The small villages that existed before the foundation of Borghetto in 1288, which was ordered by the municipality of Albenga to defend against the mighty Dorias of Loano, were a long way from the sea. The new town was surrounded by a wall of which only a few parts remain. It was built on the Via Aurelia close to the mouth of the Varatella River. The name Santo Spirito derives from the twelfth-century hospital of the same name. The municipal territory stretches across an alluvial plain (where flowers, vegetables and fruit are cultivated) and goes inland as far as Monte Acuto (747 m.). The promontory separating Borghetto from Ceriale to the west interrupts the sandy coastline with rocks and beaches that are a mixture of pebbles and sand. Among the water sports practised here are sailing and windsurfing. The Loano diving centre organises underwater excursions off the coast at Borghetto. There was once a sacred Roman altar on the promontory, but today you can see Borelli castle, a nineteenth-century mock-mediaeval building which is not open to visitors. The seaside promenade and the recently-built jetty are very well known and were a haunt of famous people in the 'sixties.
The parish church of San Matteo, which stands at the heart of the old town centre, underwent late-Renaissance reconstruction.
The sanctuary of Sant'Antonio belongs to a later period. The municipal building was built in the early twentieth century in turn-of-the-century style. Although there are only a few inland woods, it is pleasant to walk through the cluster-pines on the higher areas and visit the ancient olive presses (a few of which have remained intact) or the old abandoned church of Patarello.
There are some paths leading up the Varatella Valley and connecting with the Liguria Alta Via through Toirano.