From the second century AD, Vada Sabatia, which lies in a sheltered anchorage not far from Colle di Cadibona, became a sea and land trading centre, a safe port and a stronghold. The most important consular routes met up there: the ancient Litoranea, the Via Emilia Scauri and the Via Julia Augusta, which was the gateway to Gaul.
On Colle Sant'Elena there is a prehistoric stronghold and some tombs in the rock face that are of uncertain origin. A collection of Roman coins, ceramics and other objects is held in the Queirolo Archaeology Museum. Tombs and the remains of some buildings have been discovered around the municipal building, which is built on the foundations of a Roman house.
The late medieval tower and walls belonged to the Castrum Vadorum on San Genesio hill. The San Giovanni bulwark along the coast and what remains of the San Lorenzo fortress were built by the Genoese in the seventeenth century.
The parish church of San Giovanni Battista, whose façade is embellished with statues by Brilla, was rebuilt in 1706 although it probably dates back to the eleventh century. If you travel along the Segno valley up to the top of the hill, you will find the ancient chapel of San Genesio.
Eighteenth-century Villa Groppallo now houses a library and an art gallery with a collection of nineteenth-century paintings and sculptures from the various editions of the Vado Prize which took place in the 50s and 60s. One room in the museum and a town square are dedicated to the name of Arturo Martini, the great sculptor who lived in Vado. He created the monument to the fallen in 1923.
The local museums are very interesting: there is one dedicated to rural culture in the historic Cà Celesia and one dedicated to ornithology.
The spacious port is where you can find the ferry terminal if you wish to go to Corsica.