The town's name derives from the Latin word Spelta and means "place where the spelt is grown". Spotorno is a famous seaside resort of the Italian Riviera in the province of Savona, located in the homonymous cove at the mouth of the stream Crovetto, at East of Noli, between Punta del Maiolo and Punta del Vescovado. The town is dominated by the ruins of a XIV century castle with a square plan and fortified positions at the corners of the walls and by a nearby tower of the XV century. Like many coastal towns, it features a linear structure with a long main street that runs parallel to the coast, from one end of the town, intersected by a perpendicular series of minor roads.
Although structurally adapted to the needs of tourism, in fact, Spotorno offers a pleasant promenade with public gardens and fully equipped beach establishments along the two miles of sandy coastline. Opposite is the island of Bergeggi, (most likely the beacon of Vada Sabatia, an ancient Roman port), where some monks found refuge, since the IV century. The island features two towers, one Roman and one of the Middle Ages and the remains of a medieval church of the XI century.
The first traces of the existence of Spotorno, that date from the XII century, certify that the town was under the dominion of the Marquis Del Carretto and that later it was acquired by the Bishop of Savona. The center was destroyed in 1227 by Noli, allied with Genoa against Savona. It was ceded to the Republic of Genoa by Pope Urban VI and from 1385 it was the seat of the Podestà. The town was devoted to maritime trading traditions and using boats called "Lembi" (flaps), the local sailors started to commerce with Sardinia, Sicily and France, proposing various goods such as limestone and their thriving shipbuilding experience. In 1872 the town was reached by the Genoa-Ventimiglia railway line and the XX century it has been enriched with hotels and bathing establishments to fulfill the new demands of tourism.
Not to miss:
The Parish Church of the Santissima Annunziata, which preserves inside artworks of the XVII and XVIII centuries.
The Oratory of Santa Caterina.
The Oratory of the Santissima Annunziata, perhaps dating from the XVII century, in which there are paintings of the artists Domenico Piola, Giulio Benso and Giovanni Battista Merano.
Half way along the High Street: the Church of the Assumption.
The Castle, built during the rule of the Bishops of Savona, demolished in the early XIII century and rebuilt in 1218. It was destroyed again in 1227 by the people of Noli and rebuilt in its present form between the XIV and the XVI century. Watch towers were created during the XVI century to allow a better control of territory and prevent the increasingly frequent Saracen raids.