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Review 1837: La Francesca, Apartment


Review by MariaGio from Italy

apartments near Bonassola, near the Cinque Terre, Liguria

La Francesca: the beach, photo by myself


July, one week


A favourite place! For a long time I had wished to go to the Villaggio La Francesca, at Bonassola (La Spezia), close to the Cinque Terre. For at least two or three years I had been listening on the radio the messages which advertised the website. A few months ago I booked a weekend: the Village was not only attractive in the photos, but it seemed to be the ideal since I could take my dog with me.

I spoke on the telephone with the owner, Marco De Poli, who kindly gave me some information, how to reach the Village by car or by train, etc. But when I gave him my name he told me he had already heard it. But where? In short, some time before I had organized a meeting at the Casa della Cultura of Milano and he was one of the rapporteurs!

I apologize for the long autobiographic digression. The moral of the story is that I went to La Francesca for the weekend with my little dog. Once I reached that true paradise, I got into the so-called “Stendhal syndrome” for 24 hours, so much so that I started to ring up friends and relatives and convey them my emotion for such an enchanting place.

A long road edged with rare and coloured beautiful flowers leads to La Francesca. The cottages are surrounded by mediterranean maquis, tall trees and aromatic plants. They slope down to the sea and the wild cliff, where a small private beach can be reached by foot in a few minutes. The restaurant Rosadimare has a large terrace overhanging the sea. Inside the Village there are two swimming-pools, two tennis-courts, a football play-ground, a play area for children. You will not find shops or disco, but only a small minimarket for food provisions.

La Francesca - but I got knowledge of it only when I spoke with Marco's wife - was literally rising from its ashes. Four or five years ago, in fact, on a Summer day the mountain behind was set on fire and the Village was seriously damaged by it. The prompt intervention of the people living there was providential, so that only a few cottages were destroyed by the fire. Marco and Giovanna swore that they would rebuild everything and preserve La Francesca as it had been since its birth, when the owner was Marco's mother: a quiet site, naturally beautiful, a site not for all, certainly not for those who cannot give up the eagerness of daily life.

But let us come back to La Francesca. I want, as many others, that La Francesca continues to be part of the restricted list of those world areas protected for their extraordinariness and peculiarity, areas that must be preserved from present and future greed. Thanks!

This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.

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