A town with a maritime and shipbuilding tradition surrounded by green hills and splendid beaches, Pietra Ligure owes its name to a spur of calcareous rock that rises a stone’s throw from the sea; on the rock an imposing castle stood, and around it the old village developed. First a Byzantine bulwark, the castle then went to the bishop of Albenga together with the surrounding area. On the coloured walls of the houses, nameplates in stone bear the dialect names of the streets and the piazzas. The charming “caruggi” (typical Ligurian alleys) radiate out around the old piazza, where there is the Bianchi oratory, which on the bell tower preserves a bronze statue of San Nicolò, and the bell that according to the tradition was rung in 1525 by the saint to announce the end of the plague. To the same saint is dedicated the grandiose eighteenth-century parish church in the principal piazza. In the town centre there are fine buildings, including Palazzo Golli, the town hall, and Palazzo Leale Franchelli, which is privately owned. Behind Pietra Ligure there is the Ranzi hill village, from which there is a stupendous panoramic view of the coast, and where every year the traditional Flower Procession of Corpus Christi is held. Among the events are Dolcissima Pietra, Bim Bin Gioco for children and the Triathlon for sport lovers.