The Roman town of "Albium Ingaunum" was founded in the second century BC on the site of a citadel of the Ligurian Ingauni. The coastal region of Albenga, which is crossed by the River Centa (formed by the confluence of the Arroscia and the Neva), has features that are unique in Liguria: a vast area of fertile land near the sea that is efficiently connected by road with the hinterland and Piedmont. During Roman times, Albenga and Ventimiglia were the most important centres in western Liguria: Albenga was the birthplace of the Emperor Pertinax.
The layout of the mediaeval town was made to adapt perfectly to the Roman settlement: it is very difficult when looking at the older walls and buildings to distinguish parts belonging to different periods.
On the bed of the river Centa, just outside the town walls, remains have been found of baths, an aqueduct and a Roman burial ground. The remains of a second-century amphitheatre are also visible. At the heart of the mediaeval town are the cathedral of San Michele with its three towers (an early Christian temple reconstructed in the thirteenth century with an adjacent decagonal baptistery), the old fifteenth-century municipal building (now the Ingauno Civic Museum) and the Casa dei Malasemenza (now the town hall). There are numerous other historical buildings, including the tower-houses and religious buildings, which all go to form one of the most compact and interesting old town areas in Liguria.
The archaeo logical itinerary along the Via Julia Augusta starts at the church of San Martino and ends at Santa Croce di Alassio. There are also many other excursions to be made through the Mediterranean maquis, the coastland and the hills that are closest to the sea: in the direction of Casa Bianca, Salea, La Colombera, Campo Chiesa and Monte Bignone (300 m.).
The underwater environment is ideal for diving: there are interesting shallows and a few relics lying off the coast. A typical local dish is "imbrogliata di carciofi", a kind of artichoke hash. Pigato, Vermentino and Rossese wines are produced from the local vineyards on the hills.