Dolcedo lies 7 km north of Imperia in Liguria at the junction of the Torrente Prino and the Rio dei Boschi. In addition to the main town of Dolcedo-Piazza, it encompasses several smaller towns such as Isolalunga, Lecchiore, or Ripalta.
Town hall of Piazza Doria, with the church, and the five bridges that span over the Prino and the Rio dei Boschi, characterise the picturesque townscape of the main town with many old houses and winding alleys.
The oldest bridge is the Ponte dei Cavalieri di Malta or Ponte Grande, built by the Order of St. John in 1292.
Dolcedo was an important trade centre, as the town’s name Dolcedo-Piazza underlines. Located at the northern end of the Piazza is the spacious Loggia Suttu Munte, built in 1650. Today, the town hall (palazzo comunale) is located in the building above.
To the left of the passage to the church square of the parish church San Tommaso, two stone capacity measures from 1613 are immured ("meza barile de vino" – half barrel of wine and "quarto de olio" – a quarter barrel of oil). They bear the Genoese coat of arms, evidence to the long shared history of Genoa and Dolcedo.
The originally late medieval church San Tommaso was redone in baroque style in 1738. In doing so, the renaissance portal from 1492 was integrated into the baroque canopy of the façade. During the summer, classical concerts take place on the courtyard. The apsis of the church rises directly above the junction of the Prino and Rio dei Boschi. There, you are also able to see the late medieval foundations.
The wide basin of Dolcedo, called Conca d’Oro, is entirely covered by the terraces of the olive cultivation. Above the expansive olive groves, chestnut and oak forests grow all the way to the alpine pastures of the mountain ridge, where the Monte Faudo is the highest elevation at 1149 metres. There are a number of chapels that are worth seeing, such as the Santuario Madonna dell’ Acquasanta near the district of Lecchiore or the Chapel of Santa Brigida from 1425 on the point between Dolcedo and Pietrabruna. The old traffic network of the mule streets (mulatiere) is partially still preserved and designated for hiking.
Today, much of Dolcedo with its 1400 permanent inhabitants also lives off tourism with the olive cultivation and processing to olive oil. The number of inhabitants during the summer months triples. Here, among other things, the carefully restored Ligurian Rusticos of Dolcedo-Ripalta attract many people.