So we’re back and the vacation is over (for 8 days now) but I have to say that this is one Christmas and New Year’s getaway that I wished would never end. As a last-minute xmas present to ourselves, we booked 6 days in Liguria to ring in the new year with a change of scenery and climate. Liguria, to our surprise, looked like it was in the throes of spring. Green everywhere, sunny, no snow, and for us mountain dwellers used to the cold, we were loving the mild temps!
Our farmstay apartment was situated 9 miles inland from Albenga along the riviera ponente (to the west of Genova) about halfway between Genova city and the french border. This made it an ideal base from which to visit not only France, but also the many medieval villages nestled inland and along the coast within Albenga’s environs. There are quite a few listed in Borghi più belli d’Italia, but even those not mentioned were special in their own way. Some are very quiet at this time of year, but the relevant silence made wandering the tiny alleys and narrow lanes all the more enchanting.
Colletta di Castelbianco
Waking up late, shopping at the Ipercoop in Albenga (there’s a tiny Eataly section in there) for homecooked meals, strolls with the dogs and reading books. 100% off-the-grid and not missing it one bit. We welcomed 2013 with several other guests – one of whom was from Lebanon and that was an interesting conversation! – and our hosts who had organized a festive dinner that culminated in a big bonfire of burning olive branches in their yard. The highlight of the evening? Teaching everyone how to say Happy New Year in hawaiian – Hau’oli Makahiki Hou!