July 28, 2020
As all who love Italy know, Italians take great pride in Italy and all the marvelous things it offers. Italy has designations for food and wine. They are more particular than any other country with those judgments and titles. They also have a designation for the best, most beautiful villages in all of Italy.
We have already visited several of these borgi in Liguria, including Vernazza, Tellaro, Verezzi and Laigueglia. Today we will visit Cervo, Finalborgo plus a few others not qualified under this designation.
Who decides a town is worthy of the title of one of the most beautiful towns in Italy? There is an association of Scientists who award the title.
First, there must be less than 15,000 inhabitants.
Each town must have a harmony of appearance, historically significant style, preserving the heritage of the town, the historical construction.
There must be an artistic element and a high livability index.
There is an annual fee to keep the designation. These are some of the true hidden gems of Italy, off the beaten path and well worth a visit.
My trusty friend Gabriele took me to see another hilltop wonder, Cervo.
We parked near the castle shown above and walked around it.
Where the ancient bricks are adorned with color and vegetation.
As is typical in Liguria, the homes were welled cared for, and colored like dreamsicles, lemonade and popsicles.
Families have lived here for centuries in these medieval structures.
Arches and buttresses keep these homes standing.
And of course there is a church anchoring the souls of the people to the land.
Even with the hils of this town, the church town peeks overhead.
The church itself is in the baroque style, with tiny, almost excessive detail everywhere.
Its prominent position overlooks the sea.
From the door
And from the street running alongside it.
Far below us you can rest along the seaside. But first you must walk along very steep and narrow alleyways away from this gem of a town.
Cervo is definitely a place off the beaten path for you to visit. Be prepared to walk up and down steep streets. Wear good shoes to help you walk on stone pathways and hold on as you walk down hill especially.
Historic Finalborgo is a cyclist’s paradise as well as a beautiful town in the hills of Liguria.
Above is the central piazza and below is a detail of the main doorway.
Details on many buildings are preserved.
Even when buildings have been “updated” to the 19th Century.
Finalborgo is not has hilly as Cervo. It is at the base of many hills filled with biking and hiking trails. Many outdoors people spend a good amount of time in and around Finalborgo.
Others visit to walk the medieval streets under corbelled arches,
And flying buttresses.
Enjoying the lovely ambiance,
Checking out the signs of ancient times.
We crossed the river where this three-sided home extension over the water caught my eye.
I wonder if that laundry ever gets dry hanging there.
Cervo and Finalborgo sono I borgi piu’belli d’italia. They are two of those most beautiful villages. Let’s check out a couple more that I think hold quite a bit of beauty too.
Since Albenga has over 24,000 inhabitants it has too many people to qualify for the judges. For me, however, I enjoyed it very much.
This city is a mixture of ancient and 19th century structures.
Above is the side of an ancient church dedicated to St. Michael the Archangel. The Cattedrale di San Michele Archangelo is the main church of Albenga and people have been worshiping on this spot since the late 300’s A.D.
This rendition of the church is completely medieval in design. It was built around 1100A.D. and updated in the 1200s.
Who ARE those creatures up near the rose window? If they are gargoyles, they are the strangest I have ever seen. They look like aliens. Both Gabriele and I were fascinated by them—we attempted to Google them for answers to what they represented. I looked from home too. I just have zero idea. But take a close look at them.
Nearby was the Baptistry along with other ancient structures.
It was built on even more ancient structures. Want to see a bit of what’s beneath it?
And another shot.
Below is a stunning side window of the Baptistry.
After leaving this area behind we walked the medieval streets,
From light into darkness,
Along winding streets with flowers and hanging laundry.
The slits of light add to the ambiance as does the tower above.
What a doorknob!
As we departed, I took this shot of the remainder of the containment wall against modern vehicles, and laundry in the window of a 1900s building. Ah, Liguria.
The piccolo paese, the small town, of Varigotti has less than 800 inhabitants living in this out of this world locale. Varigotti is called Un borgo Saraceno, a town of the Saracens (Arab people) who invaded all along the Mediterranean coast. This town is really a resort area with colorful structures,
Note the rectangular windows and flat roofs like those you would see across the Mediterranean in many Arabic communities. Also, note the watchtower on the hill above, once used as a lookout for invaders.
Color is everywhere—on the exterior of the homes and added flowers everywhere.
All roads lead to the sea.
That beautiful Mediterranean blue color.
Everyone gathers in the piazza
When not on the seaside.
This was such a colorful, relaxing place. I hope to spend a couple nights in Vargotti the next time I am nearby.
It is time to say goodbye to these four beautiful borgi and dream of returning, especially to this Candyland colored town. Would you like to travel with me next year to some of these places? Thanks for virtually traveling with me today.
Ciao for now!
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Ciao for Now!
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