Savona lies not far from Genoa on the Italian Riviera, towards the French border. Typically of this part of the Ligurian coast, it is less flashy than some of its neighbours but still holds a deep history and some lovely architecture and art. It was once the heart of Italy's steel and ship-building industry.
The city prides itself on its long sandy beaches and its traditional food, which is not just seafood-based but also draws from the hilly inland villages. It is also proud that Christopher Columbus chose to settle here to write up an account of his voyages.
How to Get to Savona
In 2003, a huge new cruise port terminal, Palacrociere, opened in Savona, the main departure point for Costa Cruises. It is a short walk to and from the center of town, although there is a bridge to cross so it is not wheelchair or luggage friendly, in which case you'll need to take a taxi. The train station is also not far, walkable, unless you have luggage.
One Day in Savona
Savona is mainly an embarkation point for cruises, primarily Costa Cruises, but if you do choose to spend a day in town there is plenty to see. Typically of the port towns along this coast, Savona has a long, historic history with some interesting medieval architecture featuring many towers. Fourteenth-century La Torretta is the main city tower, located at the entrance to the port and the symbol of Savona. The Piazza del Brandale is the center of town, and the location of the palace where the rulers once oversaw town; these days it contains a nice art collection.
The baroque Cathedral of Our Lady of Assumption dates from the 16th century, as does the Priamar fortress which looms impressively over the town and contains four museums. In Piazza Mameli is the war memorial Rintocchi e Memorie, which chimes a bell twenty-one times at 6pm every day in memory of those killed in World War I. The Pinacoteca Civica Savona holds an admirable art collection.
The language in Savona is Italian. The currency is the euro. Most shops and businesses close in the middle of the day (anytime from 1-4pm) and are closed all day Sunday, except in the tourist hubs. The three level terminal building is well equipped with restaurants and internet points.