The inlands of Finale Liguria are a real paradise for outdoor activity, and you have concentrated inside the circle of a few coastal towns a world of various landscapes and hidden treasures, both naturalistic and gastronomical.
There is something for everybody: comfortable beach walks, climbing in the area of rocky caves, Roman bridges and a charming archeological park in Orco Feglino. Here you find three hints for your Finale Ligure weekend.
When you arrive in Finale Ligure seaside on the way to Varigotti, just before entering the galleria (tunnel), that takes you to the next village, Varigotti, you take a left turn on the roundabout. Immediately you will see indications appear that take you up the back country of Finale.
One of the well hidden treasure on the way is the agriturismo La Selva.
La Selva, is a beautiful restored farmhouse in midst of secular olives, citrus trees and different plantations. When you take the road with the car up from Finale, it almost feels like flying, and you see the sea gradually getting more distant and dreamy.
At a certain point the road indicates for La Selva on the right, and you start descending again towards the sea but led by another path, a quiet romantic one, in midst of olive groves and mediterranean fruit trees.
At a certain point, the sea reappears, quite near this time, and you find yourself cuddled by the cosy and “intime” atmosphere of the relaxing inland ambience together with the sea.
Here nature is really singing to you: a lovely symphony of sea breeze, leave, singing birds and in spring you have as well delightfully quacking choir of the Mediterranean tree frog (only to be found in Liguria of all Italy) to accompany your aperitivo conversation. Quite unique one would say. To get to the nearby charming, Varigotti, you don’t need to go up and down the hill again, but you can make a enchanting “passeggiata” directly from La Selva by foot following a path amidst the olive groves taking you to the seaside in 15-20 minutes.
Unique position and local products
Most of the rooms face the sea, and there is a nice porch in front of the main house where to sit and relax and another one for breakfast and dining. It’s invigorating enough really to have the view for breakfast, but you enjoy it even more awake with a cappuccino, brioche and some homemade marmalade from local fruits in season.
The owner, Barbara is a great cook, and prepares genuine dishes from the Ligurian tradition, paying a great attention to seasonal and local products. The wine, olive oil, fruits, vegetables and eggs are all ingredients of the house.
The sweet housedog, Poldo welcomes you for breakfast
Local garlic, olive oil and fave bean plants enjoying the sea breeze in Selva’s vegetable garden
The view from the rooms is very Mediterranean indeed
Continuing further up the provinciale road in to the profoundly green an mountainy outbacks of Finale, you will bump into another well hidden treasure, the restaurant, Osteria La Briga.
You find it on the left side of the road, a charming Osteria, in midst of the woods, run by chef Jacopo Lovisolo and family. In summer it is a really refreshing spot for chilling out of the sun, and the restaurant offers deckchairs to guests for relaxing after lunch, before dinner or whenever you like to take your siesta.
Jacopo seeking inspiration in one of his favorite books, Heston Blumenthal’s “The Big Fat Duck Cookbook”
Cuisine that unites, thrills, moves & and inspires like the most beautiful music
Jacopo’s cuisine is the fruit of a passionate research for combining the traditional local ingredients and recipes with modern solutions. He describes is cooking philosophy with the following words:
“Cuisine indicates not only something you eat, but something that joins and moves. The flavors of our cuisine are Mediterranean with a modern twist. Chefs for generations, we are always in search of new and creative solutions. We believe strongly that excellent results are created by excellent ingredients prepared in a simple and natural way. Very fresh, sought-after products that give you flavors, aromas and colors, aspects that denote dynamism but often recall the elements of our land. Allowing you therefore to discover in each dish a particular aspect, which I look out for you with extreme pleasure, sometimes in distant lands.”
I had the fortune to taste those wondrous fresh pasta tortelli dumplings one warm summer day, one of Jacopo’s subtle culinaire inventions, so delicate & difficult to describe by words. You have to go there and experience and then you will understand. I admired Jacopo’s mother, Rosa Cavallo, knead and roll out the precious egg pasta on a flour dusted table out in the shad of the osteria’s beautiful garden, where from spring to autumn tables are served as well as inside the charming two hall osteria.
If I should try to find the way to describe in one sentence those burrata filled tortelli’s with grated lime zest on top, saying that in my mind they represent the perfect balance between Mediterranean flavors and the modern twist nominated earlier, it gets near to this sublime cuisine, but as I said, you have to let your taste buds and senses experience it to really “understand”. Definately a dish that unites, moves, thrills and inspires all of the senses.
One of the specialities of the house: Mixed slow cooked meats and season vegetables