Italy Spotlight Travel

Dolceacqua: My Hidden Gem of Italy…

Nestled in the Nervia Valley in the region of Liguria, is the charming town of Dolceacqua. Read more...

Nestled in the Nervia Valley in the region of Liguria, is the charming town of Dolceacqua. Dolceacqua is located 120km southwest of Genoa and is extremely close to the French border. The agricultural region is renowned for its fruitful olive groves and vineyards. Dolceacqua is tucked away, from the hustle and bustle of the Italian Riviera. It delivers its own sense of calmness and beauty in comparison to its neighboring hectic seaside towns.

The town of Dolceacqua is split into two sections, old, “Terra” (land) and new, “Borgo” (village). The old section of Terra is what captivates Dolceacqua’s visitors. Easily explored by foot, the old town will have you meandering through dark narrow alleyways lined with cobblestone paths. Explore the art galleries within private courtyards, where sunlight peeps through the fractured cracks of the walls. The cooler temperature inside the town’s facade emanates, as a result of stone houses and walls.

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The zig-zagged steep climb toward the top of Terra, is not a tiring one. Instead, it is a pleasant hike welcomed by Castello dei Doria. Adhered to the hilltop it sits upon, the historic castle from the 12th century is Dolceacqua’s centerpiece. At one of the entrances to the castle, La Fresque des Doria (The Doria Fresco), depicts life as it was in the castle in early time. These large stone images reveal rich history and tradition. Originally belonging to and named after the Doria family, the castle’s grand stature can be viewed from miles away. From the top towers, a sweeping panorama of the lush green surrounding hills of the Nervia Valley is inescapable.

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Alongside the castle, another feature of this alluring town is its medieval humped bridge. Built in the 15th century the pedestrian-only bridge, divides the old and the new parts of Dolceacqua and oversees the Nervia River. It’s no wonder famous French impressionist painter Claude Monet, captured the irrevocable beauty of this bridge and town. In 1884, inspiration from the commune of Bordighera, lead him to Dolceacqua, where he painted four works of art, incorporating the bridge and the castle, which remarkably resemble the untouched town as it still is today.

Strolling through the stonework maze of this little gem is serene. Yes, you may reach a dead-end street or get lost within the intricacy of alleyways, but in the end, you just may stumble upon something sweet or surprising or a local, who simply would love to chat.

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How to get to Dolceacqua?

Car:

– A10 Motorway – motorway exit in Ventimiglia, before the French border. Pass through Ventimiglia and follow the road signs to Sanremo. After about 10 minutes you will see the road signs to Dolceacqua. Arrive there in another 10 minutes.

–Aurelia SS1 – state road that leads along the Ligurian coast. When you arrive in Ventimiglia, turn into road SP64 that leads along River Nervia, directly into Dolceacqua.

Bus:

– line 7 from Ventimiglia. It is about 7 km to Dolceacqua

Train:

–arrive by train to Ventimiglia and then take the bus line 7.

 

Accommodation:

B&B Il Villino Via Romana 7018012 Bordighera, Italy

 

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In collaboration with the Dolce Vita Bloggers, Kelly at Italian at Heart, Jasmine at Questa Dolce Vita, and Kristie at Mammaprada

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Related posts:

Venetian Splendour

Sweet Sicily

Loving Levanto

Cinque Terre Charm

My Italian Connection

My Favourite Italian City

 

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79 comments on “Dolceacqua: My Hidden Gem of Italy…

  1. You gave me another place now that I want to visit in Italy. Fell in love with that Country and really want to go back sometime. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Getting lost in the alleyways of these charming, old Italian villages are the best way to truly enjoy them. Gorgeous pics Lorelle. x

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I just love Liguria! Dolceaqua looks so charming! I love medieval towns like this with all of those stone buildings and secret passageways!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. AggieSoon

    This place looks exquisite! Thank you for sharing it with us!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Great photos! I love the beautiful colors of the architecture. This place seems very calming.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. What a beautiful town! It looks like a gorgeous part of the world!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. clairabelle55

    Such a beautiful place, so pretty.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Now I can’t WAIT to get back home, pack my car and trip across the border into Italy and sample this idyllic place for myself. Thank you for showing it to me in your usual entrancing way. I really loved this post 🙂 x

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s a real favourite of mine Osyth. I loved that last trip we did to Europe a few years ago now. Driving from France across to Italy and sampling these smaller charming towns were the highlights of my trip. I am still yet to write about alluring Provence! Oh my heart beats every time I think about it. ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, Provence is captivating. From the Camargue through the salt flats of Aiguemort to the Gard and the Bouche de Rhône and on to the high spots of Cannes and Cap D’Antibes – there is no-where like it. But there is nowhere like much of France and much of Italy – I’d be hard pressed to really pick favourites but like you I do love finding the unsung places best of all ❤️

        Liked by 1 person

      • So true Osyth. They are all captivating in their own ways.
        Enjoy the week ahead dear friend ❤️

        Liked by 1 person

  9. mammaprada

    Gosh what a stunning place! I think I would be in complete heaven here! It’s so beautiful. Every corner is so sweet and pretty! No wonder you chose this! Thank you for joining up again Lorelle!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Absolutely gorgeous. I know that I would love that town. Your photos are lovely. I can definitely see a touch of French in the town.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Oh my goodness, I’m obsessed with those pictures! What a lovely place

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Looks like a beautiful little place. Not heard of Dolceaqua before but won’t forget it now. Great photos.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. love learning about hidden gems:)

    Liked by 1 person

  14. What a great pick! ❤ Thanks for sharing about this amazing hidden gem!!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Thanks Lorelle for introducing to this beautiful hidden gem.Such a lovely charming place like out of a fairy tale .Hope to visit Italy some day 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  16. There are so many tiny towns all over Italy that are filled with so much history and character, Dolceaqua looks like a perfect example of this. Thanks for your insight.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Oh wow how gorgeous!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. What a delightful village.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. What a cute paesetto! I’d love to embrace my inner Monet and paint that humpy bridge too. Ciao, Cristina

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Wow I love all of those little alleyways!

    https://dreamofadventures.com/

    Liked by 1 person

  21. I absolutely love all the brick and the narrow streets and passageways! It looks like such a fantastic place to explore! 🙂

    Kelly x
    http://www.theblossomtwins.com

    Liked by 1 person

  22. I love the name of this borgo and it looks absolutely beautiful. It’s everything you imagine a borgo to be and more! Who doesn’t love all those little maze-like alleyways, the surprises that wait for you around every corner! Such a wonderful gem – thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  23. What a pretty town. Another one added to my list. Thank you so much for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Simply beautiful 💜

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Such a beautiful town. I especially like the bridge.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. rachaelstray

    This looks like such a pretty place to visit. Love your photos.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Woah- absolutely gorgeous! You take the best photos x

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Oh Lorelle, I love this post!! You have such a great way of taking photos to make a place come awake for me. Thank you. 🙂 I’m going to Italy with my spiritual group in October, and I am such in a jazzed place to go! Mostly in the South, though my heart is probably with the North.

    Much love to you, Lorelle. Thanks for being here and sharing your passion. Have a great weekend. Debbie

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much Debbie.
      That’s wonderful news. The south is just beautiful as well. I love each region of Italy as they are so unique and special in their own ways. Will you head down to Sicily?
      My husbands family is from there and it’s very special to me.
      You must be very excited for your upcoming trip.
      Sending you love and blessings too Debbie. Enjoy your weekend as well. ❤️

      Like

  29. Oh my gosh woman, 66 COMMENTS on your hidden gem! Well-deserved!! Your photographs are fantastic as usual and I love discovering these more “unknown” Ligurian towns. I feel like they get so overshadowed so easily by other more famous names. Also, I’m sorry for my late commenting, I’ve just gotten back to Italy and into the blog again! Jasmine of http://www.questadolcevita.com

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks gorgeous. ❤️
      Yes. I think these smaller towns are definitely overshadowed by the larger ones, and all I want to do is discover more of them!
      All good. Enjoy your time there. Are you in Bergamo? Xx

      Like

  30. Not an area of Italy I know at all but I’d love to. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Such a charming town! My 2019 plan is to see this entire region and then travel all the way to the south of Italy.

    Liked by 1 person

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