In Liguria, as in every corner of the world, there are stories and legends whose origins have been lost in the mists of time.
Many of these stories take their origin from real events, while others are based on people's imaginations
and ancestral fears providing an explanation to the inexplicable natural phenomena of the time.
Furthermore, the human mind, under certain stressful conditions, can sometimes "see" non-existing things,
or see what they believe to be a paranormal phenomenon while also adding precise details.
These illusions have sometimes involved the masses and even entire communities.
Even if we are normally level-headed and tend to have rational interpretations of everything that happens around us,
we do often get emotionally involved by things we cannot explain or by things that seem bizarre and inexplicable.
In these occasions our land, Liguria – the place where we were born and that we know like the backs of our hands – can get a mysterious and legendary aura.
Stories of ghosts, phantoms, witches, fairies, goblins and dragons are told everywhere.
In recent times, many UFO or strange phenomena have been reported to having occurred not only in the Ligurian sky,
but also on the land and sea, making for interesting articles in newspapers since 1948.
Particularly interesting are the stories on the Templar knights, Joseph of Arimatea,
Mary Magdalene, the Holy Grail and the Holy Basin of the Saint Lawrence Cathedral in Genoa.
During the Saracens raids in the 9th and 10th centuries and the atrocities committed by the invaders
searching for treasures and spoils, stories and legends have been handed on from fathers to sons.
Sighting towers are scattered all over the region and show how the people living on the Ligurian coastline used to constantly monitor the sea.
According to legend, the inhabitants of Volastra, in the area of the Cinque Terre, hid all their treasures,
included the silver bells of the church, in a big hole in the ground after they had sighted Saracen ships.
The village was destroyed and the treasure was never found, not even by those who survived.
Some still claim to hear the sound of bells at night during thunderstorms.
In 1746 the city of Genoa was able to set itself free from Austrian rule.
This event is connected to a small and mysterious man, Giambattista Perasso, nicknamed
Balilla, who threw a stone at an enemy soldier, thus starting the rebellion.
The tragic death of the English poet Percy Shelley occurred in 1818 as a consequence
of a mysterious shipwreck during an inexplicable storm in front of the Lerici harbour.
As a consequence of his death, the Golfo dei Poeti (Gulf of the poets) has become of interest
for his women fans, who sometimes claimed to have seen his ghost rising from the waves.
Mysterious stones and menhirs:
the stele statues of Lunigiana, in the district of Zeri (in the town of Colla) in Tremonti; the menhir of the devil in Biassa;
the Borghese stone (Pietra Borghese) or the Martian stone in Borzonasca, close to Chiavari.
This stone has a meteoric origin and is covered with graffiti and able to deviate compasses.
In the municipality of Framura, in the village of Pietra Rossa, lies the hounted house Casa della Paura, (house of fear) which nobody should get close to.
The pass "Passo Cento Croci" (pass of the one hundred crosses) connects Eastern Liguria to the province of Parma.
The pass was called "Colle di Lamba" in medieval times.
At 1,000 m above the sea level, in winter a wayfarer was looking for shelter in a small friar convent, as he had already done many times before.
That time he did not come across the usual friar, but instead five suspicious characters who robbed him and wounded him seriously by pushing him off a cliff.
The wayfarer did not die and was rescued by a family who lived half an hour’s walk away.
Next to the man there were the dead bodies of the friars and 100 other people, who were buried afterwards.
It appears that the medieval castle "Fieschi" in Savignone as well as the castle of Fosdinovo in Lunigiana, are hunted by the ghosts of those who once lived there.
On November 2nd, and sometimes on Tuesdays and Fridays in Signaco, not far from La Spezia, some claim to have seen the dead people in procession.
Rumour has it that peasants used to leave food and wine for these souls in the past.
If you want to visit Liguria and you do not know where to sleep, you will find ideal lodging at the Hotel Clelia Logis d’Italia.
The hotel offers a suite and comfortable rooms with half or full board, as well as B&B with the possibility to eat at its a la carte restaurant.
The hotel also has holiday apartments in Deiva Marina and the Cinque Terre. A booking service is available online on this website.
Booking is also possible by telephone, Skype, e-mail or fax.
The life of both Christopher Columbus and Niccolò Paganini are still inexplicable enigmas today.