Travel Escape: a wanderlust guide to capture the best of Italy – Apricale & Muntaecara Hotel

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After travelling from Venice to Florence, Pisa, Genova, and many other beautiful places in Northern Italy, we decided to spend some days in San Remo to enjoy some rest on the beach, a glass of piña colada in hands…

Getting suntanned and relaxing with the sound of waves is incredibly pleasant, but in order to better know the area, we decided to experience a short stay in the countryside near San Remo, which on paper was about 25km from there…

This was of course without a gps taking us into the wrong direction…wrong navigation advice and the world collapses… our Nissan X-Trail was doomed to put its wheels on the muleteers path…which is a small single-car road…climbing the mountain… full of laces and turns… with absolutely no visibility!

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The nightmare started there…800m heights… crossing wild areas that are used by the army for training… it took us an hour and a half of stress, fear, and technical driving to finally head to our last destination: Apricale.

We enter this small village built directly into the rocks and finally found our hotel reception desk…where the nice lady informs me that:

  1. No car can climb up into the village as this is a medieval passage made of (galets)
  2. We have to carry all our luggage on 500m by walk
  3. Our grandma on a wheelchair will never be able to reach her bedroom, which is located at the top second floor of a small medieval house with very sharp stairs…

This place is HELL, and the very first five minutes, trust me, all I wanted to do was to leave and never come back!

However, the hotel receptionist was kind enough to offer solutions that were relieving!

She transported our grandma and luggage with an electric mini car, she even found a ground floor bedroom perfectly accessible for a disabled person. The room was also equipped with a special bathroom (directly located into the cave).

We could finally breathe and start to enjoy our final stay in this magical place!

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The Hotel  “MuntaeCara Albergo Diffuso” means scattered, is located in Apricale and offers a new and exclusive form of hospitality.

The splendid suites and rooms were obtained by restoring the old houses of the old center of the village, made of brownish stones. You will be warmly welcomed in the ancient towers, the old cellars and the noble residences scattered in the suggestive center of the village (a pedestrian zone), in narrow lanes between medieval stone walls.

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Your stay will be transformed into an unforgettable experience in a place of great historical value with a magical atmosphere.

30 bedrooms are disseminated throughout this uncommon community reminding the great hours of the medieval ages.

Our bedroom was located on the second floor of a beautifully restored home. It was composed of the master bedroom, a bathroom, and a smaller bedroom with a single bed, TV and minibar.

The view from there was absolutely breathtaking…we literally had a view on the road we came from…800m above!

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Our bedroom was on a duchess theme, with a princess bed, and decorated with refined antiques.

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The house in which we stayed had been renovated with a lot of creativity, high-end materials (wood, copper, porcelain, …), and most of all in the respect of tradition and history.

It’s a dollhouse in a mesmerizing village!

Once settled into our new home, we went for a tour to discover this peculiar place., which was elected most beautiful village of Italy.

The medieval village of Apricale is a jewel in the hills of the Ligurian hinterland. Only a few kilometers from the coast. From this privileged position, Apricale enjoys a splendid view.

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The village enjoys a unique scenography that buries its stone roots in an old age, full of history. From Roman times to medieval times, the old center of the village seems to be unchanged. The houses nestle together facing narrow streets that lead to the castle of Lucertola ambedded in a high rocky outcrop – The Peak – symbol of the village.

Apricale was the first village in Liguria to receive the title of “Most Beautiful Village of Italy” and is also one of the villages awarded the “Bandiera Arancione”, included in the “Strada dell’olio” and named “Perla della »Liguria”.

The village is about 10 minutes from the beaches of the Ligurian coast and about 30 minutes from the French border with the Cote d’Azur, Monte Carlo and Nice.

Templar patches, old frescoes, hand-painted mailboxes, signs of shops made in ferronerie art, the atmosphere, the chivalrous soul of the village is particularly neat. Everything here breathes medieval tradition and historical richness.

The village square according to the ancient Italian tradition is the heart of the village where everyone meets, discusses, shares a meal, a coffee, a card game, every moment spent in the heart of this village seems to be out of time.

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The perfectly manicured castle, overhangs Apricale and adjoins the basilica.

The unique spiral street is extremely narrow, but the prospect leaves no voice! Houses all more beautiful than the others, decorated with plants, and frescoes. The street winds inside the village and ends in the village square, to turn around when riding a bike or equipped with a mini electric car.

Two restaurants share the square. We chose to dine at Bar Trattoria “A Ciassa”, the Baci restaurant, which is also scattered in several small vaulted rooms of the village was closed during our visit … that’s a good reason to come back!

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A small glass of Aperol Spritz, some local olives, the tables are filled, the discussions, laughter, and exchanges between tables punctuate the evening.

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We are amazed by the quality of Bar Trattoria “A Ciassa” welcome. The taste of the dishes comes to complete this moment of happiness. This is a good family-run restaurant, it offers delicious typical dishes from Liguria.

The ravioli and pasta are fresh and made to order … the homemade blueberry pie on shortcrust pastry with olive oil is a marvel. That with cinnamon and pumpkin too! We were so pleased we decided to have our breakfast there for timing reasons, it was much easier and quicker for us.

It’s good to live in Apricale, certainly. If happiness exists then a stay in Apricale makes it absolutely divine! This is what the small village of Apricale, a divine happiness, a moment out of time, of our modern lives that takes us away from the essential.

In Apricale, we find the pleasure of talking with the inhabitants, to walk, to enjoy life, to live, simply. We feel like living. It is a magical place, which brings you back to the ESSENTIAL and reconnects you to yourself.

The time to join our noble room has arrived … the only regret is not having had one of the fabulous bathtubs seen on the website. This small shower is such disenchantment!!

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The bed is an absolute comfort, ideal for a restful sleep, the room is very well equipped, with a TV per room. The cleanliness is impeccable. And if the need to drink an herbal tea or a coffee is felt, the coffee service is arranged in one of the living rooms downstairs, self-service, it is up to you to prepare a cup.

The night at MuntaeCara was sweet and peaceful, incredibly pleasant, a real boost of energy before returning to life and noise.

If my first feeling was to want to leave this village, today, my only desire is to return. The magic of Apricale has entered my heart, the MuntaeCara hotel has conquered my heart, and has been an incredible unique experience, a real bubble of happiness, ideal to relax, and spend unforgettable romantic moments.

“… perchè MuntaeCara est un sogno de vivere”

…simply because MuntaeCara is a living dream…

Book your stay without waiting here!