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For other places with the same name, see Savona (disambiguation).
For The infantry division, see 55 Infantry Division Savona.
Comune di Savona
Panorama of Savona
Panorama of Savona
Flag of Savona
Savona is located in Italy
Location of Savona in Italy
Coordinates: 44°18′N 8°29′E / 44.300°N 8.483°E / 44.300; 8.483Coordinates: 44°18′N 8°29′E / 44.300°N 8.483°E / 44.300; 8.483
Country Italy
Region Liguria
Province Savona (SV)
Frazioni Bosco delle Ninfe, Ciantagalletto, Ciatti, Cimavalle, ConcaVerde, Galleria Ranco, Madonna del Monte, Maschio, Montemoro, Naso di Gatto, San Bartolomeo al Bosco, San Bernardo in Valle, Santuario
 • Mayor Federico Berruti (PD)
 • Total 65.55 km2 (25.31 sq mi)
Elevation[1] 4 m (13 ft)
Population (31 July 2008)[2]
 • Total 62,104
 • Density 950/km2 (2,500/sq mi)
Demonym Savonesi
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 17100
Dialing code 019
Patron saint Our Lady of Mercy
Saint day 18 March
Website Official website
Sanctuary of Our Lady of Mercy.

Savona About this sound listen  (Sann-a [ˈsaŋːa] in the local dialect of Ligurian) is a seaport and comune in the northern Italian region of Liguria, capital of the Province of Savona, in the Riviera di Ponente on the Mediterranean Sea.

Savona used to be one of the chief seats of the Italian iron industry, having iron-works and foundries, shipbuilding, railway workshops, engineering shops, and a brass foundry.

One of the most celebrated former inhabitants of Savona was the navigator Christopher Columbus, who farmed land in the area while chronicling his journeys. 'Columbus's house', a cottage situated in the Savona hills, lay between vegetable crops and fruit trees. It is one of several residences in Liguria associated with Columbus.


Inhabited in ancient times by Ligures tribes, it came under Roman influence in c. 180 BC, after the Punic wars in which the city had been allied to Carthage. At the fall of the Western Roman Empire, it passed under Lombard rule in 641 AD (being destroyed in the attack) after a short period as an Ostrogoth and then Byzantine possession. Later it recovered as county seat in the Carolingian Empire. In the tenth century its bishops were counts of Savona, but later the countship passed to the marquesses of Monferrato (981) and afterwards to the marquesses Del Vasto (1084).

After a long struggle against the Saracens, Savona acquired independence in the 11th century, becoming a free municipality allied with the Emperor. Savona was the center of religious culture (13th to 16th centuries) due to the work of two important monasteries: Dominican and Franciscan. Subsequently it fought against Genoa before being definitively conquered in 1528. The Genoese destroyed the upper town and buried the port. It then shared the fortunes of the Republic of Genoa until Napoleonic times. Between April and mid-May 1800, Austrian forces besieged the city while a small British naval force maintained a blockade; the fortress surrendered on 15 May. Subsequently Savona was annexed to the Kingdom of Sardinia-Piedmont (1815). eventually, it became part of unified Italy.

Main sights[edit]

Panorama of Savona and Priamar fortress
  • Near the Rocca di San Giorgio, on the "Promontorio del Priamar", stands the fortress named Priamar, built by the Genoese in 1542 after their conquest of Savona, on the area of the old cathedral and old city and later used as a prison and military priso. At Fort Priamar were relegated many soldiers of the defeated Bourbon Kingdom of the Two Sicilies who did not want to betray their country. Among them the adjutant Santomartino Joseph, who defended the fortress of Civitella del Tronto. In the fall of the stronghold of Abruzzo, Santomartino was tried by Piedmont and sentenced to death. Under pressure from the French the sentence was commuted to 24 years in prison to be served in the fortress of Savona. Shortly after his arrival, one night, was found dead, leaving his wife and five children. He said he had tried to escape. An example of a suspicious death on which it was never open an investigation to ascertain the real causes of death. Also a Republican patriot Giuseppe Mazzini was imprisoned here by the government of the Savoy monarchy.
  • Adjacent to the Cathedral and built 1480-1483, is the Cappella Sistina (Sistine Chapel), containing the Mausoleum erected by the Della Rovere Pope Sixtus IV to honor his parents, Leonardo Della Rovere and Luchina Monleone. The construction was commissioned by Giovanni D'Aria and his brother Michele. The chapel is architecturally similar to the chapel dedicated to the Cardinal Pietro Riario in the Basilica of the Santi Apostoli, Rome. After years of deterioration, in 1765-1767 a reconstruction was ordered by the Genovese Doge Francesco Maria Della Rovere. This updated the chapel in a Rococo style, with ceiling painted by Paolo Gerolamo Brusco. The Cathedral has a noteworthy 16th century carved wooden choir seats.
  • Facing the cathedral is the unfinished Palazzo Della Rovere (Della Rovere Palace), built by Cardinal Giulio della Rovere (future Pope Julius II) and designed by Giuliano da Sangallo as a university.
  • Palazzo Delle Piane (Delle Piane Palace), also known as Palazzo Delle Palle.
  • The old towers, survived after the 1528 war with Genoa: the Campanassa (Commune tower, where the freedom declaration of Savona was signed in 1191), towers Corsi and Riario, "Ghibelline Tower", and Torre della Quarda (also known as "a Torretta"), in the Leon Pancaldo square.
  • The Sanctuary of Nostra Signora della Misericordia (Our Lady of Mercy).
  • In neighbourhood of Savona remains a house documented as property of Domenico Colombo, father of Christopher Columbus, where they lived for many years (Christopher Columbus lived in Savona for much of his youth).
  • The church of Nostra Signora di Castello (Our Lady of the Castle) has a large altarpiece by Vincenzo Foppa and Ludovico Brea painted in 1490.


The town is situated 40 kilometres (25 miles) west of Genoa and circa 150 km (93 mi) (east) of Nice, in France, on the western Italian Riviera, between the Ligurian Sea and the Ligurian Alps.


Savona has a Mediterranean climate (Csa).

The average yearly temperature is around 19 °C (66 °F) during the day and 12 °C (54 °F) at night. In the coldest months: January, February and December, the average temperature is 11 °C (52 °F) during the day and 5 °C (41 °F) at night. In the warmest month – July and August – the average temperature is 28 °C (82 °F) during the day and 20 °C (68 °F) at night. Generally, a typical summer season lasts about 4 to 6 months, from May/June to September/October. The daily temperature range is limited, with an average range of about 7 °C (45 °F) between high and low temperatures. Rain occurs mainly in autumn, the summers being generally dry. Sunshine hours total above 2,097 per year, from an average 4 hours of sunshine duration per day in winter to average 9 hours in summer. Savona usually sees snow once or twice per year.

Climate data for Savona
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 10.3
Average low °C (°F) 4.6
Precipitation mm (inches) 74
Source: Enea[3]

Notable people[edit]


  • Holy Friday : every two years takes place a spectacular procession in streets of the city.
  • Carnival : during Carnival the typical costume is Cicciulin
  • Confuoco (in local dialect U Confeugu), it takes place the last Sunday before Christmas. In the square of Sisto IV a large fire is lit.

Twin towns and sister cities[edit]

Savona is twinned with:

See also[edit]


Public Domain This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. 

  • Scovazzi, Italo; Filippo Noberasco. Storia di Savona, vicende di una vita bimillenaria (in Italian). Sabatelli. 


  1. ^ Elevation above sea-level of the casa comunale (town hall), see comune:Savona
  2. ^ Istat
  3. ^ "Savona weather averages". Enea. Retrieved 5 August 2012. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Savona at Wikimedia Commons