Cultural Italy Blog: Art, Coffee & Love

Castelvittorio: small treasures of Liguria region


Anywhere you go in Italy, don’t forget to explore the small towns around. Often time, fabulous jewels are tucked away in secret locations.

One example of such a jewel is Val Nervia located just some kilometers inland from the famous Liguria cost. Withdrawing from the blue Mediterranean sea and going toward mountain landscape one will find rich land full of secrets. Such small towns as Dolceacqua, Isolabona, Pigna, Castelvittorio and many others represent the unique cultural, historical and architectural legacy of Italy, real pearls spread all over Liguria region.

All of them are minute villages grown throughout millenniums along Nervia River. Centuries ago each of this spot, located just few kilometers away one from another, were often rivals fighting one against another. Today, they are pacific neighbors that look rather like open air small museums: each with its own breathtaking mountain view, picturesque narrow streets, ancient stone architecture and own cuisine and gastronomic specialties.
Probably the most fascinating among all is Castelvittorio.

Officially, today it is inhabited by only 329 people. It is indeed very small and compact. Yet, extremely cozy. The central piazza nowadays is decorated by a Christmas tree and warmed up by a fire. The guy in charge for the fire hearth, who by the way seems to belong to another century, every morning brings responsibly the trunks to the square and puts logs into the fire. Nice job for a provincial Italy!

Other attractions? Only one store, one church and two restaurants that firmly compete for the best goat baked with beans. Yummy, though really strange taste!
However, Castelvittorio’s amazing and unique townscape, narrow streets and provincial warm atmosphere won’t leave you shivering even during winter vacations.

Maria Novozhilova

twitter: @NovozhilovaM