Inhabited in ancient times by the Ligurian Sabazi tribe, it came under Roman influence in c. 200 BC. after the Punic wars. At the fall of the Empire, it passed under Lombard rule, then acquired independence in the 11th century becoming a free municipality. Subsequently it fought Genoa before being definitively conquered in 1528. It then shared the fortunes of the Republic of Genoa until Napoleonic times, and subsequent annexation to the Savoys (1815).
The oldest part of the town is medieval and lies around the port,
while the rectangular more recent area has grown over the Letimbro plain since last century and now reaches Vado Ligure.
Monuments: Duomo (16th-17th century with Romanesque baptistry), Chiesa della SS Concezione (18th century), Palazzo della Rovere (15th century), Torre del Brandale (12th century), Cappella di Sistina (15th century), Palazzo Vescovile (17th century), Fortezza Priamar (16th century), Torre di Leon Pancaldo (14th century).
The local economy has always been closely linked to that of the hinterland and, with easy transit over Colle di Cadibona, to that of nearby Piedmont. It is based on port and commercial activities and on the steel, engineering, shipbuilding and petrochemical sectors.
Events: Cerimonia del Confuoco (ceremony, Sunday before Christmas), Good Friday procession.
Famous People: Gabriello Chiabrera (poet, 1552-1638), Giulio II della Rovere (Pope, 1443-1513), Cesare Tallone (artist, 1853-1919), Leon Pancaldo (navigator, 1490-1538).
Cultural Institutions: Teatro G. Chiabrera (theatre), Pinacoteca Civica (civic art gallery of the Genoese school), Museo delle Ceramiche Antiche (museum of antique ceramics), Società per il Costume Savonese (traditional costumes of Savona).
In the Province: Various tourist resorts such as: Alassio, Albenga (Museo Ingauno and Museo Navale Romano, museums), Loano, Finale Ligure (Istituto Internazionale di Studi Liguri - International institute for Ligurian studies), Varazze, Laigueglia, Celle Ligure, Cairo Montenotte (industrial town), Sassello (of environmental interest).