I always say that the best way of seeing Liguria is to go up.
As you may already know, Liguria is a tiny stretch of land between the sea and the hills. This is what makes the region so special: space is limited and villages are often perched on the hills overlooking the sea, with houses clinging to steep slopes.
The sea in Liguria is really nice and offers you a pleasurable experience but it is nothing compared to the beauty of the villages above. Actually, some of the most beautiful villages in Liguria are not by the sea but way above sea level. Each of them is unique, has a very specific character and surprises you with incredible views. This is why I always recommend people visiting the region to not just stay by the sea but to climb up and see the region from a different point of view.
a summary of the beauty of inland Liguria
That’s what I did myself too, a few weeks ago, on a sunny May afternoon. I wanted to show you how beautiful my region can be and I decided to explore one of the most beautiful villages in Liguria, namely Borgio Verezzi. Actually, to be more precise, I just visited Verezzi, which is the oldest and most picturesque part of the village.
As a matter of fact, Borgio Verezzi is divided into two parts: Borgio, a typical Ligurian seaside village with hotels and restaurants, and Verezzi, an enchanting group of houses perched on the hill above Borgio. Both of them are worth visiting but Verezzi is undoubtedly the most scenic of the two.
walking up towards San Martino Church in Borgata Crosa
Verezzi, in turn, is divided into four neighborhoods – frazioni or borgate, as we call them in Italian. Borgata Piazza is the most famous of them because there’s a very famous theatre festival taking place there in the summer. This is why usually it’s the only neighborhood people visit: they drive up there, park their car, take a stroll down the lovely alleys and then go away.
I decided to do something different and visit all four neighborhoods, taking the chance of a lovely – and easy – walk. It’s just a slower way of visiting it, which also gives you the chance of discovering some of the most genuine and untouched parts of the village.
the magnificent view from up above Borgata Crosa (photo courtesy of @acreuzaverezzi)
My little hike in Verezzi begins from the highest neighborhood, Borgata Crosa. You leave the car in the tiny parking place and start walking down the pedestrian road into the village. You’ll immediately be amazed by the ancient houses and the quietness of it all. If you come in winter, you’ll find only a handful of locals and silence will be your companion all the time.
As I said, it’s just a bunch of houses but its charm is incomparable. While walking down its alleys, you’ll find the old washhouses and some other idyllic spots. You keep walking up until you find the highest spot in the hike, which is the Church of San Martino, overlooking Borgio Verezzi with some kind of a protective eye. The church has a lovely little square with a wide panorama that embraces Verezzi and its surroundings.
the lovely Borgata Poggio
The square is perfect for resting and enjoying the scenery but also for a glass of wine and a slice of focaccia. As a matter of fact, there’s a tiny restaurant there called La Rosa dei Venti, which gives you the chance of eating a bite with an amazing view.
After resting and relaxing, you can keep walking further down until you get to the next neighborhood, Borgata Poggio. I have to admit that I have driven past this group of houses many times, but it is so small I have never thought this could be a neighborhood of its own.
the main alley in Borgata Piazza, leading up to Piazza Sant’Agostino
Actually, it consists of just two pedestrian streets – maybe calling them alleys would be more appropriate – perched around an old defensive tower. There isn’t much to see but I can’t explain the charm it exudes. Maybe it is due to old stone buildings that are preserved with care or just to the gesture of putting flowers everywhere to decorate each corner, I have no idea, I just loved it!
From Borgata Poggio, you can walk directly towards Borgata Piazza, the most popular neighborhood in town. There you’ll find some restaurants, bars, places where you can have a nice aperitivo at sunset, and some quaint little shops. It can be quite busy in the summer or at weekends but it is peaceful most of the times.
lots of traffic in Piazza Sant’Agostino
The heart of Verezzi is the square of Sant’Agostino, with its little church and terrace overlooking the sea, just another super scenic spot and the location where Borgio Verezzi theatre festival is held every summer. I have never been there but I think it is a magical place for an outdoor theatre play!
If you go on walking keeping the sea on your left, you’ll easily reach the last neighborhood in the village, which is Borgata Roccaro. Once again, it is a lovely handful of stone houses, lots of flowers and cats everywhere, a few vegetable gardens and a lovely old church. Could you ask for more?
a scenic spot in Borgata Roccaro
From there, you have two options: you can follow the signs and return to Borgata Crosa, from where the hike begins, or return to the main square and climb up to Borgata Crosa from there. We choose the second option only because we wanted to see the little square once more. From there, it is only a 10-minute walk and you directly get back to the parking place.
In case you fell in love with Verezzi and want to spend a night – or more – there, there’s a lovely place I can recommend you: it’s the Art B&B La Creuza. I have visited the place a couple of years ago and I loved it so much that I decided to write a blog post about it. If you like art and unique furniture, it is definitely the place for you. Plus, the view is breathtaking!
another lovely spot in Borgata Roccaro