0617 A Very Cool Castle (Ita 096—new)

Savona Travel Blog

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After a great day yesterday, this April Fools day gets off to a shoddy start.  It’s starts to pour down rain as I head down the hill from the hostel, and I spend a good hour at a bus stop waiting for it to stop--  there isn’t even anywhere nearby where I can buy a bus ticket!  Finally I give up on the idea of exploring Genova some more and hop on a bus straight to the train station to head on out of town.

Just as I get on the train, the rain stops!  Now that’s just irritating…

 

In a hurry to explore before the rain starts again, I get off in Savona, with no idea what I’ll find there.  At first it’s just your typical semi modern streets, a run of the mill cathedral and a bizarre futuristic looking courthouse--  a sort of steep triangular building with a thin smokestack and a huge round window… not quite sure what the concept was behind that thing…

 

But then, I cut down a sidestreet to the ocean and come across the Savona Castle, a castle that just keeps getting more and more interesting the more you explore it.

 


First it’s the labyrinths of passageways inside… then you climb to the top and get a great view of the sea, the city, a wide area of ruins below… and a big lot full of cars fresh off the assembly line, ready to be shipped off--  a sort of bizarre “the old and the new” image of Italy. 

 

Then I continue on exploring, through arched tunnels and across a stately courtyard, up, down and underneath until I finally reach the main entrance where you get an inspiring view of the whole structure. 

 

Savona has just shot its way into my “top 50” favorite towns, thanks to this castle. 


As I learn later, Savona was a powerful city once upon a time, and it even ruled Genova for a while.

  And you can still get a taste of its faded glory--  although with the bustling port right below the castle, it’s still got some muscle to it.

 

I continue on up the coast to the little castle/clock tower, then dive into the interesting Old City where I find the fake “Painted on Baroque” style still quite popular here--  there are even some old churches that have just flat walls--  with all the typical fancy churchy decorations just painted on!  Isn’t that kind of cheating? 

 

Overall, Savona, has a lot of variety packed into it with different architectural styles, various interesting plazas and scuptures, narrow old alleys and wide columned boulevards.   Definitely glad I stopped to explore this place.

 

I finish off my tour in a park surrounded by hobos, strumming a couple of songs dedicated to Savona.

 

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Savona
photo by: GRANADOS