Ceriana: an ancient village guardian of timeless history and culture

Panorama of the village of Ceriana

Villages of Liguria

Ceriana: an ancient village guardian of timeless history and culture

July 10, 2022

Out-of-town trips are always an excellent opportunity to immerse oneself in the territory and discover landscapes, traditions and uncontaminated places; this is precisely why today we want to tell you about Ceriana, an ancient village that dominates Liguria's western Riviera.

The small village, inhabited by 1173 inhabitants, is suitable for lovers of slow and unadventurous tourism; walking through its streets, in fact, one can absorb the strength of local ties, the intensity of the slow passage of time and the weight of a past all to be remembered.

The village is in fact a treasure chest full of beauty and values for those who know how to recognise its importance and charm.

How to get to Ceriana

Reaching the small hamlet might be difficult for those who do not know the area, so we have decided to accompany you step by step in discovering Ceriana, starting with a detailed description of the itinerary to be followed starting from our farmholidays.

Since Ceriana is a small rural hamlet, in order to reach and visit it with the right attention, we advise you to stay overnight at a holiday farm. In our facility, less than 50 km from the small village, you can taste local products, learn more about the culture of the area and discover detailed itineraries.

Reaching Ceriana from the Le girandole holiday farm is very simple: just take the A10 motorway (also known as the Autostrada dei Fiori motorway) from San Bartolomeo al mare and take the Arma di Taggia exit.

After leaving the motorway, continue your journey along the Aurelia bis and take the first exit for the Armea valley, after which you continue your journey along the Poggio road and ascend in the direction of Ceriana.

The itinerary to discover Ceriana and its territory, first stop: San Bernardino

Certainly, in addition to the landscapes that fill the eyes and the heart, one of the things that can be appreciated most when visiting the small village is the imprint that history and culture have given to its territory.

Shortly after Ceriana, it is easy to reach the small church of San Bernardo, a little gem that has been completely renovated thanks to the contribution of the local community's alpini.

The local population is indeed very attached to the small church of San Bernardo, and it is in the small square that surrounds it that one can find the monument dedicated to the fallen soldiers of the war.

The Sanctuary of Our Lord of the Villa: guardian of history and culture

Continuing in the direction of the neighbouring municipality of Bajardo, one can come across another building that guards the memory and culture of the area: the Sanctuary of Nostra Signora della Villa.

The sanctuary, contrary to popular belief, is not a place of interest only for believers. If one can grasp its essence and value, visiting it can be an opportunity to discover curiosities and historical facts.

The events that mark the history of the place of worship are in fact very interesting: the sanctuary was not the first religious building constructed in the Armea valley.

The panorama of the valley seen from the village of Ceriana

In the same place, nestling among the vegetation 580 metres above sea level, there was a small chapel guarded by a hermit.

First the chapel, and then the sanctuary, over the centuries were important landmarks for the local community, and it is for this reason that from the 18th to the 19th century, many artists were called in to embellish and decorate the place of worship.

Thanks to these initiatives, in addition to the thousands of ex-votos still preserved, visiting the sanctuary you can admire unique pieces of art.

If you are lucky enough to visit the site on 6 and 7 September, you can also attend the night torchlight procession and the Festa della Madonna della Villa, the two traditional annual celebrations that pass on the local culture.

The journey continues to discover the symbolic places of the confraternities of Ceriana

Walking back along the road we have just travelled, we can explore the town, discovering places linked to the confraternities of Ceriana.

Right next to the church of Santo Spirito is the oratory of Santa Caterina belonging to the confraternity of the Reds.

Beyond this structure, going up the village on the via della visitazione, one comes across the oratory of the visitation: the one belonging to the confraternity of the azure.

As you can imagine, the distance between the two oratories is very short, but it is worth walking it to admire its panorama.

In fact, the historical panorama is one of the most important resources of this route, which, on the opposite side, offers a view of the rocks on which the foundations of the houses of Ceriana rest.

View of the via della visitazione of Ceriana

Continuing our itinerary, and climbing up along the town's caruggi, small streets or porticoes that are typically Ligurian, which in this case contain some signs symbolising Ceriana's Roman origins, we arrive at the main church, that of Saints Peter and Paul.

The caruggi of Ceriana

Like every ancient village, the church was built in the centre of the village. In fact, it is in this very square that you can find an excellent little restaurant where you can refresh yourself while waiting to continue the walk.

The small town square, however, holds another important secret: if you pay a little attention, looking at the buildings around the square, you can admire the plaque dedicated to Giulio Natta, Nobel Prize winner for chemistry in 1963.

Just think that the very building housing the commemorative plaque was home to this illustrious inventor, together with Karl Ziegler, of plastic.

Detail of the plaque dedicated to Giulio Natta in Ceriana

The small square, despite its history and importance, is not, however, the end point of our journey of discovery through the small village.

Continuing along the path, we arrive at the penultimate of Ceriana's oratories: the one dedicated to Santa Marta, linked to the confraternity of the Greens.

To get to the last of the oratories, you will have to take a few steps back and return to the main church and then reach the church of Sant'Andrea, which is located on the highest point of the village.

And it is here, on the highest point of the village, linked to the confraternity of the blacks, that we conclude our journey to discover the traditions and history of Ceriana, the small village that holds a precious past.

Where to sleep to visit Ceriana

As you will have gathered from this trip, the village is full of culture and, to be visited at its best, needs a slow and relaxed trip.

So as not to risk rushing things and burning the various stages, to visit the village and perceive its true essence, we advise you to stay overnight in the vicinity of Ceriana.

Our farmholidays is located in Diano Marina, a strategic position that allows you to easily reach the small village, but also to visit and discover other places of interest.

By booking your flat at le Girandole, you will not only have all the comforts of the structure at your disposal, but you will also be able to enjoy a slow and relaxed holiday, far from the frenzy of the city and in contact with the territory.

View of the sanctuary of Ceriana


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