Looking up a river to a bridge and castle in Dolceacqua Italy
Looking towards Ponte Vecchio along the Nervia

Inspiring Destinations – Dolceacqua, Italy

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Dolceacqua, Italy

Dolceacqua is a commune in the Province of Imperia, Liguria region, Italy. The town is located not far from the border with France about 9km north of the Strada Statale 1 near Ventimiglia.

Claude Monet was enchanted with the village and in 1884 drew the view of the village, the Castle and of the Roman bridge. The Ponte Vecchio (Old Bridge) was built in the 15th century on the ruins of an earlier bridge.

The scene of Monet's painting of Dolceacqua, Italy
Monet’s view in his painting of Dolceacqua

Dolceacqua consists of two parts: the “Terra”, the oldest part of the village, the one built all uphill, clinging to the castle, and the “Borgo”, later arose on the flat right bank of the Nervia.

Umbrellas above an ancient lane in Dolceacqua, Italy
Umbrella adorned passageway of ‘Terra’ leading up to the castle

Terra consists of a web of narrow streets, stairs, arches and covered passages. The village was built with a semi-circle system around the castle creating a series of sectors that could easily be isolated and defended.

A church with a castle in the background
Sant’Antonio Abate with the castle in the background

Doria Castle of Dolceacqua dates back to 1177, in 1746 the castle was besieged by the armies French and Spanish and almost destroyed. But parts of the orginal structure still survive.

A view looking down on a village
View looking down from Castello dei Doria towards ‘Borga’

Look for red wine flowing from the Fontana del Rossese. Well, it’s not really wine, but wouldn’t it be good if it was. The Rossese wine must be tried while in Dolceacqua. Napolean fell in love with the drink and Pope Paul III had his Roman cellars supplied with it.

A fountain with 'red wine' flowing
Red wine flowing from Fontana del Rossese. Not really wine, but wouldn’t it be good

For more on Dolceacqua and 19 other inspiring Italian locations   –  20 Must-See Destinations in Italy.