According to some historical sources, the town's name derives from the Latin word: Servant. Located in the province of Imperia, the town presents itself as a colorful, compact cluster of houses near the incomparable beauty of its sea. The tall, narrow houses, painted in the typical multi colors of the Ligurian villages, all on different levels and with different angles, that all intersect with the Parish church situated on the top of the village. In the oldest part of the town, called "Castle", there are terraces, narrow streets, old buildings connected by arches, while in the most recent, called "Borgo", there is a presence of wider streets, green zones and fine buildings.
In 181 BC the territory was conquered by the Romans and became a center of great importance due to its strategic location. The medieval village was built in 1100 around the castle Clavesana erected in the highest point of the centre. The full development was reached around the XIV century, when the cemtre was surrounded by fortified walls, of which remains are still visible. In 1204 it was proclaimed a free city and reclaimed protection to the Republic of Genoa. A century later the town was assigned to the Knights of Malta and after only one year, it was sold to the Doria Family. Conquered by the Marquis of Carretto, Cervo Ligure returned to the Republic of Genoa in 1384.
In the XVI century it submitted numerous attacks by the Saracens, drawn by the high quantity of coral caught in the Ligurian Sea and its commerce in Sardinia and Corsica.
Not to miss:
The Church of St. Nicholas of Tolentino, rebuilt several times and abandoned in the XV century. When the lands were ceded to the Augustinian friars in 1600, they provided to the restoration and build a convent, that they entitled to Santa Maria delle Grazie.
The VII century palace Morchio with its fine slate portal, now seat of the Town Hall and the XVIII century palace Citati enriched by precious frescoes by the painter Francesco Carrega and the '500 Pretoria House.
The Church, entitled to Saint John the Baptist, also known as the Corallini, built in 1686 between castle and town. It is an very expressive example of Baroque style, decorated with sculptures and stuccos. It features a concave façade and a narrow outline, overlooking a courtyard made of colorful pebbles. The elegant Bell Tower, XVIII century, was built on a design by the painter Francesco Carrega. Inside the Church preserves a marble pulpit of 1500, a wooden crucifix by Maragliano, the tabernacle of holy oils in marble of 1400, the baptismal font of 1600.
The Oratory of St. Catherine, built in the XIII century as a Parish Church. Countless frescoes of 1500.
The castle of Clavesana, built in the XIII century by incorporating a pre-existing tower in Romanesque style. It features a stone building with a rectangular base and fitted with four corner towers, that over the centuries has been applied for various residential and commercial uses.