Dolceacqua is a small town located in the province of Imperia, very close to the French border. However, even if it is very small and it is really hidden in the Ligurian hinterland, it is quite popular through the tourists … especially German tourists !!! Let’s try to check why 🙂
How to get to Dolceacqua?
- by car – the most comfortable way
– A10 Motorway – motorway exit in Ventimiglia, before the French border. Then you pass through Ventimiglia and follow the road signs to Sanremo. After about 10 minutes you will see the road signs to Dolceacqua. You arrive there after another 10 minutes.
–Aurelia SS1 – state road that leads along the Ligurian coast. When you arrive in Ventimiglia, you have to turn in road SP64 that leads along river Nervia, directly to Dolceacqua.
- by bus – line 7 from Ventimiglia. It is about 7 km to Dolceacqua
- by train – you can arrive by train to Ventimiglia and then you take the bus line 7. More info here.
The name Dolceacqua comes from Latin Dulcius. It was the name of the hamlet during the Roman occupation. Then in the XI century was mentioned a castle of Dolceacqua. Two noble families (Doria from Genoa and Grimaldi from Monaco) were interested in possessing the hamlet. After the period of rivalry, the town became the propriety of Doria. Then Dolceacqua was partially destroyed during the Austrian civil war. And finally, in 1861 it became a part of United Italy.
Things to see & do
It is the most characteristic element of Dolceacqua. It was built in the XV century to connect the antic part of the hamlet with the newer part situated on the opposite side of the river. The bridge is a way to enter the old hamlet.
It is a LABYRINTH !!! There are no indications, nor where to go neither what to visit. Vicoli of the old town are very, very narrow and semi-dark. You will find many dead-end streets, you will hear the voices from the opened windows of the houses that are above the vicoli. The only intuition is to go up, where the castle is 🙂
Even if you have to pass through the labyrinth of Dolceaqua it is not so difficult to find it. The castle was built in the XIII century. In the Renaissance, it was rebuilt according to the trends of that period. Then during Austrian civil war was partially destroyed by French and Spanish soldiers. To make the things worse in 1887 a strong earthquake destroyed it again (more here). Nowadays it is possible to visit it.
Rossese di Dolceacqua
It is a typical wine from that part of Liguria. It is a DOC wine (Denominazione di Origine Controllata). The grapes that are used to produce this wine are Rossese (95%-100%). The wine has ruby, intense colour and soft, delicate taste and aroma. It is perfect with meat and fish dishes. The price from 15 € for a bottle.
This famous, French impressionist stayed during 1884 in Bordighera, the town that is located in this part of Liguria. During that period Monet often took the trips in that zone and in this way he visited Dolceacqua. He was very enchanted with the hamlet and he painted even 4 paintings that depicted the town. From that paintings, you can easily realize that Dolceacqua hasn’t changed at all during this years.
I believe that this is a reason why it is so popular through the tourists (not only German 🙂 ). Dolceacqua is still authentic and unchanging … that’s why it is worth to be seen 🙂