“A friendly guesthouse in inland Liguria; 20 minutes' drive from the Italian Riviera, yet worlds away in terms of peace and price”
The rooms are spread between 3 restored buildings. The décor in each house is slightly different, but all mix antique furniture and pretty floral fabrics. Mattresses are excellent, and the ensuites come with powerful showers (a couple have tubs, too).
The 6 rooms in Casa Madre (the main house) feature green walls and pops of cherry red in the cushions, lampshades and curtains. We stayed here in one of the studio-style rooms, which have little kitchenettes (fridge, hob, cutlery, pans) hidden in cupboards. We loved the view of the church, and waking to the sound of the river gushing beneath our window after a wonderful night’s sleep. Casa Madre also houses the only Suite, which has a Jacuzzi tub in its bathroom.
The rooms in Casa del Borgo are more rustic in style, with muted blues and creams beneath original beams. Our favourites here are Standard Room 11, which has a romantic canopy bed and a built-in closet where Grandpa Pepin hid from search parties during the war, and Standard Room 12 with its freestanding antique bath.
Those wanting maximum privacy should book into Casa del Fienile, an old barn on the edge of town where you'll find 2 Small Doubles. They’re darker and more cramped than the other rooms but make cosy hideaways; Room 21 has a vaulted ceiling and a wardrobe which was part of Grandma Evelina's dowry.
Breakfast is a highlight, served on the ground floor of Casa Madre or under the sun on the terrace. All food is sourced locally: biscotti and pastries from the nearby baker, traditional Robiola di Roccaverano and Testun Piemontese cheeses, homemade jams and tarts, fresh fruit and juices. There are bottles of chilled Prosecco, too, should you wish to start your day in style.
Complimentary afternoon cake is laid out around 5pm, along with coffee and all manner of teas. You can also order light lunches such as pasta, charcuterie plates and cheese boards, accompanied by excellent local wine.
In the evening, you’ll need to eat out. We strolled up the road to Censin Da Bea, a rustic trattoria set in an old watermill. There’s no menu; instead, dish after dish emerges from the kitchen and you help yourself to whatever takes your fancy. We gorged ourselves on local salami, focaccia (a Ligurian speciality), salad, slow-cooked bean stews, just-caught eels and tiramisu, before waddling back to our room full but happy. Should you want something simpler, there’s a pizzeria just a few doors along from Casa Madre.
Children are warmly welcomed. Babysitting can be arranged, and there are plenty of safe, family-friendly beaches nearby.
All rooms except Room 22, a Small Double, can fit a baby cot. Some Standard Rooms and the Suite have double sofabeds (often on a separate level) and can sleep up to 4 plus a baby; others have space for a rollaway bed.
Available on request
There are plenty of child-pleasing options at breakfast, and lunches can be adapted on request. The kitchenettes in the studio-style rooms are handy for preparing snacks