When the beaches empty out, nature reigns once again and the Alassio seafront becomes a huge space to be discovered. It is the end of a season and the beginning of a completely different way of experiencing the sea.
It becomes the ideal destination for those looking for slow days of peace and relaxation, in which it is possible to enjoy beautiful landscapes, fill the lungs with iodine and recharge the spirit with a massive dose of inspiration.
I dedicate this first Vayadù blog post to what the winter sea has given me over the years joining poets, writers and musicians who have celebrated it over time.
I do it my way, telling one of my typical winter day to inspire all the women who dream of Alassio sea for a solitary retreat, regenerating both body and spirit.
The cycle path of Riviera dei Fiori
You may have guessed from the first blog post that I love walking alone along the coast, but I find that the best way to experience the springtime on this stretch of coast is to cycle the western Ligurian cycle path in company.
A long, unique straight stretch, created by dismantling the old railway line. 24 km always close to the sea, passing through superb nature and small enchanted villages to be discovered.
The website dedicated to the western cycle path has been created free of charge by those who – like me – have been enchanted by this route and wish to share useful and comprehensive contents with those who are covering it for the first time.
For a day that focuses on the pleasure of travelling with the wind in your hair, laughter among friends and a bit of stress-free movement, my proposal includes detours, coffee, reflections and long scenic breaks.
Ospedaletti my love
The point of departure and return is the Étoile house, a Vayadù star that winks at the Ospedaletti seafront, designed for women who love dynamic holidays in company, but with plenty of space for everyone.
If you like to wake up early, you can sip a quiet first coffee on the small terrace facing the sea, being embraced by sub-tropical vegetation rich in palms, eucalyptus and lemons, while waiting for the house to fill up with a cheerful breakfast and preparations to go out.
You can travel light, renting your bike right on your doorstep from one of the kiosks you’ll find along the cycle path. Then it’s off to the City of Flowers.
From Sanremo and the Belle Époque to the artists of Bussana Vecchia
You will almost immediately come across the long Capo Nero tunnel, whose interior recalls the famous “Milano-Sanremo” bicycle race, with phrases and tweets lining the asphalt.
After the Tre Ponti beach area, the cycle path leads into the heart of Sanremo, along Corso Imperatrice, one of the most prestigious promenades on the Riviera.
You will be greeted by lush palm trees and elegant Art Nouveau hotels, by a vaguely exotic atmosphere and the glitter of “la bella vita”.
If – as happens to me when I’m in Sanremo – you feel like a real lady, you can sip a slow coffee at one of the two refreshment points in Bussana a Mare, which coincide with the most enchanting views of this stretch of coast.
At this point you can choose to continue along the cycle path or detour through the chestnut and maritime pine woods for inspiration. The “artists’ village“ of Bussana Vecchia is only 10 minutes from the route and is an irresistible place for me. It was abandoned after a serious earthquake and reborn in the 1950s thanks to the passion of a few artists, craftsmen and philosophers who chose it as a place to live and transformed it into an open-air workshop.
The spontaneous architecture of Bussana Vecchia, the result of renovations carried out by an international community of artists, coexist in a singular but totally harmonious atmosphere. Just like a group of old friends, where each one brings their own character and points of view, but the time together is always a rich and nourishing symphony.
This is why I love coming to Bussana with them: this village was reborn thanks to artists who were looking for a space to meet and be together, as well as a place to live and work.
In every corner I breathe not only their art, but the sense of community and deep connection with which they lived.
The Cipressa hill to descend with a new perspective
Once you’ve left behind Arma di Taggia, Santo Stefano al Mare and Riva Ligure, you’re ready for another detour.
This time you’ll have a 4km climb before reaching the village of Cipressa, but you’ll be rewarded with a series of cliff-top views that make the Ligurian coast unforgettable.
And reaching the village you will be aware of how important the change of perspective is. You will feel like you can stop the time from the terrace of its large square, which completely immerses your gaze in the big blue.
If you really want to get your fill of inspiration on the way down, you can make another detour to Villa Biener, a treasure casket of modernist artworks that will take you to a kaleidoscopic world of colourful mosaics. Take a break in the park and listen to the stories these works tell you.
These are ideal places to chat in a low voice and perhaps try to answer important questions together: what it means to be a woman today, what vocations we are following and which ones we have hushed up, if we are the women we would like to be.
The last stretch of your journey, in the generous nature that will accompany you as far as San Lorenzo al Mare, may seem different, full of new images, new intentions, new upcoming bloomings.
If you dream of a special time dedicated to the women of your life, I wait for you in western Liguria to wish you a flourishing spring.