Ermak Travel Guide


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Location: Balestrino, Province of Savona, Liguria  Map



History of Balestrino

Balestrino is an abandoned medieval village that is located 70 km (44 mi) South East of Genoa in a Liguria region of Italy. The valley of Balestrino was first settled during Palaeolithic times. Romans moved in, but constant warfare with the locals forced them to erect several guard towers and small fortifications in the region. Their remains are visible in the vicinity of a medieval village. Locals still find numerous ancient Roman coins, pottery and other artefacts.

The commune of Balestrino was found in the 11th century and initially was owned by Benedictine abbey of San Pietro dei Monti. Eventually a settlement began to grow in size. In the 16th century Marquis del Carretto erected a castle on top of the hill. This magnificent citadel still towers over surrounding private residences. However destructive seismic activity took the best of its residents. Balestrino started to loose its population in the late 19th century due to constant earthquakes. In 1953 all but few residents abandoned the village and moved elsewhere. Now it is a ghost town, although some sign of revival begin to appear on its outskirts. So Balestrino might not be abandoned after all. As you walk through the streets of Balestrino village please keep in mind that it is of the few remaining abandoned settlements in Italy. Please, don't take any souvenirs with you. Keep the spirit of the Balestrino commune and its artifacts intact for others to enjoy.










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