The listed ‘Saracen retreat location’ Ripalta – covered all day by the sun and is airy on its hill – lies above the main town Dolcedo-Piazza somewhat in the hinterland of the provincial capital Imperia at the Riviera dei Fiori and amid the Val Prino, one of the most beautiful north-south valleys of the Ligurian Maritime Alps. Dolcedo is a dream location for your holidays.
Dolcedo is not a typical tourist centre. There are no hotels. Tourism is run exclusively through private holiday homes. The infrastructure is good. From Dolcedo-Ripalta, the main town of Dolcedo-Piazza located in the basin is reachable by foot within a few minutes.
In Dolcedo-Piazza, there is an excellent grocer’s shop, a new bakery, a convenience store, two butcher’s shops, a pharmacy, and a total of nine restaurants.
The “Torrente Prino” flows to the east of Ripalta, the enchanting “Rio del Bosco” to the west. The town towers above and is simultaneously gently enclosed by the terraced, age-old olive groves of the famous Taggiasca olives. The olive grove, founded around 1100 A.D. by the Benedictines, is the epitome of a European cultivated landscape. The Ripalta is labelled as a Saracen retreat town for a reason. Until the 1970s, Ripalta was still largely surrounded by a high wall of defence. During the Middle Ages, people sought out protection here from the Saracens, who regularly came from the coast and invaded the rich Val Prino.
There may well be similar towns in Liguria. However, Ripalta, with its compact, closed appearance and intricate houses, is a prime example. Ripalta is a holiday home “insider” with iconic status for Liguria’s connoisseurs. The houses are well renovated, partly in top-class quality, but rarely over-renovated. A certain amount of morbidity is simply part of it. It brings out the special, unmistakable charm. Here, you find the private holiday homes Centrale, Colle della Valle, de Sonnaz I, de Sonnaz II, Renata I, Renata II, Stella and Monika.
rivierapur.eu is limited exclusively to the houses of this charming town.
Now, Peter Dosot has also settled in Dolcedo-Ripalta. With his restaurant Casa della Rocca, he is cooking again toward the culinary Olympus stars.
Ripalta was rediscovered by Englishmen and Germans in the early 70s. For instance, Joschka Fischer performed as an amateur actor in the comedy thriller “Va banque” in the mid-80s. The film was partly set in the very native Ripalta. Generations of “discoverers” – for some time now not only foreigners but also wealthy Milanese and Turinese – have their holiday homes here. Ripalta is among the most attractive places of western Liguria. Yet tourism is limited by the number of houses.
The climate is legendary: The summer is not too hot, the winter is mild. The transition periods from April to June and September to November are THE time for connoisseurs and aficionados of this area.
Ripalta ideally unites the sea and the Maritime Alps. From Ripalta, the coast and the mountains can be optimally combined: Within ten minutes by car, you reach the coast, with its beaches, stores, restaurants, and bars – lively Italian life. At the same time, you can ideally explore the picturesque surroundings while hiking from the house – and experience them with all senses: the quiet rumbling of the Rio del Bosco and the chirping of the crickets, the intense colours of the Bougainville in the ochre grey of the old houses, the fragrances of the flowers, the lavender, rosemary and thyme, and last but not least the gentle fruitiness of the fresh oil from the Taggiasca olive.