The village on a hill once known as "Castrum Diani" has a thousand-year history. Founded by the coastal inhabitants fleeing from Saracen invaders, Diano Castello became the heart of the feudal estate of the Clavesana family and also remained the most important centre in the territory under Genoese dominion. Matteo Vinzoni's eighteenth-century description illustrates a town surrounded by a wall with four gates, the remains of which can still be seen.
When you stand outside the parish church of San Nicolò di Bari you have a view over the surrounding hills and the sea. The church dates from the Baroque period and was built according to a plan by Giambattista Marvaldi in 1699: it has a tiled altar and preserves a crucifix by Maragliano and an eighteenth-century wooden choir.
The Romanesque church of San Giovanni Battista has a very unusual truss-beam covering with elegant decorations; nearby stands the late-mediaeval oratory of Santa Croce and San Bernardino, which was restored during the Baroque period. Other religious buildings well worth visiting are the Romanesque church of the Assunta with fifteenth-century fresco work and the austere Franciscan monastery (sixteenth century). At the foot of the hill, in the village of Varcavello (from the Celtic word "havelod", meaning "to consecrate") you can admire the fountain and the altar piece by Ramoino in the oratory of San Mauro.
Leisure time is spent between sport (elastic ball, bowling, go-karting) and festivals. The San Martino Fair, where you can find antiques and local products, is followed by a bonfire festival which celebrates the end of the cold days. During the festival of the local patron saint, San Nicolò, there are handicraft exhibitions and theatrical entertainments, while if you wish to taste the food and wine specialities of the Western Riviera there is a special annual gathering that awards a prize to the best Vermentino wine. Like Taggia olive oil, Vermentino wine is produced locally on the terracings that slope down towards the sea, where there is an abundance of centuries-old olive trees, vineyards and palm trees.