When in the morning at the Relais we meet our guests at breakfast for a chat, I know that in ninety-nine per cent of cases the main question will be: “what could we do today?”
It is not always easy to advise because among them some love the sea, some the mountains, others love the vast and uncontaminated nature, or the good food or the wilder side of our land.
But fortunately, we are in Liguria, and our land offers places for all tastes.
In winter you can go on an adventure snowshoeing around or take a walk along the sea and enjoy a coffee on the beach. In summer, you can take long swims in the morning, and relax in the afternoon in some cool mountain lake.
All this, within an hour journey at the most.
But what spots have a real place in our heart? Which are the “unmissable” corners, the ones that must be visited to be able to say that you have seen the real Western Liguria? We have collected them in a list for you:
- Bussana Vecchia
Bussana Vecchia is a small village difficult to describe with words due to its unicity. Destroyed by an earthquake in the late nineteenth century, it was partially rebuilt in the fifties by Italian and foreign artists who settled there. Even today it hosts an international community of artists who have transformed this medieval village into a real unicum of our region, now known to most as “the village of artists”.
I love to consider Cervo as the sixth addition to the “Cinque Terre” towns. Of course, don’t expect the exact same colours and architecture as the well known Ligurian marvel, but without doubts the small village of Cervo can give you the same thrill if you decide to venture through its narrow streets, dotted with shops, artisans and small bars. Tip from the locals: if you fancy a dip in the sea or a cocktail with a breathtaking view, don’t miss the Porteghetto Beach Bar!
- Porto Maurizio
The western part of Imperia, Porto Maurizio, is a true Ligurian gem thanks to the relaxing walks along the coast, the small neighbourhoods such as the Foce, the Prino and the Marina ones where fishermen still live, and the Parasio hill overlooking the city with the magnificent and imposing cloistered monastery of Santa Chiara. Absolutely not to be missed.
Yes, it will cost you about 40 minutes of travel, but it will be worth it. Finalborgo is a place that will enchant you from the first moment you cross the ancient doors to its walled city centre. Every time I visit, I would spend the whole time wandering around its alleyways in adoration, always ending up enjoying the same plate of homemade ravioli from Osteria I Torchietti: a guaranteed treat.
Craving for art but the day is too beautiful to shut yourself up in some museum? No problem, because there is Valloria, the town of painted doors! Take a nice walk through the narrow streets to appreciate the skill of 150 artists, each of whom was responsible for giving life to every door in this town…making it very, very colourful!