Dolceacqua, which literally means “sweet waters” in Italian, is a medieval hill town that lies about 5 miles north of the Mediterranean coast. I didn’t taste the waters of the Nervia River that runs through this small town, but our visit here did leave us with a feeling that was altogether “sweet”.
The Nervia River divides this town into two parts, the “Terra” district, which is composed of tall buildings lining the narrow passageways up the hill to a medieval castle, and the “Borgo” district, which is a little more modern. We started on the “Terra” side, climbing up and up and up the narrow passageways and staircases until we finally made our way to the top.
The Doria Castle was built in the 12th century with a two-fold purpose: to protect against potential attacks and to monitor the movements of the surrounding villages. It was embellished in the 16th century by Stefano Doria, but sadly damaged by the Franco-Austrian war and the earthquake of 1887.
As we made our way down the hill, we came across this amazing plaza with a church built in 1471 (St Antonio Abate) and a rows of beautifully restored cars.
By this time, we were hungry for lunch, and thanks to a recommendation from a shop owner, we found our way to Casa E Bottega. Sitting on their beautiful terrace in the sun, with pesto gnocchi going into the belly, we absolutely enjoyed this Italian experience.
With our stomachs full of Italian goodness, we encountered one more beautiful sight on our way back to our car – the lovely pedestrian “Old Bridge”.
Although our trip here was short, we were happy that we made the time to taste the “sweet waters” of Dolceacqua.
- Casa E Bottega, Piazza Garibaldi, 2, Dolceacqua. Tel: +39 0184 205038. www.ristocasaebottega.it