Set among green hills of olive trees and a crystal-clear sea, Levanto has one of the most amazing geographic positions of the Levante Riviera, on the border of the impervious Cinque Terre coast so as to be often cited as “the door of these famous villages.” But Levanto is much more and deserves to be discovered calmly and to get acquainted to slowly.
Its history dates in the mists of time, so that the core origin of the country is identified with the small village of Ceula, existing in Roman times and not located by the sea, but rather above the sea. In fact, the first news of the coastal village of Levanto is from the twelfth century.
The first rule was by the powerful Malaspina family. It then passed to the Da Passanos and, in 1229, to the Maritime Republic of Genoa which equipped it with walls that are still visible and turned it into a town with important administrative functions.
As evidence of this glorious past remains an extraordinary artistic heritage such as the Church of St. James, dating from the twelfth century, where the facade with alternating horizontal bands of white marble and green stone once again makes the refinement of the Genoese-gothic style stand out.
The Oratory of St. James is splendid as well. It was built in the late ’500s and is home to the oldest Brotherhood of Levanto, a symbol of devotion to the saint that has its roots in the culture of Christian Spain and the “cult of Saint Iago.”
Particularly interesting is the Loggia, one of the few late-medieval Ligurian buildings that has survived and in which you can admire a fresco representing the Annunciation of Mary and ancient coats of arms of Levanto and of the Maritime Republic of Genoa in marble and slate.