The settlement was built on a grid of regularly spaced streets, with the houses arranged in a checkerboard pattern. As a matter of fact, this was a settlement controlled and planned under the regime of the Lascaris. Mills and presses use the canals (“beudi”) that were built along the stream. There are also some important buildings within the town, such as the palazzo in the shape of a tower, with a portal and mullioned windows, built during the time of the Ventimiglia and which was later the residence of the marquis of Doria, dating back to 1481. Along the main street, one may see ancient shops and good quality stone decorations on the walls.There is the church of Sant’Antonio Abate: its latest appearance is seventeenth century, embellished with stuccoes, paintings, marble altars inlaid with Ticino mouldings, a splendid eighteenth-century marble pulpit and the triptych of the Road to Calvary and the Saints Nazario and Celso, which comes from the parish church of the same name by Raffaele and Giulio de Rossi (XVI century). But what makes the church of Borgomaro special is our parish priest, Father Ambrogio Bianchi.
Always ready to listen and to give comfort to those who need it, in church but also over a good plate of ravioli….
Borgomaro is also made up of bridges, nineteenth-century houses, such as the Palazzo Cassio Amelio, now the town hall, little oratories, and a Franciscan convent with a church enriched with various works of art, which is now a rest home. The Carabinieri have had a post here since 1825. Borgomaro is to all intents and purposes a little capital of the Western Ligurian hinterland.
For the more curious: The parish church of the Saints Nazario and Celso in Borgomaro.
Isolated in the centre of the Maro valley, it was the first Baptist church, from which all the other parish churches in the area were separated. It is named after Lombard saints, who were the joint patron saints of Milan, due to the ancient links between the Dioceses of Albenga and that of Lombardy. Originally, people came here to be baptised, for Communion and for burial. Carpasio, lying to the south, also depended on this church. Funerals had formerly come under the province of the Parish Church of Maro and therefore when travelling from Carpasio to Borgomaro, one comes across a “road of the dead”, a “way of the dead” and a “brook of the dead”. The oldest parts lie at the foot of the bell-tower and on the right-hand side (dating from the 12th century). The large portal from 1498 marks the end of this religious building made up of three naves, which are divided by stone columns. The portal on the left-hand side, to be used by men only, bears the coat of arms of Renato of Savoy, the “Great Bastard”, an illustrious commander, husband of the Countess of Tenda, Anna Lascaris (married from 1501 until the knight’s death in the Battle of Pavia in 1525). At the head of the left-hand nave, some murals were recently discovered and restored. The rectory lies to one side, with some architectural decorations.
And on the slope is the “prato della corte” (lawn of the court), a place for festivals and tournaments, as well as a place of judgement for the lords of the nearby Maro castle.