Dolceacqua: My Hidden Gem of Italy…

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.





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.






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.



How to get to Dolceacqua?


– 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.


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


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


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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81 thoughts on “Dolceacqua: My Hidden Gem of Italy…

  1. 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

    1. 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

      1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

    1. 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. ❤️


    1. 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


      1. Oh wow, Portugal. I would love to visit Portugal one day. It seems beautiful. It’s so hard when you live millions of miles away. When we visit Europe we try to make a ling 5-6 week trip to make it worthwhile.
        Was this your first time there?


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