This stunning stone village house was completely and sympathetically restored to breathe life back into what had been a shell. What had been uninhabited for over 80 years now combines the latest in eco technology with luxury.
The original ciappe (large uncut slates) roof was super-insulated and teamed with beautiful shutters and double glazed windows (both made by the 80-year old village joiner) to keep the house cool in summer. A state of the art heat storage system fed by a bank of solar panels provide plenty of piping hot water. Backed up by a biomass boiler burning wood chips and sanza (olive pitts) this system also powers the underfloor heating keeping the house snug and toasty during winter. Low energy light fittings are used where possible. A "Sheila Maid" air dryer hangs in the vaulted ceiling of the living area.
An Italian kitchen and sleek Italian sanitaryware sit side by side with German Grohe tap fittings. Up-cycled furniture and quirky accessories combine with plenty of crockery and most kitchen accessories known to (wo)man. White Company linen and towels and fully stocked bookshelves complete the picture. Our aim has been to create a stylish, characterful, home-from-home, not just another featureless holiday rental.The type of place that we like to stay in when travelling and hope you will too.
THE NORTH-WEST ITALIAN REGION OF LIGURIA
Liguria, which borders Mediterranean France, is one of the smallest states in Italy but also one of the most beautiful. A region of mountains and sea, the area caters for all holiday tastes.
From mountain biking, walking or trial-biking around the Alpi Liguri National Park to lazing amongst the chic sun worshippers of the Italian Riviera is a 30-minute drive.
Rezzo is a proper Italian village with a proper, Italian community made up of permanent, year round residents and families who visit at weekends and in the summer. It's most certainly not a tourist ghetto filled only with holiday homes. What's more the locals are truly welcoming to visitors.
The Rezzo "Pro-loco" association is one of the oldest of such institutions in Italy. Staffed entirely by local volunteers they stage between 6 - 8 festivals each year, mainly over the summer months.
Many are dinner dances with fabulous food cooked and served in the Giardino Publico; others such as "Babacce" (Halloween) take the form of a trail around the village which is completely decorated, sampling food and drink along the way. They're hugely popular, with the dinner dances catering for 2-400 people and "Babacce 2016" had over 1000 visitors in one evening! As well as the secular festivals they also organise they organise the annual, evening pilgrimage of the Madonna from the village church over 2km up the mountain to the Santuario di Madonna di Rezzo for a stunning candle lit service.
- Santuario di Nostra Signora del Santo Sepolcro e di Maria Bambina
2km above the village is the incredible 15th century Sanctuary. The locals built it in 50 years on the site of small chapel where miracles were reputed to occur. Over 40 metres long by 14 metres wide, the sets of frescoes that adorn the interior have been sensitively preserved over the past few years.
- Formaggio di Santuario di Rezzo
Adjacent to the Sanctuary is one of the local succeses that embody the slow food movement: the goat herder Barbara Saltarini. Starting out in the crypt with just 15 goats she now has over 200 goats, a purpose made dairy, a shop and a thriving agriturismo restaurant. As well as the local "Brusso" (which is similar to Ricotta) Barbara makes and sells all types of goat's cheese and other yummy foods.
- Geography & Climate
Facing south and at a height of 550m above sea level, the climate is hot without being stifling in the summer whilst the proximity of the coast keeps it mild in all but the deepest of winter months. For historical averages take a look at:
- Mountain Biking & Road Cycling
The trails around Rezzo are built for cycling if you are that way inclined. It's possible to ascend over 1000m up from Rezzo to the Alpi Liguri with only a couple of km on tarmac road. If that sounds like your idea of cycling hell and solid tarmac is more your style the roads are challenging but little trafficked. And for those whom cycling is a gentle method of transport the coastal cycle route along an old railway is not to be missed.
- Food & Drink
Last - but most certainly not least in Italy - Rezzo and the area is well served for restaurants. The village has two small shops-cum-bars and a Locanda (bar / restaurant).
A beautiful walk down the river brings you to Lavina - home of Lavinella. Run by the third generation of the family they serve a great set menu of up to 12 (small) courses including wine for 25 Euros - a great spot for Sunday lunch.
Equally good is Barbara's agriturismo - a 15 minute walk from the house, but up the mountain instead.
Further afield restaurants on the boardwalk in Alassio, Port Maurizio & Laguilia are cosmopolitan and chic.
No visit to Italy is complete without a visit to a market. There's one on most days of the week within an hour or sos drive including the famed Ventimiglia and San Remo markets.