For those thinking of visiting Liguria, the Italian Riviera in 2013, the team at Holiday Homes in Italy think that this village is a gem; traditional, pretty, close to the coast, within easy reach of France and
Nice airport and well worth discovering!
Apricale is a beautiful medieval hilltop village, a 15 minute drive from the beach and less than an hour from Nice airport. “Apricus” is latin for exposed to the sun and this village is protected by the Maritime Alps and rises in a fortunate position between the woods at the far edge of Liguria on the French border, giving it an excellent climate.
Apricale is unique. Picturesquely arranged around the small square, it has a stepped appearance, with the old stone buildings rising on several levels: thus it happens that many entrances are on the top floor, and you need to go down the stairs to get to the rest of the house.
Cobblestone passages lead up to the Piazza and many murals decorate them as this is an artists’ village. Apricale, however, does not scorn a touch of contemporary art: the bicycle on the bell tower, the murals on the walls of the carugi, the steel pages of the monument to books by Enzo Pazzagli and Claudio Nobbio. In addition to a couple of art galleries, you will also find sculptures and painted glass. There are many events in Apricale during the year and regular exhibitions.
In the Piazza, you will find the main Church, of medieval origin but almost entirely redone in the 19th century. Above stands the Castle, entirely restored and now used as a cultural center: it has a hanging garden and is surrounded, like the upper part of the village, by an impressive circuit of walls with three magnificent arched gates. One of the castle’s square towers was later transformed into the bell tower of the church.
At the foot of the village is the Church of Santa Maria degli Angeli, with excellent Renaissance and Baroque frescoes and, just outside, the 13th-century Church of Sant’Antonio Abate, with a Baroque facade, and the ruins of San Pietro in Ento, a Romanesque church of Benedictine origin, the oldest church building in the area.
The Town of Olive Oil, Apricale is the land of the taggiasca, an olive that gives an extra virgin olive oil of exceptional quality. You will many little boutiques selling local produce such as olive oil, pickled olives, pesto, acacia and chestnut honey.
There are several restaurants to suit all tastes and budgets (from gourmet restaurants to the local Pizzeria). La Grotta restaurant at the foot of the square offers vaulted ceilings, great food and warm and welcoming owners. La Favourita just on the left whilst approaching the village is well known throughout the region and attracts both French and Italian clientele. There are also a couple of pizzerias.
The typical menu from Apricale begins with an appetizer of stuffed vegetables, followed by a first course of ravioli (filled with meat, borage or chard) or of tagliarini with pesto.
For the main course, the choice is between roast leg of lamb, rabbit with olives cooked in Rossese wine, or wild boar with polenta. Typical desserts include pansarole and zabaione.
There are also cafes to relax with a cappucino; Bar Tarocchi at the foot of the village and the main bar in the square, which has tables and chairs from early summer through to Autumn. A recent addition to the village is another bar / gelateria on the walk up to the square.
The village has a general grocery store in the main part of the village, a post office and tobacconist in the square and a pharmacy.
Apricale is very close to the main Strada dei Fiori, which links Monaco, Nice, Ventimiglia, San Remo and beyond. A train service runs parallel to the road and a taxi or bus may be taken from Ventimiglia station to Apricale. Limone is about an hour and a half from Apricale and one can ski there in the winter.
From Apricale, you can reach the pretty village of Dolceacqua, which is a mere 5 minutes drive away. Here you can find more shops, mini-supermarkets, bars and restaurants. Other villages worth a visit are Pigna and Perinaldo and the pretty principality of Seborga.
France is also very accessible with Menton a mere 30 mins away as well Monaco being only 40 mins.
In terms of coastline, you are on the doorstep of the Italian riviera; Bordighera is the main coastal resort closest to the village with large expanses of beaches. For those wishing to explore further afield, there are nice beaches around San Lorenzo al Mare and Riva Ligure. San Remo, Imperia and Alassio are all easy day trips away.
Holiday Homes in Italy is pleased to present Apricale Cottage, a gorgeous 2 bed cottage with open views over the valley, relaxing terraces and walking distance of amenities! Prices start from just £400.00 per week sleeping up to 4, details can be found by clicking here.
For a list of accommodation in Liguria, click here.