Lavagna, the name derives from the Latin word "Lavania", is a town in the province of Genoa, in the heart of the Riviera di Levante, on the banks of the river Entella, that divide it from nearby Chiavari. The town is surrounded by hills covered with olive, pine and chestnut trees, that terrace by terrace, slowly degrade towards a long sandy beach, approximately five kilometers long. It features a well-equipped marina and it is also famous for the extraction of a slate, known as ardesia or lavagna, and famous World-wide. It is a typical fishing village with its narrow streets and shops and crossed by an alley that leads to the beautiful Piazza Marconi, surely the most famous corner of the town for the presence of the Collegiate Church of Santo Stefano and the Brignardello Porch.
The town has developed in Roman times and, according to local historical sources, it flourished under the directions of the Monks of San Colombano. It was part of the Carolingian County and was subject to the bishops of Genoa. It became domain of the powerful noble family Fieschi, which was in conflict with the Genoese Republic for political reasons until the end of the XII century. During the Middle Ages, the Fieschi were in strong competition, especially with the Doria family. In the second half of the XVI century, Lavagna was sacked by the Turks, and the town shared the fate of many other towns in Liguria, such as, it was incorporated in the Kingdom of Sardinia and later, in the Kingdom of Italy.
Not to miss:
The Collegiate Church of Santo Stefano, seat of the Parish, built in the X century, the building was renovated in 1653. It features a rich Baroque façade, adorned with bezels, columns of different sizes and flanked by two towers. In front lines out a pebbled courtyard and a large staircase.
The Shrine of Our Lady of the bridge, named this way for being built at the foot of an old wooden bridge that crossed the Entella. It was built in 1492 on an existing chapel with Bell tower in the Gothic style.
The Church of Santa Maria Assunta in the village of Sorlana.
The Church of St. Mary Mother.
The Oratory of the Blessed, built in the XV century, situated near the old town centre. Inside it preserves a Christ by the sculptor Anton Maria Maragliano, some paintings by Luca Cambiaso and an organ of the XVIII century.
The Palazzo Franzoni 1696, one of the most famous, originally the residence of the Marquis Franzoni, then a hospital, and now houses the seat of the Town Hall.
Palazzo Ravenna which now houses the Civic Library.
The Tower Ravenna or Torre del Borgo, built in the XVI century, probably built on request of the Fieschi, at present, after centuries of different uses, it houses the Alloisio's Art Gallery and Ardesia Slate Collection.
Casa Carbone, located in the old town, dating from the mid XIX century, is decorated in Genoese style and inside it preserves paintings and furniture of the XVII-XX centuries.
Villa Grimaldi Spinola, built in 1604, today houses the Centre for Neuroscience