When I was a kid, my parents always visited Italy during the summer holidays. I always loved going there and after a few years it felt like my second home. We always went to the ‘Lago di Garda’ which is a very common and popular place for Dutch people to visit. Last year however, I wanted something different. A friend of mine told me about a similar place, where her parents bought a house and it was suppose to be stunning. It was called Isolabona. I had never heard of that place before so when she asked me to join her, I couldn’t wait! And let me tell you, it’s Italy’s hidden gem.
Isolabona is a very cozy small city in northern Italy. It has its own picturesque feeling and it is not that touristic. This village is hidden between the mountains and has a beautiful environment for those who love nature! The village is not a typical summer destination for tourists because it is not a seaside resort. But don’t be sad if you are a beach lover because the sea is a 30 min ride away and nothing is more fun than to ride a scooter in Italy! The nicest seaside resorts nearby are called Ventimiglia or Bordighera. Isolabona also has a lot to offer for people who love to do sports.
Where to swim?
If you want to have a swim a little closer to Isolabona you can go to the beautiful mountain rivers. These rivers are very special due to the ‘water pools’ with crystal clear water. These water pools interrupt the stream and are very deep, which is why they are perfect for a swim! These pools are a little cold but when it is 35 degrees in Italy you would love to cool down like this! You can find these beautiful pools in Rocchetta, Pigna and Dolceacqua.
This city is close to Isolabona and the artist Claude Monet found his inspiration here for his painting ‘Le chateau de Dolceacqua’. The city is very adorable and bustling. The bridge towards the city runs over the river Nervia. This beautiful bridge is 33m long and connects Borgo, with Terra. Borgo is the old medieval part of the village and in Terra you can find cute shopping streets and terraces.
What else to do?
Besides the lovely swimming areas, most beautiful nature and the inspiring history, you can visit this area for Italy’s finest; FOOD!! Italy has always been popular because they prepare all their food with love. The best places to go to in this area are:
In Isolabona you have Pizzeria dal Vecchio Forno for the best pizza’s! If you are more of a pasta person I would recommend the Bunda Bar, where they serve homemade pasta. In Dolceacqua you will find Osteria Quattro Gatti The food is very nice but also the employees are very kind. They make sure you’ll have a typical magical Italian night. Even though their food is amazing, don’t order dessert there! I would recommend you to walk to the ice cream parlor next door, they serve the best ice cream ever! Inside Tip: Oh, and for those who really love to drink wine; Dolceacqua has its own wine (Rossese Dolceacqua), and it is delicious!
Conclusion: Isolabona is a great spot for your next summer vacation! Even if everything I mentioned before isn’t enough, the area has a lot to offer. For example, you could even go to Nice or Monaco for a day! Both cities are just about one hour drive.
So, when are you going to visit Italy’s finest?
*Michelle is one of our guest editors who lives in Amsterdam. She is a senior student on her way of becoming a media specialist. She’s got a big interest for design, writing and traveling. After exploring Amsterdam she wanted to discover more of the world. She’s not your typical typical tourist though, which is why she is always searching for the best local bars and restaurants! You can follow her on @michelle.debruin