Once upon a time in Italy…

The sun is setting behind the Ligurian Alps as I call it a day and sip from my freshly-made Aperol Spritz accompanied by a free aperitivo. It’s early March and Spring is about to arrive in one of the prettiest villages in Liguria: Pigna. A labyrinth of winding, narrow lanes and steep steps leads up to the historic centre and church. No supermarkets or high street chains here, instead two small “alimentari” and a handful of local restaurants advertising whatever it is they have on the menu today. It’s the kind of place where time stood still, the kind of scene you remember from long gone classical Italian movies. It’s the quintessential off the beaten path in Liguria!

In the heart of these atmospheric lanes lies my “home”: Liguria Holiday Homes. From the outside the house blends in completely with the local medieval architecture. For all you know, it could be a local family that lives here! The inside however has been completely renovated and converted into a comfortable holiday home. The apparent stone walls in the bedrooms and the staircase give the place a rustic and elegant look, while the luxury kitchen appliances provide you with everything you need for a more than comfortable stay.

I am here to spend some quality time with friends. We enjoy late sumptuous breakfasts in the bright and spacious kitchen and endless aperitivo’s in the cosy living room. After a long walk in the surrounding mountains, it’s good to know the whirlpool bath (with massage jets!) and fluffy towels are waiting!

Liguria Holiday Homes villages in Liguria Liguria Holiday Homes villages in Liguria

As comfortable as the house might be, you’ll definitely want to venture outside. Have an early morning cappuccino at the local bakery, go for one of the most delicious truffle pizza’s I’ve ever tried at “Sul Ponte” or simply wander around aimlessly to soak up the atmosphere of this truly magical place.
There are plenty of walking opportunities for some more serious hiking too. Follow the Via Crucis that leads up from the village all the way to the Chiesa della Madonna di Passoscio. You’ll pass numerous little chapels, stare open-mouthed at the breathtaking views over the valley and simply appreciate the wonder of nature.

Day excursions from Pigna are aplenty. Take a 15 minute stroll up to Castelvittorio or take the car to Apricale, Isolabona and Dolceaqua. Each and every one of these villages will offer you a step back in time, they’ll take you back to an Italy you thought had ceased to exist a long time ago…

villages in Liguria Apricale

If you’re in the area, don’t forget to visit the Cinque Terre: five picturesque villages, linked by a beautiful coastal path! Get your boots ready!

I was a guest of Liguria Holiday Homes during this stay. All opinions are my own.

19 Replies to “Once upon a time in Italy…”

  1. Jules

    I love staying in self catering accommodation – long leisurely breakfasts, buying food to cook, taking life slowly as you say… it looks like you had a gorgeous stay.

    • Els Post author

      I did indeed! Looks like we have the same style of travelling: taking it slow, enjoying local culture, … Enjoy your next trip!

  2. Rob Taylor

    This is my favorite region of Italy and now I’m ready to return. And I saw you noted the price at the end… which sounds awesome! Thank you for planting an exciting idea for a fall trip. 🙂

    • Els Post author

      It’s easy enough, even without a car. The nearest airport is Nice. You can take a train from there to Ventimiglia, a beautiful 45 min train ride along the French and Italian Riviera. From Ventimiglia there are a few buses a day that take you to Pigna. Of course exploring the other surrounding villages will be easier if you have a car.

  3. Sandy N Vyjay

    Villages like this never fail to charm your senses. Once you have experienced the serenity of the villages, it is hard to love a bustling city! Loved the pictures.

  4. Vicki Louise

    I love the Italian villages in the countryside! Your home away from home looks perfect for relaxing, recharging and soaking up everything off the beaten path Italy has to offer!

  5. Elisa

    I like your “quality time with friends” concept, you found the perfect place for it! The house (inside) reminds me of my old apartment in Centro Historico in Genova. Pigna must be very off the beaten path because I lived in Liguria for 2 years and never heard about it. Nice finding!

    • Els Post author

      Oh really? Wow! Well, it is not the most famous place in the area, which makes it all the more attractive I suppose 🙂

  6. stacey veikalas

    Stunning Views and looks like an amazing place to stay! wow and of course with an april Spritz I would be heaven!

  7. melody pittman

    Your home away from home looks pretty fabulous and comfy. Yes, i would love to stay in a place like this while exploring Italy. My husband and I are hoping that after selling a few of our Panama houses that we can live in Europe at a different location for about 4 months each year.

  8. travelwithtarah

    Your house is so cute and much cleaner than mine is most of the time haha but I think I would definitely prefer to stay in this townhouse with some friends if I was in the area!

  9. Natasha Amar

    Such a quaint little place to stay in Italy. I spent a month in the country last year and your introduction took me right back to days of wandering around lovely Italian towns. If I do go back soon, I’d love to stay at Liguria Holiday Homes.

  10. Travelling Dany

    Italy is my home and has lots of areas that are mostly ignored by the tourists. Yet whenever you discover one… you feel like stepping out into a different world! Here they even treated you with delicious food, yummy!


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