A thousand-year-old city, birthplace of the centuries-old Taggiasca olive, Taggia is the gateway to the splendid Argentina Valley.
It is a double-soul city; the more internal, medieval and historically rural land and the modern, tourist one, which slopes down to the coast, a paradise of sea and large sandy beaches. This is Arma. These two connected souls by the urban-looking and densely populated district of Levà, which in fact joins them.
This is why Taggia has two residential areas with different characteristics and peculiarities, which blend an evocative mix of sea, nature, culture, sports and good food.
Historical capital of the western Ligurian inland, without being “too much inland”, Taggia preserves its rural and typical character, its attitude driven by the high-quality agricultural and floral production. Olives; hence extra virgin olive oil, but also wine; with the recent rediscovery of Moscatello, an historical local wine, once served on the table of Popes and Kings from all over Europe, before its traces were lost for almost three centuries.
Closer to our era, flowers and ornamental greenery have enriched the agricultural economy of the city.
On the other hand, the historical Taggia is an open-air monument to be fully discovered. Enclosed by centuries-old walls, with internal sectors of the residential area and then large, sixteenth-century external sectors with towers and access doors, you will discover elegant palaces inside, especially along via Soleri with its late medieval arcades. A stony Taggia, open like a fan under its castle, which is today home to open-air shows offering unique emotions. A city inhabited with sacred places, from the parish church to the confraternities’ oratories (the Reds and the Whites), the churches of the monasteries, the chapels and many sacred niches.
Outside the walls, the Dominicans’ church and monastery deserve a visit for their architectural qualities, the silent harmonies of the cloister and the pictorial and sculptural masterpieces, largely dating back to the late Middle Ages.
The visitor will experience a unique emotion while walking the pavements of the downstream streets, as well as discovering the narrow alleys of the upper town. An architectural decoration tells a piece of history at each corner, wall and gate.
This is also what is reflected in the very heartfelt festivals, such as the San Benedetto night of fires in February, with bonfires and “furgari”, typical artisanal fireworks, accompanied by peculiar sceneries and historical parade that brings the early seventeenth century to mind.
The feast of Magdalene in July is also worth mentioning, a symbol of Nature’s victory over the summer heat. Even the traditional confectionery and gastronomic preparations are renewed on every occasion: from canestrelli and buscuteli to savoury pies and stockfish.
You then leave the city along its splendid old bridge, which followed the course of the Argentina stream.
Even Arma, for its part, can boast a thousand-year history. Its name comes from the pre-Roman Ligurian language. Arma means “cave” and there is actually a cave with a sanctuart inside – the SS. Annunziata Sanctuary Grotta that is called Sanctuary of Arma. It is located in the territory of Sanremo for a few meters, on the border with Bussana, but its view is on the sea and beaches of Arma.
Arma’s sea and beaches are closed in the west by the defensive tower above the cave and, in the east, by the mouth of the stream, on the edge of a small dock, the Darsena. The beach of Arma means running in the morning and going to the beach in the evening. Poignant sunrise and sunset. Sandy seabed, suitable for children, playing and relaxing. A brackish look that is lost in the streets of the sea area, which once was home to fishermen and sailors who were protected by the San Giuseppe chapel and devotion to Sant’Erasmo.
A sporty Taggia thanks to the two cycle paths, one in the maritime park of the Riviera dei Fiori and the other that connects the two inhabited areas, as well as thanks to the countless excursions in the Argentina Valley and the numerous tennis courts. It is no coincidence that it is the birthplace of Fabio Fognini, who entered the top ten of the best players in the world and among the greatest Italian tennis players ever last year.
In short, you will find everything and everything is at your fingertips in Taggia. Otherwise it wouldn’t be Liguria.