New Year’s holiday in the italian riviera

Mr B and Maddie at La CrosaSo 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

Colletta di Castelbianco

Colletta di Castelbianco

Zuccarello

Zuccarello medieval bridge

Zuccarello center town

NYE-dinner-at-La-CrosaWaking 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!

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6 thoughts on “New Year’s holiday in the italian riviera

  1. Anne

    Rowena , Rowena, Rowena,how you made my heart beat a bit faster … We actually stayed in Coletta Castelbianco for 10 days .. we stayed out of season, and it was fabulous .. November is my husbands birthday , and we had the restaurant to ourselves, and the chef made him his own cake, .. I had arranged this once we had been there only a day 🙂 extra special , for us, we were the only paying people there, .. a few others were around but they lived there. we visted nearly every little town on the sea .. started with Alassio and the last place we made it too was Santa Margherita Ligue … We didn’t visit Genoa though, .. we loved what we saw and experienced! Would go back again in a shot!!

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    1. Rowena Post author

      Anne, I wish we had an extra 4 days to add to our six. During the off season this area is such a treat to visit, and we would have liked to dine at the one restaurant in Colletta too. So glad you loved your visit. We look forward to a repeat this June or perhaps at the end of the year!

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    1. Rowena Post author

      Not enough (or so says my brain). This might become our regular destination for winter holidays. The seafood is a bit cheaper, the people are really nice (smiling cashiers at the grocery store), and of course France just under an hour away. We get enough of cold and snow at ours.

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