According to the legend, Alassio takes its name from Adelasia, daughter of the German Emperor, Otto the Great, who eloped here with her beloved Aleramus and took shelter in these hills. The German princess was the first, but surely not the last of the Northern visitors to fall in love with this corner of the Riviera.
The pleasant climate, mild throughout the year, the silvery green of olive trees, the colourful gardens sloping down to the seashore, the beach of golden sand, all these outstanding features make this medieval town one of the Ligurian seaside resorts most favoured by Italians and foreigners. In the steps of Lord Byron, who loved the place immensely, wealthy and cultured Britons “discovered” Alassio at the end of the 19th Century and promoted its very rapid growth by building the beautiful promenade, several rich villas and gardens on the hills and establishing sporting and cultural institutions.
More tourists came from Northern Europe and international fame changed Alassio from a quiet fishing village into an elegant and swinging town. Not to be missed is the long charming promenade, shaded by tall palms and dark-green pines, that runs along the beach for over 3 kms always in sight of the blue bay that embraces Alassio and Laigueglia.
Picturesque and teeming with life, the “budello” is the twisty paved road that runs through downtown Alassio. Shopping here, among lofty palaces and rustic fishermens’ houses, is one of the favourite activities of vacationers. Starting from the Spanish bastion at the eastern end of the city, another pleasant walk, called “The Winter Promenade” will take you to the Yachting Port, just beside the tiny Chapel by the Sea.
Regattas and offshore competitions are numerous in the summer months. From the hills, are innumerable panoramic views: Solva and Moglio, quiet, small villages full of flowery gardens, the “balcony” of Santa Croce, and the Church of Nostra Signora della Guardia, high on the mountaintop.