MUNICIPALITY OF CASTELBIANCO
mt. 300 a.s.l.
320 (20 in the borgo)
Info point – Ph. 0182 778274
Town hall – Ph. 0182 77006
Pro Loco – Ph 339 8210990
The name derives from the Marquis Clavesana’s castle, which stood in a defensive position on a hill overlooking the narrow valley. Today you can see only the ruins of the castle.
Colletta di Castelbianco was just a picturesque heap of ruins when someone had the idea of saving it from complete destruction, making it one of the first examples of a European telematic medieval village.
Restored by Giancarlo De Carlo, a famous designer, today the village is like a bridge between the past and the future, with its stone houses that dominate the hills, the carruggi (alleys, typical of Ligurian towns), squares, terraces, white framed windows framed windows and all the electronic equipment that allows communication and connectivity with the rest of the world.
Certainly, this intervention is arguable. It has been criticized by some because, had it not been for its greenery, the village could seem more like a Berber village, with its roofs cut to make terraces; and exalted by others, such as the British who have rewarded De Carlo’s work with the “Best Restoration” award in the 2006 Overseas Homes Awards
People are divided with regards to the success or otherwise of this initiative, because in spite of the undeniable beauty of the place and the pleasantness of the situation (each apartment has a fast Internet connection, satellite TV and telephone) the whole of the borgo has not come back to life.
Despite the area being equipped with a swimming pool, sauna, conference centre, summer theatre, a coffee-house with internet wi-fi, and the chance to work in peace whilst watching the hills, breathing the scents of the season, some of the apartments are still awaiting a buyer.
Inserting high technology into one of many examples of Italy’s rich urban heritage, respecting the local architecture (for example, the beauty of ancient stone staircases and vaulted ceilings) is a beautiful challenge.
In spite of the final result, Colletta is no longer a mass of ruins and from its windows you can have a spectacular view of the valley.
De Carlo described the particular architecture of the borgo as a “crustacean system”. Similar to the empty shell of a crustacean.
The question now is how to bring a place like this into contemporary life without turning it into a sort of museum. The solution is not easy: despite the quality of life that a small rural settlement offers, clean air, peace, good food and selected social relationships, it is not compatible with the spirit embodied by a modern metropolis, with its frenetic rhythms.
Only time will tell. Meanwhile in Colletta you can relax, a moment’s silence, a moment to think and the true luxury that is, as Paul Morand said, to “take your time”. Time to wander around the surroundings of the wired village, searching for the tastes and smells of this area, rich in thyme, rosemary, mushrooms and cherries, and to take in the beauties of the other hamlets, such as the Church of Assunta a Veravo that dominates the valley, and a baroque Chapel of Annuziata a Vesallo.
Cherries have always been appreciated in the vegetables markets of the Riviera di Ponente and they have recently been added to a list of official products by the Ligurian Region.
Do not forget the exquisite extra virgin olive oil produced from taggiasche, merline, pignole and cevasch olives, which are all cold pressed.
Agriturismo “A Ca’ Du Ricci”
Cucina tipica ligure con verdure del nostro vicino orto. Possibilità di pernottamento.
Villaggio del XIII° sec., recuperato e sapientemente ristrutturato. Posizio- ne panoramica per una vacanza di assoluto relax.
Via Ciassetta, 1
+39 019 8387211
+39 338 7717909
Nel B&B del centro storico di Vesallo troverete relax, ospitalità e quiete. Le ricche colazioni e il panorama mozzafiato vi faranno innamorare della location immersa nella Val Pennavaire.
Via Isonzo, 6 – Vesallo di Castelbianco
+39 0182 1900590
+39 340 7769356