Reports from our guests

Relaxing, culinary delights and a change of place...

Guest in Ca Gianca

With our baby in Liguria

From: Bethge, Ines

This was the first holiday at the sea for our daughter Leoni. She turned eight months old while we were there.
We rented a beautiful holiday apartment amidst the olive groves: Ca Gianca 2 – Diano San Pietro (Besta) - Imperia.

Leoni in Liguria

It was important to us to have a balcony with a nice view across the San Pietro valley down to the sea and Diano Marina, and to have a garden. Because of the baby it was clear to us that we would need to watch over our baby while she slept, but now we could do this and enjoy a nice glass of Vino Rosso under the starry Ligurian skies.

During breakfasts, Leoni would lie on a blanket next to us and would play with the centipedes – we just had to make sure she didn’t eat any!
The weather was perfectly warm as a summer should be, even though it was the middle of September and our only opportunity to take a holiday. Leoni had lots of fun playing in the salty sea and with the sand on the beaches. We took trips into the hinterland by day and enjoyed the evenings by the beach, so that we wouldn't be grilled by the sun. It was the perfect solution.

Culinary delights in Trioria, Italy

Thus we came to visit some of the other towns in the area. We visited the medieval old witch town of Triora, where we also had a very tasty meal. We also visited Roccheta Nervian where there is a stream with many splash pools. If you walk along the river banks for a bit you come to a very nice well formed pool, which just positively invites you to take a dip. There are also canyoning tours available, which I guess we'll have to wait another time for.

Splash pools in the Ligurian hinterland

We even managed to make a day trip to the Cinque Terre. It was very beautiful, especially the way the five fishing towns seem to climb up to the cliffs. We walked along the stroller-friendly walkway, Via dell’Amore, which spanned from Manarola to Riomaggiore. We also visited the waterfalls in the Arroscia Valley, which were very nice. Of course the waterfalls weren't as vibrant as in spring, but when we took a little side tour into the beech-forest of Rezzo we were greeted with the grand autumnal range of colours.

Enjoying our holiday rental by the sea

It was a great holiday! Liguria has something to offer everyone:
Swimming in the sea, hiking and sight-seeing in the various valleys of the hinterland, and in between you can fill up with the wonderful local food.

And it is true: Italians are extremely children friendly.
Whenever we arrived somewhere, some friendly person would run up and poke and play and fuss about her. The only thing we could understand were “Che bella!” and “Ciao Bimba” - Leoni loved every minute of it judging by here squeals of delight.

We await the day when Leoni is bigger and we can return so that she can experience everything without a stroller or carrying bag.

Dear Mr. Cocca

We landed in Nice and from there it took us an adventurous hour to reach the Piazza de Torria. However, the most difficult part of the street adventure was still to come for a Westalen man. After we survived it though, we were welcomed into a friendly apartment in a good location with a grandiose view.

We sat for hours on the big terrace and couldn't get enough of the view. On one side, the view down the valley to the shimmering waters of the Mediterranean, on the other side the snow covered tree tops of the Alps. Between us and the Alps we could see picturesque towns taken straight from the a picture book, olive groves, vineyards, vegetable garden, stone walls, in which the many lizards( also some that are on the endangered species list) and other animals live, the narrow paths, the free running goats and many colourful flowers. The church bells ringing io the hour, the sounds of birds, goats and cows, the sound of the wind and rain (yes, we even got to experience the seldom seen Ligurian rain) all sounded different compared to the sounds of home. The many smells were refrenshingly strange and how many times do you get to say you have a fig tree in the garden?

The impressions left on us are too numerous to recount. The peace and quiet, and all the impressions: it was as if we were intoxicated.

The excursions to Colle de San Bartoloeo and further over the pass through Carpasio introduced us to yet another landscape. Also here were the vistas, where the steep slopes shifted up and down, and gave us insight into even more kinds of vegetation, houses, towns and terrain. The towns and shifting countryside offered something different from Bussana Vecchia….San Remo.. . . .Imperia . . . . Diano Marina . . . .Monaco . . . on wards

For a Westfalen man, the hardest part was dealing with the unique streets and driving habits of the locals ;-)

We cannot leave Milko, our landlord, unmentioned. After he picked us up at the Piazza with his moped, he directed us towards our new home, gave us the key and showed us around.

After we had moved in, he surprised us with home made marmalade and a bottle of olive oil, and a few days later, with a home made cake! He was always ready in case we had questions or any wishes, and he even gave us his mobile number in case of emergency, which thankfully we didn't have. It was so much more than I expected.

Thank you for all these great impressions.
Rainer Nibbeling

An unforgettable holiday.

From: Family Sanden

Dear Cocca Family,

Truth be told, I wanted to write you a thank you note right after our holiday, but unfortunately the real world caught up to us sooner than we thought!

The idyllic location of the holiday rental in "centro storico" Varcavello nestled in the small alleyways started our holiday in a surprisingly enjoyable way.

The furnishings, the cleanliness and the beautiful view gave us a holiday feeling from the first moment we arrived. Not all the activities recommended to us when we were checked in could be explored, but those which we did explore will forever remain unforgettable.

For example, the whale-watching (see picture) and the visit to Cascina rio rocca (see picture), where we were spoiled rotten. I also use this opportunity to send my best wishes to Rio Rocca and his wife.

We are already looking forward to our next holiday with you and hope the service and nice accommodation will be just as good.

Many thanks and many greetings

ilze&jean-marc sanden

The conquest of the Riviera of Olives

(Text: B. Hartnagel)

You know it from Germany: you are driving around looking for some street named Hugo-Schneider-Way and you think to yourself, who the heck is Hugo Schneider? And then you are standing on the corner of the street and you read the small sign under street sign: Previous owner of this property- aha!!

When you turn off at Imperia Ost, and head beneath one of these enormous concrete bridges of the Autostrada towards Dolcedo, located amidst the olive mountains of the River Valley, looking for a spot on the map called Bellisimi, as a fair judge of all things Italian, you expect to find a beautiful little town
- which it turns out, you are not wrong.
After a few days in the Dolcedo region, you come to realize that there are many, and sometimes more beautiful, mountain towns around. Lucky for the people of Bellisimi, their town is named after the once richest family in the area.
Signore Bellisime, your 2 street town is not the pearl of the olive Riviera, but it is the ideal starting point to explore the cultural landscape between Imperia and Veintemiglia, to get away from the tourism, but still be close to the bathing, shopping and promenades.

The stretch of maybe 100 kilometers along the coast offers rows and rows of valleys, from which fresh water from the Ligurian mountains trickles down into the Mediterranean; everywhere there are olive groves, forests and plantations (Picture 1).

View of Liguria, Italy

Picture 1

An impressionable cultural landscape, which has been created, cultured and expanded over the centuries by the inhabitants of these valleys. Only at the bottom of the streams do you see some nursery which disfigures the picture for the visitor. The Riviera of Flowers? There has to be other reasons for this flowery name. For the inhabitants of the valleys, with their many romantic, sometimes spectacular, mountain towns, the name Riviera of Olives would be unquestionably more applicable.

So what does an explorer need in his backpack? We recommend a good pair of hiking boots for him and her, a nice summer dress for her, and sunglasses for both. An insect repellent is a must, as hiking along the streams during your adventure leads you right into the homes of the “little biters”.

Relaxing on the beach near the holiday home

Picture 2

Let him carry a small backpack with some necessities, maybe a water bottle, 2 apples, some biscuits, binoculars and a camera to capture it all.

Swimwear is better left in Bellisimi, at least at the beginning. Once you get back from your adventure in the hinterland you can pull them out and pack them into your backpack along with some towels, and then 20 minutes later you are lying on the beach in the evening sun in Imperia ( picture 2) watching the sinking sun letting its rays play over the blue sea. Of course you can also relax in the water with a few strokes in the sea or just by lying in the shallows.

Tomatoes near our holiday rental

Picture 3

Once you are down in Imperia, you might as well buy a couple of super fresh tomatoes. The farmer is down at the harbor and will gladly sell you for a ;-)
They are so exotically aromatic (picture 3), that both she and he enjoyed them with cheese, olives, bread and a bottle of red wine down at the harbor promenade of Oneglia next to the fisher king (picture 4), where they dreamed themselves into the late evening hours (picture 5).

Harbor promenade Imperia

Picture 4

The next day he puts on the backpack again, she skillfully ruffles her dress and its off towards the valleys on the historical donkey paths through the olive groves and streams towards Dolcedo (picture 6).

Imperia vacation rental center

Picture 5

Yes, donkey paths and terraced landscapes with millions of stones formed by the hard labour of men. You only see a few donkeys here and there, but modern man, especially the olive farmers, now move around on adventurous motorized units, that have been adapted to the parameters of the donkey paths. We ask ourselves many times the farmers navigate some of the daredevil paths amidst the olive groves.

Hiking in the ligurian hinterland

Picture 6

When we are sitting on one of the stone bridges that crosses the streams, eating our apples or drinking water, then we find that the people here, with stones, olives and donkeys, have created and preserved a wonderful piece of earth.

Archways in Dolcedo, Italy

Picture 7

We feel the old stones, the gnarled tree stumps and bizarre dendritic branches of the olive trees, and we know that men can work hand in hand with nature.

Arriving through the stone arches in the city of Dolcedo (picture 7) we find ourselves drinking delicious homemade lemonade, as we missed the bus, so we wait for another 4 hours, until the next bus will make its serpentine way towards Beliisimi, in a street café at the crossroads to the entrance of the town.

Liguria, Italy, the place we like to take a holiday

Picture 8

She ruffles her dress again and he holds out his thumb. The Swiss neighbor stops and takes both down to Bellisimi to pack their swimming attire and then down to the Riviera dei Fiori to Imperia.

When we wake up in the morning in Bellisimi, we are in a permanent holiday mood and look forward to the next donkey path and evening in Imperia and we do not want to be anywhere else (picture 8).

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Last Update: 15.11.2018 05:58:42