Step into the enchanting world of Cervo, Italy, a medieval gem where nature and history intertwine. Get ready for an unforgettable adventure.

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While it is well known that Liguria is a place kissed by nature and beauty, and internationally renowned names echo in everyone's minds, today, in truth, we take you to discover a true hidden gem: the picturesque medieval village of Cervo.

Looking at it like this, perched on a gentle slope overlooking the blue Ligurian sea, in the Northwestern Italy, it might seem as if Cervo has stepped out of a dream.

Surrounded by the silvery crops of olive trees and the wooded greenery of pine trees, the small town of Cervo, in the province of Imperia, offers endless ideas for a visit.

Discover with us what to visit and what to do in this beautiful Ligurian village!

What to see in the picturesque town of Cervo in Italy

cervo liguria italy

Because of its beauty, Cervo has entered the list of "The Most Beautiful Villages in Italy," and we could not agree more.

Not many tourists who visit Liguria are familiar with Cervo, yet it is an authentic gem that retains the charm of the villages of yesteryear. Its history, as with many other villages in the surrounding area, has its roots as far back as Roman times. In fact, the name itself, Cervo, attested in medieval times, seems to derive from the Latin Servo, meaning "one who offers services."

Today it is possible to stroll through the narrow streets of the village and observe its colorful houses in typical pastel colors.

The eye, however, cannot help but be led upward and observe the symbol of Cervo, which dominates from the hill: the Clavesana Castle.

This mighty building on the summit of Cervo was initially built as a fortified church dedicated to St. Catherine of Alexandria. Some time later, around the 13th century, the local lords, the Marquises of Clavesana decided to incorporate the church into their new residence-fortress.

Over time, the Clavesana Castle was used for a wide variety of functions, including that of an oratory and a hospital wanted by the Knights of Rhodes.

Today the second floor of the castle houses the Ethnographic Museum, while the upper part, during the summer, hosts various art exhibitions.

This Church shares a very curious name. In fact, locals also calls it "the church of dei corallini".

It is one of the most interesting Baroque-style buildings on the entire Riviera di Ponente and was built over a rather long period of time: from the 12th to the 18th century.

Why is it called "dei Corallini"? Because it was erected with the proceeds from coral fishing, an activity to which the name of Cervo in Liguria has been inextricably linked over the centuries.

This small place of worship, now deconsecrated, dates back to the 13th century and was built in the Romanesque style, but with a Gothic entrance portal.

Today, the Oratory of St. Catherine is used by the local community for the organization of events, such as exhibitions or concerts.

Those who visit it inside cannot fail to be fascinated by the splendid 16th-century frescoes.

How can one describe beautiful Cervo Ligure without mentioning its beautiful beaches, its romantic promenade, and its splendid sea?

Once you emerge from the maze of narrow streets, a visit to Cervo cannot be complete without a walk along the waterfront, probably one of the most scenic in Liguria. A very nice walk leads from Cervo to Diano Marina, for a total, round trip, of about 12 km.

In any case, beaches and small lidos are countless in Cervo. Here are a few examples:

- Le Ciappellette, a rocky beach;
- The Porteghetto Beach, a mixture of rocks, sand, near the pier of the same name;
- The Pilone Beach, with pebbles;
- The Restano Baths, a sandy beach.

Among the things to do in Cervo, one cannot miss attending the events organized by this municipality.

One of the best-known events for fans of the genre is undoubtedly the International Chamber Music Festival organized in Cervo since 1964, thanks to an intuition of Hungarian violinist Sándor Végh.

Another event that does not fail to attract visitors and fans is Cervo Ti Strega, organized by the promoters of the Strega Prize. Readings, interviews and musical interludes enliven the Corallini Square between late June and early July.

What else to do in Cervo?

cervo italy

And if you would also like to discover the lush nature of Cervo and its beautiful Mediterranean scrub, we certainly suggest you try the treks and walks around the Ligurian village.

The Red Trail, also called the Orchid Trail, is one of the most famous. The trail is quite easy and stretches for about 6 kilometers in the territory of Cervia. One of the highlights is the beautiful Ciapà Municipal Park, where lush Mediterranean scrub flourishes.

Trails abound in the territory of Cervo, and you can find them of different lengths and difficulties. All that remains is to be inspired!

What to eat

what to eat in cervo italy

Seduced by the scents of thyme and the aromas of the Ligurian land, the journey can only continue at the table. Cold-pressed Taggiasca olive oil, local wines and the catch of the day are never lacking.

In Cervo, however, the typical dish is Pestun di fave, a recipe that has obtained De.Co (Denominazione Comunale) designation.

As the name implies, it is a fava bean-based sauce made with a mortar especially in the springtime. Fresh broad beans, typical of the period, are added to pecorino cheese, garlic, salt, fresh mint and extra virgin olive oil.

It can be enjoyed on its own or spread on some excellent bruschetta... and bon appetit!

Where Cervo Ligure is located

Cervo ligure, Imperia (Italy)

Cervo lies in Liguria, in northwestern Italy. The small village is located in the province of Imperia, between the towns of San Bartolomeo al Mare and Andora. The border with France is not far away (45 mi / 70 km).

How to get there

how to get to cervo in italy

Having described its beauties and specificities, all that remains is to leave!

For those arriving by car, the nearest highway exit is San Bartolomeo al Mare, along the A10. After that, continue for a few kilometers along the SS No. 1 Aurelia in the direction of Genoa.

If you choose the train, however, the nearest station is Diano, located about 4 kilometers from Cervo.

The reference airports are Genoa or Nice (in France), about a hundred kilometers from the village.

And why not get there by boat? In fact, about 500 meters from the village is the marina of San Bartolomeo al Mare.

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