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Laigueglia

Of all the charming places on the Riviera, Laigueglia is beyond doubt one of the most romantic and picturesque...

Laigueglia has the typical structure of the old fishing village, with one single narrow street (the local word for it is “caruggio”), and tall houses lining it on both sides, with just a few interruptions for the sunny piazzas that open straight on the beach.

Laigueglia today is not so different from the way it was in the glorious 18th Century, when the profits of coral fishing financed the building of a gorgeous rococo church with a scenic flight of steps and a glittering bell spire in multicoloured ceramic. When strolling along the beach, do not forget to go to the pier and turn your eyes on the fine  range of houses lining the seashore: the façades are painted in different shades of pastel colours with a fantastic pictorial effect, enhanced by the sunlight at sunset. But life in Laigueglia has not always been so idyllic: in the 16th and 17th Century Arab pirates pillaged the coast and often went ashore to take captives and asked high ransoms to set them free.

Every summer, in mid-August, one of those nights of terror is meticulously recreated in a colorful historic pageant, but with a happy ending: before leaving the beach, the “pirates” return the girls to their families... and enjoy the party. On the hills behind Laigueglia, half-hidden in the pinewoods, is the tiny, charming hamlet of Colla Micheri, with a spectacular view of the bay and a rustic, genuine Ligurian atmosphere.

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