio and one of the most important centers of the Eastern Riviera.
But why do we define Chiavari as “real surprise?”
Simple: Chiavari has kept perfectly intact its peculiarities and offers us a unique and authentic experience thanks to which we can feel part of the place and experience first-hand the typical aspects that characterize it.
Chiavari welcomes us just as a surprise to be discovered slowly while we immerse ourselves in its atmosphere almost of other times and we get in contact with a Ligurian city that recalls, thanks to the conformation of its airy historic center embellished by about 3 kilometers of medieval arcades, churches, monuments and squares, the typical Piedmontese or Lombard cities.
Yet the Ligurian atmosphere returns in the bright colors of the houses and in the architecture of the noble palaces that refer to the elegance of the palaces of the historic center of Genoa.
The Noble Buildings
The numerous Chiavarese noble buildings are located along Via Raggio and via Ravaschieri and, in addition to the architectural beauty, they also offer museums, historical archives, paintings, sculptures and memorabilia to the public.
Among the most fascinating historical buildings, for their history and their architecture, we remember the monumental Palazzo Ravaschieri, Palazzo dei “Portici Neri” and Palazzo Rocca.
The charm of Chiavari is already shown at the first impact with the airiness of the Piazza Nostra Signora dell’Orto, at the entrance of the historical center, square on which stands the monumental Cathedral of the same name, one of the most famous Ligurian sanctuaries, almost reminiscent of a temple Greek and retains a substantial artistic heritage.
On the square we also admire Palazzo Bianco, in neoclassical style, the Town Hall.
The Historical Shops
We enter the city center and walk leisurely under the typical arcades that reveal a sense of antiquity and tradition thanks to their arches and floors decorated with mosaics.
Here, our gaze is captured by the many historical shops of the early twentieth century that, alive and precious testimony of a shining past, offer us authentic products and experiences that it is impossible to find elsewhere.
Under the Chiavarese arcades, we can admire, for example, a “tripperia”, a unique and historic shop, where we can observe the skilful craftsmanship behind the tripe (a fractal used in gastronomy and counted among the typical products of the Liguria region).
Then, we find a jewelry shop of the late nineteenth century with the windows of pine wood that rotate and open onto the alley.
This jewelry shop still retains a metal track that served to move the sales counter and leave room for the ‘move’ of the three mobile windows that, at the end of the day, they were placed in the back of the shop.
Moreover, we meet a 1920s-style wooden-furnished wine bar where you can stop and enjoy the best of Ligurian wine production in a warm and welcoming location.
Another pride of the historical center of Chiavari is a “cereria” dating back to the sixteenth century that still today produces candles with traditional methods and the workshop of a skilled woodcarver who, among the many wonders, also creates poles for boats and he is the last to devote himself to this kind of activity.
There are also typical trattorias where we can savor the unmissable dishes of the Ligurian culinary tradition such as farinata (a very low salted cake, prepared with chickpea flour, water, salt and extra virgin olive oil) served hot just out of wood-fired ovens!
In the city cafés we can not help but enjoy the “Sorrisi di Chiavari“, chocolates with liqueur produced only here and nowhere to be found in supermarkets.
And the excellence does not end here.
Chiavari is a city for connoisseurs who like to live authentic experiences and we, as good connoisseurs, certainly do not give up looking around the colorful stalls of the local market, which, every morning from Monday to Friday and all day during Saturday, offer the best fruit and vegetables in the evocative setting of Piazza Mazzini embellished by the monument dedicated to the patriot Cesare Mazzini and the refined architecture of today’s Justice’s Court.
And we do not even give up on a tour of the fish market that offers the catch of the day.
Chiavari is a quality destination for quality tourism from which you return home enriched by experiences and authentic sensations that remain indelible before your eyes and heart.
More Tips and ideas?