5 THE MOST BEAUTIFUL AND SECRET VILLAGES OF LIGURIA, ITALY
Recently this little village got the 1 prize as “most beautiful italian village”, Cervo is situated on the seaside between Alassio and Imperia. By its walls, castle and fortification you can imagine the past of the village, characterized by many attacks by Saracens pirates. The places which definitely deserve a visit are the castle itself, the beautiful baroque church of San Giovanni Battista (called also Chiesa dei Corallini because it’s construction was financed by the coral trade, which was the biggest business of the town).
To have a romantic dinner try the restaurant Serafino, with an amazing view over the sea, overall during sunset.
The story of this little town is unique. After an earthquake destroyed the town of Bussana on 1887 the people decided to leave the village and re-start their lives building a new one closer to the sea, the one which is called today Bussana.
Bussana Vecchia (Old Bussana) has been for decades abandoned and officially didn’t exist anymore.
During the 60’s a community of artists, italian and international, decided to make the town re-born from its ruins, and they started fixing the building which survived the earthquake.
Officially they don’t own anything, but they have the right to use the structure of the village for their artistic production, they work glass, ceramics, they were painters and sculptores, and since that time the town had a new life.
Probably today you will not feel anymore the original hippie vibes from the past, and the artists are more artisans, but it definitely deserves a visit.
Get lost through the super-narrow alleys, reach the ruins of the baroque church Santa Maria delle Grazie which is without roof since the day when the earthquake destroyed it, and stop in one of the taverns to try some local wines ( Pigato, Rossese or Vermentino) and food (any kind of pasta with pesto sauce or rostelle if you like meat).
Became famous for being theater of one of the few Witch-Hunt episodes in Italy during Middle Age, Triora is a village located on the top of an hill in Valle Argentina. The altitude is significant so be sure to wear properly overall if you visit it not in summertime.
You can chill having a coffee in the main square before taking the “witches-tour” in Cabotina quartier, and visit the area of the towns where the girls used to live and the museum where you can learn what happened. Triora is also famous for its long-conservation bread, try it with some of the typical shepherd cheeses.
Another village where you will forget to be close to the see because of its “mountain atmosphere” is Apricale. This village hosts many events and exhibitions during the year, about photography and art, about olive oil production, a Tango festival and so on.
Try some typical food in one of the restaurant of the main square, where is great to have dinner outdoor, visit the Castle and the little street of the center.
Dolceacqua was founded and raised around its castle, which was meant to make people paying duties to come through. All the area around is dedicated to olives and wineyard farming, so don’t forget to try the great oil and wine (Rossese from Dolceacqua overall).
If you stop in the village you should definitely visit the Castle, recently renovated and saved from the risk of crumble after years of abandonment, from the top you will have an amazing view of all the valley and the river. In some hours of the day, pretty frequently there is a free tour around the Castle with a guide telling you the story of the city.
There are many great restaurants in the city, tripadvisor for sure will help you to find a good one, while stop for an aperitivo in sole little bars with a view over the bridge!