Among the main cities of Gulf of Tigullio, Chiavari is the city of portici and shopping par excellence. It offers also beaches and places for satisfy every taste, several opportunities of culture, sport and entertainment. Do you want to discover what to do and where to go during your holiday in Rapallo? Here’s a short guide to the possibilities that are waiting for you: a quick digression of useful information between attractions, events, sports complexes and breathtaking hikes; this city is in constant motion, it offers both inhabitants and tourists a large number of opportunities of entertainment and relax in each period of the year.
Main attractions in Chiavari
Botanical Gardens in Villa Rocca develops vertically on different heights and it offers several views of city and sea. Garden has a surface of 21.000 sqm. The extent of the Park develops on the dominating hill and it was desired by Giuseppe Rocca in the early 20th century.
N.S. dell’Orto Cathedral was built between 1613 and 1633, after the appearance of Mary in 1610. An impressive façade as a Greek temple hides inside baroque decorations. The Church was restored between 19th and 20th century.
Ex Law Court is an elegant building of the old town, in the historic piazza Mazzini. It was built in 1886 with shapes inspired by Tuscany gothic medieval buildings. It’s overcame by town tour of the ancient Cittadella of 1537 and it can be visited as monument.
It was built between 1146 and 1147 and it was one of the first castle in Tigullio. In 1172 it was besieged to Opizzino Spinola, in 1278 it fell into Moruello Malaspina and Alberto Fieschi for 8 days. In14th century it was rebuilt several times during Gulefi and Ghibellini wars. Since 1993 it’s a private property.
N.S. delle Grazie
N. S. delle Grazie Sanctuary, located in Via Aurelia, was founded between 13th and 14th century. The present building dates from 15th century thanks to widening works with some additions in the following centuries. Big impact is given by the frescos of Teramo Piaggio and Luca Cambiaso. It preserves also sailors ex voto.
Madonna dell’Olivo Sanctuary is a little Church on the top of Bacezza hill. Opposite the church there’s a big square with steps; inside well preserved frescos can be admired and especially the crypt, where is depicted the Madonna con il Bambino, deserves a visit.
Chiavari old town is unique of its kind; main street is a long “caruggio dritto” with black medieval portici. Trade of town develops in via Martiri della Liberazione and adjacent streets and squares. You will find shops, bars, restaurants, grocer’s shops ecc.
Since 1936, Fratelli Levaggi firm can be visited in Via Parma where they realize famous models of Chiavari chair with top quality materials and ancient methods of carving. Chiavari chair is famous all over the world and it was born in Chiavari in 1807 by the creative genius Giuseppe Gaetano Descalzi.
Museums to visit in Chiavari
Palazzo Rocca gallery is composed by 45 paintings and a sculpture: they are masterpieces such as “Il sacrificio di Noè” of Grechetto (1653) and “Natura morta con cane e selvaggina” of Jan Roos (1630 ca). It’s at the disposal of schools, citizens and scholars by appointment with director’s office museum.
It opened in 1985 in the ancient stables of Palazzo Rocca. This museum collects objects which were found out during the excavation of a pre-Roman necropolis. This necropolis was built in 8th and 7th century B.C. and it was discovered in 1959. The museum exhibits also objects coming from the neighbourhood and from La Spezia hinterland.
It holds documents and relics that join Chiavari with the famous protagonists of Risorgimento: it shows family trees of Garibaldi, Mazzini and Bixio that testify their Chiavari origins. There are also authentic letters, 40 original pamphlets of “Giovane Italia” and the original print of the participant to the Spedizione dei Mille.
Lorenzo Garaventa Museum was born in 1997 when the sculptor gave more than 60 works: plasters, busts, terracotta sculptures are exhibited in an inside room, while bronzes and marbles are held in the garden. The museum includes also 1500 sketches.
It shows more than 200 works among paintings, sculptures and sketches. Between the end of 15th century and until today, these works have been realized by painters and Ligurian sculptors, but also by Italian masters who stayed in Chiavari or in Italian Riviera. To report “Gabinetto d’amatore con asini iconoclasti” realized by Antwerp painter Frans Franken II the Younger.
Religious art Diocesan Museum is located in Episcopal Palace. It exhibits paintings, sculptures, silverwares and textiles which are belonging both to churches still officiated and to religious complexes no longer existing. Vestments documents a wealth textile tradition of this territory with textiles coming from Zoagli and Lorsica.
It exhibits steamships, aircraft carrier, fishing boats, leudi, oil tanker ships, submarines and transatlantic liners, Ville de Zurich and several wooden moulds. In tools department there are equipment and fishing gear, some ship parts and also navigation tools. Also uniforms and an important collection of photos and printed matters dating back to the early 1900s are exposed
The Weather Museum
The museum is divided in three sections: physics department equips with 300 instruments dating from the end 18th century to the early 19th century. Seismology department equips with three working period seismographs. Classic and modern meteorology department equips with an interactive showcase and a workroom that simulates a weather office connects with a working weather station.
What to do in Chiavari
Ring five towers in Leivi is a scenic route that begins from Chiavari railway station, it goes through the old town and it continues on the hills. It lasts 4 hours and 15 minutes c.a. but it’s relatively easy, it has only 400 meters of difference in height. During the route five Churches can be admired: Leivi church, Saint Bartholomew, Saint Stephen, Saint Lawrence and Maxena.
Going to the pier, under control tower of Chiavari Tourist Harbour, it’s possible to board for boat trips to Portofino promontory, to eastern Tigullio towards Moneglia and Sestri Levante, to explore Cinque Terre or for eno-gastronomic tours. Consult lines and timetable.
Promontory of Portofino offers numerous fascinating dive sites for all lovers of scuba diving in a marine environment which is full of flora and fauna thanks also to the creation of the marine protected area. It’s also possible to dive in caves and wreckages both to the promontory and off the coast of Sestri Levante.
Chiavari water park is located to the beach close to Chiavari Tourist Harbour. It’s an amusing mix of floating inflatable games and it’s perfect for a day in company. It’s close to railway station, to pay car park along the street and only five minutes by walk to free car park in Piazzale dell’Umanità.
Main events in Chiavari
Chiavari Feast Day
July begins with Madonna dell’Orto feast day. On 2nd July caruggi and squares of old town host a big fair but the highlight is on 3rd July when there is the procession in the street, a pyro-musical show, fireworks and music on Chiavari promenade.
Liguria is a land of vegetable gardens and gardens; every year, the third weekend of May, florists and nurserymen meet in Chiavari old town to realize the market-exhibition “Chiavari in Fiore”. Photo and art exhibitions transform the centre in a kaleidoscope of colors, perfumes and suggestions.
Festival della Parola is composed by four days of workshops, shows, meetings and conferences of famous journalists, writers, musicians, actors and scholars to speak about words. A festival that proposes events inspired by topical matters, anniversaries and characters to tell the Word in a innovative way.
In September, “Chiavari in cosplay” is the most awaited event from adults and children. It sets off the bond of territory with the history of comics stimulating inventiveness, creativity and curiosity of anyone who wants to get involved or to know new aspects of film industry.
Services and sports complexes in Chiavari
Chiavari Harbour contains more than 500 boats. In Calata Ovest there are further 150 boat moorings among 8 and 24 meters, as well as 107 parking places and 80 garages. It offers all modern services about use and maintenance of the own boat.
This complex is composed by a pool 33x21x2,30 meters deep and it’s suitable for water polo, swimming and synchronized swimming. The stands have a capacity of 300 people. Changing rooms, both male and female, are equipped with facilitated entrance for disabled people.
Talassano Park, in Viale Millo, is an equipped green area with free entrance and it’s opened every day. It offers bar service, pizzeria and baby parking. There are several games such as Indian Forest, ping pong and table football. There is also the possibility to organize birthday parties.
Few minutes away from Chiavari there’s a Go-Kart track: it develops for 550 meters and it’s designed to give pure fun: it has sharp bends, wide bends, fast bends, two long straights and an exciting chicane.
Town Hall of Chiavari Piazza Nostra Signora dell’Orto 1 – Tel. +39 0185.3651 IAT – Tourist office Via della Cittadella – Tel. +39 0185.365400 Chiavari Hospital Via G.B. Ghio 9 A&E Lavagna Via Don Bobbio, 25 – Lavagna Croce Verde Chiavarese Largo G. Casini 10 – Tel. +39 0185.322622 Croce Rossa di Chiavari Salita A. Levaggi 6 – Tel. +39 0185.370739 CHEMISTS Bellagamba Via Martiri Liberazione, 1 – Tel. +39 0185.363272 Centrale Via Prandina, 11 – Tel. +39 0185.309786 Dei Frati Piazza Cavour 5 – Tel. +39 0185.309819 Farmacia di Ri Via Piacenza 402 – Tel. +39 0185.307798 Monteverde Via Grimaldi 3 – Tel. +39 0185.363276 Podestà Piazza Mazzini 13 – Tel. +39 0185.309905 San Giovanni Via S. Giovanni 15 – Tel. +39 0185.363269 Solari Via Martiri Liberazione, 1 – Tel. +39 0185 363267
Information about Chiavari
Population and territory
Chiavari is a comune (municipality) in the Metropolitan City of Genoa. In January 2019 it counted 27.537 inhabitants and a surface of 12.23 Km²
Since 2018 Chiavari, such as neighbouring resorts, enforces Tourist Tax from the 1st of March to the 31st of October. Tourist Tax concerns also furnished apartments for tourist use. More information.
How to get to Chiavari
By car: Chiavari is connected with motorway A12 Genoa-Rosignano and you can exit at Chiavari tollgate. As an alternative there is also SS1 Aurelia that links Genoa and La Spezia. By train: Chiavari is connected to the line Genoa-La Spezia-Rome both with local trains, Intercity and Frecce. By Plane: Chiavari is only 40 km away from Genoa Airport.
Other unmissable destinations close to Chiavari
Close to Chiavari there are a lot of cities that deserve a visit during your holiday in Gulf of Tigullio, such as Sestri Levante, which is famous for the Bay of Silence, and Zoagli, the timeless Rapallo that precedes Santa Margherita Ligure or the famous Portofino, the evocative Camogli, with the breathtaking houses perched over the sea.
Ancient Benedictine monastery, dating back to 1000, was used as a pirate base and then as a fishing village. A true oasis which is located between the sea and the greenery of Mount Portofino.
Since 1935 Parco di Portofino, with 80Km of paths, protects flora, fauna and the beauty of the territory of Tigullio offering memorable experiences to its visitors.
The Acquario di Genova, which is made rich by the interior department “Giardino tropicale – Un battito d’ali”, is the biggest exposition of aquatic biodiversity in Europe. An unique destination, not to be missed.
The boat trip in the heart of “Santuario dei cetacei” is perfect for people of all ages. The aim: search and observation of 8 species of sea mammals that populate the marine area.