Village of Villanova d'Albenga
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Comune di Villanova d'Albenga: via Albenga, 46 - Villanova d'Albenga (SV)
Telefono: 0182 58 29 13
Fax: 0182 58 25 14
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"Come and visit the site of Villanova d'Albenga. Thanks to the Liguria Heritage audio-guides you can enjoy the atmosphere of an almost intact medieval village, walk along the curtain wall, admire the defensive structures. You may even ask yourself if inside its walls you would have felt protected from probable attacks by the feudal forces that threatened the village which arose under the will of the Municipality of Albenga".

The origins

Quod villa fiat ubi dictum est”. With this sentence, declared unanimously by the 37 councillors of the Municipality of Albenga on December 7th, 1250, the foundation of Villanova d'Albenga was decided on.
It is an exquisitely political foundation, aimed at consolidating Ingauni power in the hinterland against the Marquises of Clavesana and Della Lengueglia.

Construction in 1255 was again warmly supported by the population of the territory. Curiously, the name "Villanova" belongs to a tradition dating before the foundation of the village, falling under the territory of Pian Cavatorio, which subsequently remained out of the fortification probably because of town planning requirements.

Do you know what "Quod ubi villa fiat dictum est" means? Listen to the Villanova audioguide 1 and you will find out why, with this phrase, the Municipality of Albenga confirmed in 1250 the decision to build a new fortified village at the confluence of the Lerrone and Arroscia Rivers.

A planned village

The structure of the village is conditioned to the shape of the area, surrounded on three sides by two rivers, Arroscia and Lerrone (respectively in the north and in the south). Thanks to the natural predisposition and the wall that surrounded the village, the settlement appeared as an impregnable point of reference and shelter for those who were engaged in farming and agriculture in the adjacent territory.

The fortification has an urban structure similar to the Albenga castrum. The main street axis is widened in a single point near the public well (used until 1938), and the secondary roads are orthogonally connected to it to create 14 long blocks where the highest number of houses possible can be built in a reduced space.
The settlement includes spaces used exclusively for residential purposes or as warehouses, stables, and rooms used for local work.
Inside the walls there is no evidence of the existence of commercial activities or public spaces. Whether trading or carrying out business and activities, or even just for going to the market, the people went to Albenga.

The towers of the fortification were built of river stones, a material which was available in abundance, and are worthy of our admiration. They are more than seven meters high and are one meter thick.
Along the surrounding walls there were ten towers all open towards the inside with a hole in the castellated parapet of the walls for moving along. Some were square, others were rectangular, one was pentagonal and one was semi-cylindrical on the north-eastern corner.

"Go through the main entrance to the village and admire it in its perfectly preserved structure while listening to the Villanova audioguide 2 . It will be like a real trip back in time."

The towers

The place is equipped with a combined total of ten towers and gate towers, but two of them have a totally different construction style from the others and are positioned at the edge of the northern front of the curtain wall. The first is cylindrical, the second has a pentagonal section that was fashionable in military architecture from the 13th century, as you can see if you visit of Arcola and lower Vezzano in the extreme eastern area of Liguria.

The bulwark of Albenga is an integral part of the original fortification system. If we can find a reason for the presence of the circular tower, what reason can we find for the pentagonal tower? Perhaps to cover a corner that was too exposed and not covered by other nearby towers.
While admiring this structure we must consider that the tower is much more useful strategically and much more difficult to build because of its massive presence.

"Listen to the Villanova audioguide 3 and you will find out why the strange decision to give a different shape to two of the ten towers that characterize the perimeter of the village was made".

The intervention

Part of the Development of the natural and cultural resources of Liguria project (Level 4 of Por Fesr 2007-2013), this restoration project focused on the medieval curtain wall of the old town of Villanova.

The walls, built out of large river pebbles, were in a bad state of repair, mainly due to wear and tear, rainwater and weeds.

This project therefore envisages its restoration with the rebuilding of missing sections and its waterproofing using specially developed substances.

Mappa
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