Pinecone? an ancient Ligurian village in the upper Val Nervia, very popular with cats and northern European tourists. Probably if you've been there? just to be able to stop at its famous natural baths (definitely not very fragrant, but absolutely beneficial) or to take a photo of the splendid waterfall next to the hotel. It is an imposing structure, which is very reminiscent of the splendor of the Riviera in the golden years of the Sanremo Festival of Italian song. Well-kept interiors, beautiful rooms, but above all fantastic thermal water with also a heated indoor pool. From the hotel you can photograph beautiful glimpses of the aforementioned waterfall and the entire village, being slightly detached from the latter and positioned a little more? up.
The Grand Hotel often offers wellness packages, but you can easily decide to book a room and enjoy only the benefits of the two swimming pools and the phlebological path or add some treatment of your choice.
The cost of a standard room with breakfast ranges from 80 to 100 Euros depending on the period.
Pinecone? a village with little more? of 800 inhabitants a short distance from the certainly pi? renowned, worldly and maritime Bordighera. A resort inland surrounded by greenery and with a decidedly curious name: it seems that the old houses of this village, close to each other and crossed by steep paths, appear just like the fruit of conifers. A village where time seems to have stopped, between lazy cats resting in the sun and croaking frogs chatting happily while hidden birds converse with each other.
In this tiny corner of Ponente in the province of Imperia you will not be spoiled for choice in terms of places to eat, but I highly recommend two, both on the main street of the country: Trattoria La Posta and Micky's Deli + Sul Ponte. The dishes prepared by both are typical of the local cuisine and, without spending a fortune and with decidedly fair prices given the portions, you can taste "a piece of Liguria" beyond? of the usual focaccia.
If I were you at La Posta I would not miss the mix of savory pies for any reason in the world, at just under 10 Euros. Delicious? say the least! Mind you: you will find it open only at lunchtime or during the day but only as a resale of some local products / bakery.
Every time I come back, at least one stop? a must at Micky's Deli + Sul Ponte. And do you know why? Everything is always delicious !!!
You may also be wondering about the two names. Well,? something a bit special. For lunch at Micky's you will eat Sul Ponte. The two rooms are divided by a removable wooden wall. What? you will have lunch tasting the fantastic handmade delicacies of Micky's in the pretty tables of Sul Ponte but also consulting their menu, unless you decide to take them home since? also take away of Pignasche and Ligurian delicacies.
In the evening, instead, you will dine only on the bridge, in this graceful and simple environment, but full of unusual details such as the splendid "leaf" chandelier, the dishes all different so? like the external seat cushions.
If it's not cold you can eat in a veranda overlooking the street, very pretty and always full of flowers.
The porch ? always decorated with pretty lights (sometimes even with bizarre shapes?).
Is the restaurant / pizzeria called Sul Ponte precisely why? it is practically located above this architectural structure where friendly geese often splash around and chat.
In the evening, in addition to typical dishes, you can also enjoy excellent pizzas.
Do not miss the Ravioli di Pigna, or rather Raviore. In my opinion spectacular, both in the version of Micky's (during the day) and Sul Ponte (in the evening).
This first course (topped with butter, sage and cheese)? based on pasta stuffed with the so-called preboggi? n, a mixture of spontaneous herbs typical of Ligurian cuisine. It consists of a mix of wild herbs, often containing spinach and borage. But no grandmother or any cook will tell you? never its secret mixture, so make up for it: savor and delight your palate! With 9 euros you will eat a dish that, I assure you, sazier? the appetite of even the most? ravenous.
In Pigna you cannot fail to taste "goat and beans" (unless you are a vegetarian like myself): apparently a real treat (my partner and many other people really appreciate this dish). And then here the beans are not just any legumes: they are even a Slow Food presidium! The white beans of Pigna are small, with a particular taste why? do they grow in these specific lands and production? only 40/45 quintals per year at most. With 13 euros you will come? served this typically Pignasco food, placed in earthenware containers that will give an even more touch? traditional and peasant to the plate.
But the choice? wide and you can try many other typical dishes such as the classic "Ligurian rabbit", "brandacugniun" (based on stockfish) or "barbagiuai" (a sort of fried ravioli with pumpkin and cheese). And "cruseti cun am? Scia", "pisciarada", "bernardun" and "murigneti dulsi"? It's up to you to test dishes with almost unpronounceable names that hide who knows? which delicious ingredients of the cuisine of these lands.
With less than 30 euros you will eat very well and for sure you will not go out hungry, indeed!
A stroll through the streets of the village? highly recommended after dinner, trust me! Here, a piece of advice: dress up cute if you want, but don't overdo it especially women. Better a pair of ballet flats or at most wedges. You will thank me given the slope of some streets and the presence of ancient cobbles.
Whatever you decide to eat, accompany it with good Rossese di Dolceacqua, a red wine with a characteristic flavor and low production from the homonymous town not far from Pigna, very picturesque and dear to Monet. The price of a bottle at the table is around 13 Euros, but to render? your dinner definitely more? cheerful and refined at the same time.
How to get:
- From Bordighera (IM) - about 22 Km: Exit Bordighera and continue on the SS1; Overcoming Vallecrosia; In Ventimiglia continue on SS1 / SS1DIR / Corso Genova / Viadotto Torrente Nervia; At the Corso Genova roundabout take the 1? exit and continue on SP64; Go through Dolceacqua; Cross Isolabona; Turn left into Corso Lodovico Isnardi and continue until you enter Pigna
- Grand Hotel Antiche Terme di Pigna, Lake Pigo Region, Pigna (IM) - (The waterfall is right next to the hotel and clearly visible from a viewpoint directly on the road) - Tel. Hotel +39 0184240010 / Tel. Terme +39 0184240040 - www.termedipigna.it - FB: Grand Hotel Terme di Pigna
- Trattoria La Posta, Via San Rocco 60, Pigna (IM) - FB: Trattoria La Posta Pigna
- Micky's Deli, Via San Rocco 103, Pigna (IM) - FB: Micky's Deli Pigna
- Sul Ponte, Via San Rocco, Pigna (IM) - FB: Sul Ponte - (Sul Ponte is also a B&B. For more information see www.sulponte.com)