Villa Centa was originally a private home built in pure liberty style in the early 1900s, on a hill named Cavetto that rises behind the small Church of Santa Caterina, the patron of Varazze.
Its unique position, dominating the Golf of Varazze and its architecture (large stained glass windows, spacious porches, a flat rooftop from which one can enjoy the entire beauty of the Ligurian Sea) put this hotel on top of the list with regards to good taste for life.
The “Belle Epoque” enlightened the world and Varazze is one of the four pearls of Liguria and Villa Centa, with its large spaces and its private tennis court is one of the most beautiful villas that frame the city.
The first testimony of Villa Centa as a hotel reaches us from a postcard dated 1929, sent to a countess of Varese from one of her fortunate friends.
But when World War II broke out, Villa Centa drew attention to itself due to its strategic position that favored the control on the city as well as on the sea activity below. Villa Centa became the headquarters of the German command of the area and for several years its rooftop hosted sentries that kept a lookout on the sea for the feared landing of the allies (on the promenade Lungomare Europa one can still find traces of small trenches and blockhouses that would have countered possible attacks from the sea).
At the arrival of the allied troops, Villa Centa is occupied quickly for strategic purposes. It is April 24th 1945, one day before the official date of the Italian National Liberation Day. (hence the name Via XXIV Aprile, an unusual date used to name an Italian street).
It is at Villa Centa where the surrender of the German troops occupying the area is signed and afterwards Villa Centa hosts the Headquarters for the National Liberation Committee.
In the immediate post-war period Villa Centa returns to its original vocation as a hotel, riding on the crest of the wave of success of the Italian boom.
The sixties are characterized by mass tourism, the overbuilding in Varazze and the plastic era as well as little attention to good taste and esthetics.
There are almost 150 hotels in Varazze but Villa Centa once again stands out and attracts lovers of a relaxed vacation, far away from the chaos of the central streets, immersed in a special atmosphere, a little retro and very sunny that render the hotel unique and distant from the standardization of those years.