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“Altarpiece is the view that at the the end open up, unexpected to draw a shout”: this is how the poet Camillo Sbarbaro describes Verezzi, charming Ligurian villane of Saracen origins where is set the beautiful Piazza Sant’Agostino, seat of the Theater Festival of Borgio Verezzi.
Borgio comes from latin burgus, villane, while Verezzi goes back to Veletiis, plural ablative probably of pre-Romans origins. In the most ancient chronicles, the villane was indicated as Veretium or Viretum”.
Around the 800, the Benedectine monks settle in the convent near Borgio (Burgum Albingaunum) and to them the Church of Saint Peter is entrusted; the extraordinary structure of the hilly territory in terraces is ascribed to them. In those same years Borgio and Verezzi (Viretum) suffer of Saracen invasions.
In 1385, the two centers are given to the Genoa Republic by Pope Urban VI.
In that year Pietra Ligure became tenure of a Podestà and Verezzi is mentioned as “villa” of villa Pietra: that villa is an administrative definition that distinguishes the rural villages from the merchant ones that are called “borghi” and that often are fortified.
In 1805, durino the napoleonic occupation, the territory si divided in departments and Verezzi becomes part of the department of Montenotte whose capital is Savona and is governed by prefect Chabrol.
In 1815, Liguria becomes part of Piedmont in the Kingdom of Sardinia.
Up to almost half of the century, Verezzi is in a very heavy economical situation with a lifestyle much inferior to the one of the end of 700. The main source of support is the activity in the mines, which requires instruments built by stonecutters, smiths and carpenters. Also there was work in the oil mills. Many citizens of Verezzi emigrated to America in those years.
In1885, Verezzi gets out of isolation thanks to the first road Borgio – Verezzi, that allows to reach the villages of Roccaro and Piazza through charriots and therefore, toward the end of the century, with the first cars.
In 1933, Borgio and Verezzi are united in a city called Borgio Verezzi based on the orders of the central government and it is declared a city “of great public interest” and placed under the superintendance of the Cultural Assets.
In the same year the Theater Festival of Borgio Verezzi begins, it still occurs every year in the months of July and August and is now listed amongst the most important theater festivals in the nation.
Placed on the hill of Orera, the Saracen villane is an harmonious ensemple of 4 different quarters (Poggio, Piazza, Roccaro, Crosa), distinguished by houses in pink stone in a wider panorama of rocks and sea and connected by tight little streets - the crêuze (sea paths). The houses all attached one to the other in an harmonic disorder look like one only house that rise from the rock as its natural prosecution. This Mediterranean architecture has a clear arab-islamic influence, even if, maybe, it is only a legend the fact that Verezzi was founded by Saracen pyrates who felt in love for these places and abandoned their raids to retire and live on the land.
Today is nice to walk amongst the quarters of Verezzi through the various connection crêuze.
At Roccaro there is the 700 chapel of the Madonna Immacolata with baroque altar and decorations, the only building at Nerezze with a slate roof.
But the quarter Piazza is the most reknown. Because here, in this wonderful window on the sea, is the Piazza Sant’Agostino, with its little Church from XVII century (restored after the war), where the Theater Festival of Borgio Verezzi was born. Still today, from the far 1967, in the summer nights, the square represents the wonderful natural scenario where actors move, under the starry sky in between of the roofs of ancient buildings and as its fourth wall, at the back of spectators, the dark blue of the sea with thousands of lights.
The suggestive beach of Borgio Verezzi will welcome you with its numerous bathing establishments completely equipped for your relax and entertainment.
Very interesting are also the Caves of Borgio Verezzi that are available for guided touristic visits. An oddity of these caves, which makes them even more mysterious, is that durino the study and research inside them, they have found not human rests but the rests of animals which are not at all typical of this territori such as rhinos, tigers, mammoths etc.
In addition to the caper, whose cultures is progressively increasing, the farmers from Verezzi also coltivate vineyards producing good wines such as Lumassina, Nostralino Veretium and the more rare Barbarossa. The olive groves, even if reduced compared to the past, produce a very good olive oil.
The local plate is lumache (snails) alla verezzina, prepared with a long procedure which guarantees a great taste.
To the snail is also dedicated, every year, the traditional festival on 13 and 14 August. Always in August here you have the festival of the fried focaccia, also typical of this area and of Liguria.Here you have several very good reasons to visit and spend a holiday at Borgio Verezzi. Book your holiday apartment in this town now!