The Ligurian Riviera di Ponente enchants anyone who finds himself discovering it thanks to its landscapes, which range from the mountains to the sea and its postcard villages, with historical and artistic heritage to be revealed. Among these we cannot fail to mention Vallebona, a small town located in the heart of the Rio Borghetto Valley, in the shadow of Monte Nero. Vallebona is located in a perfect position that allows tourists to enjoy the sea, just 7km away, but also to relax in the verdant hinterland going to the discovery of some nearby villages, considered among the most beautiful in Liguria.
The origin of the name Vallebona suggests the fertile area in which the village stands: for centuries in fact, in the fields around Vallebona wine, olive oil, citrus fruits and splendid flowers have been produced, in particular mimosas and brooms.
Vallebona is a village of medieval origins and from that time there is no lack of vestiges of some fortifications. Before the arrival of the Napoleonic troops in the 18th century, Vallebona was first under the control of Ventimiglia and then of the Republic of Genoa, being part of the Independent Community of the Eight Places. Today Vallebona is a very picturesque village, whose concentric historical center develops upwards, overcoming a difference in height of about 200 meters: the buildings further downstream form a sort of wall that flows into the entrance to the city, or Porta di Santa Maria. The heart of the village is a riot of cobbled alleys, covered passages, arcades and squares, connected to each other by stairways or steep streets.
The historic center of Vallebuona revolves around the Church of San Lorenzo, dedicated to the patron saint of the village. Although the building is of medieval origin, today it shows a pleasant Baroque style: the bell tower of the 13th century and the 400 'portal decorated in slate, the work of Giulio De Rossi, remain from the oldest period. A visit inside the church will allow you to admire a mighty organ and a beautiful crucifix from the 15th century.
A stone's throw from the Church of San Lorenzo is the Town Hall, a graceful building that is characterized by the raised loggia.
Anyone who finds himself in Vallebona cannot fail to visit the Oratorio dei Disciplinati, inside which two valuable works by Maurizia Carrega are kept: a fresco on the Assumption and an altarpiece depicting the birth of the Virgin Mary.
Then a stop at the historic Vallebona distillery is not to be missed, known for its centuries-old production of bitter orange flower water: this essence is widely used both in cosmetics and in cooking, being in particular a fundamental ingredient of Vallebona biscuits, bugie, sighs with orange, Ligurian pandolce and exquisite pinolate amaretti. Speaking of food, a lunch in Vallebona will allow you to enjoy delicacies such as the condiglione salad, the Ligurian-style rabbit and the muntagna fish.
What to do
A holiday in Vallebona will not bore anyone, from young people who want to have fun being able to reach the coast in a short time, to families and lovers of traditions. For example, in the height of summer Vallebona is colored thanks to the "Ape in Fiore" event, dedicated to the typical three-wheelers still used today in the fields around the village, the only vehicles that can often cross the narrow agricultural dirt roads. Well, in the squares and alleys of the village, the Ape decorated with vegetation and flowers are placed, as if they were real works of art.
The Advent period is also very popular in Vallebona where, in the village square, there is a large bonfire kept lit from Christmas Eve until the day of the Epiphany, around which the entire citizenry gathers to sing, dance and exchange greetings.
Those who love trips out of town will find in Vallebona an ideal starting point to discover the beauties surrounding the village. For example, just over 13km from Vallebona stands the splendid Dolceacqua, a village that enchanted the impressionist painter Monet who in some of his paintings immortalized the Ponte Vecchio and the overlying Doria Castle, inside which some of the works of Monet himself are preserved. .
Seborga is just 9km away, nestled between the Maritime Alps and the Ligurian Sea, with a view of Monte Carlo. Seborga is an ancient principality of the Savoy family although not recognized by the Italian government and still retains its laws and its own currency, the luigino.
Event "Ape in Fiore" - Photo by borghidiriviera.it
images of lamialiguria.it