Just a few kilometers from the Gulf of Tigullio, Cogorno sits in a world of hills, suspended between the sea and the mountains. It is above the valley of Fontabuona and the Grevaglia valley, and below Monte San Giacomo and Monte Rocchette. All around are the dry stone walls that create terracing on the steep hillside for the olive groves and fruit trees. It is only 15 kilometers from glittery Portofino, and the seaside towns of Chiavari and Lavagna are minutes away. The overlooks from up here offer wide views of varied landscapes that are especially gorgeous around sunset.
The town has pre-Roman origins, and an ancient Roman passed by here. But it was the middle ages that brought the town to status, a holding of the noble feudal family Cogorno that gave the town its name. Others theorize that the family took the town's name, and that it was called Cotogno, for quince trees. There is no documentary evidence either way.
The town includes the charming hamlet of San Salvatore as a frazione; the church there is well worth a visit. There is also a museum that preserves another noble family's residence, the Museo dei Fleschi, with a look at life in this area through the centuries. In Codorno, the defining monument is the tall bell tower at the church of San Lorenzo. Stop by; the church was originally built in the 1100s but rebuilt in the 1700s.
Codorno has 5,700 residents but is closely tied to Lavagna and Chiavari. You get the best of both worlds - with hills and mountains to roam (hiking, biking, horse riding) and the beaches of the beautiful bay below.
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