Appare come “Il castello dei Pirenei” di Magritte, Apricale, minuscolo borgo ligure, fra i più bei borghi d’Italia.
It appears as “The Castle of the Pyrenees” of Magritte, Apricale, tiny Ligurian village, among the most beautiful villages in Italy.
Where is it?
In the Province of Imperia (Liguria), one step away from France, between the Maritime Alps and the Ligurian Alps, it seems to be in a fairy tale. It stands out clinging to a mound, not very high, but which, in the green, looks like a naked stone suspended in the air, with a nativity set on it. Apricale surprises both that you arrive from the impervious streets that connect it to Triora, another beautiful mountain village, the village of the Witches, whether you reach it from the sea, from Imperia, passing through Dolceacqua, another enchanted place. It is a village carved into the stone and clinging to the rocks. A maze of alleys, dry stone walls, stone bridges and tunnels, is its backbone. Streets made for mules, when the roads by the sea were only steep paths in the woods. The roads are still tortuous but well passable.
What to do in Apricale?
It is the quintessence of Liguria, which slides from the mountains into the Mediterranean. The Castle of the Lizard, which stands out on the square, at the summit of Apricale, next to the church, is a balcony on the mountains, ideal destinations for a trekking weekend. A short distance Dolceacqua and just further away the beautiful villages of Triora, Montalto, Badalucco. But also the sea or Pigna, with its thermal baths, a large historic establishment, secluded and well-kept, at great prices, popular among cousins from across the Alps. Apricale is a village where you can immerse yourself in silence and contemplate the stars, appreciate the darkness and peace, after a dinner at the Slow Food presidium, Da Delio, goat and beans with Vermentino of the territory. Enjoy a breathtaking view of the wooded valley from the windows of the authentic stone houses of the popular Muntaecara hotel. Fabulous reception, Apricale is also a garrison of some craft niches (historical production of fine wines and extra virgin olive oils) and artists, in particular a manufacturer of very original painted post boxes.
A romantic village but not only …
The romantic village of Apricale has been in the past more remote place of exchange between Gauls and Celts Liguri. The alliance that, alongside the Carthaginians, brought Rome to its knees, against the indomitable Liguria. Place of passage for riders, Occitan minstrels and sailors. Destination of solitary monks who, at the beginning of the Middle Ages, brought the cultivation of olives (in Apricale there is stroscia, the original ice-cream with oil). The olive trees made the fortune of the territory, a place where you could only have goat’s milk and chestnuts, in antiquity. Excellent chestnuts to make flour with which to make castagnacci, pastas, not to mention roasted chestnuts.
At Apricale you will find the world designed by Emanuele Luzzati and Italo Calvino. A crossroads of worlds, mountains, mule tracks, poets, painters, tourists, walkers. Even the naive paintings on the walls contribute to creating this unique atmosphere, of reconnecting with the historical past, with the soul of the world, with nature. The “remote province”, of houses abandoned until a few years ago, without noise, to be rediscovered and which, with good will and love, becomes the protagonist and tow of a new tourism (“with a human face”), of an ancient-new way of being in the world and with the world. Far from stereotypes and homologations of mass tourism by spotlight.