Bordighera – the secret of the old town

Bordighera – the secret of the old town

To me Bordighera is the portrait of past times elegance: the roman road and it’s late nineteenth century English houses, the architect Charles Garnier’s town hall, the Roman Villa where the Queen Margherita would stay, traces of a splendor and magnificence, that belongs to the past. This is what comes to my mind when I think of Bordighera.
I don’t know why, but I had never been interested in the old town.

… and what a mistake!

To bring light to my blind spot , I ventured to the discovery of this small medieval village that has managed to keep untouched it’s old and grumpy old Ligurian borough aspect that is so different to the other chic Bordighera. No sea to frame it, life is spent among churches, stone steps, narrow lanes and all around walls that used to protect it from incursions.

Just like the other Bordighera, here we also have the impression we are traveling through time, but here it is not in a time of luxury. I notice many water meters are outside and this surely reveals a very mild climate, washing is hung out to dry from many windows. Maybe it’s because of the absence of cars or paved roads, or it might be because of the old Ligurian cobblestones, but it all feels a lot more simple, genuine, I like to think that people know each other by name.


The two main roads are called the long road and the straight road, and just as you would expect on the main square there are the retro’ post office and the Parrish church of Saint Maria Maddalena. The church was consecrated in sixteen hundred and embellished in eighteen hundred with gold that is said to have been made by melting the many jewels donated from the parishioners.

Surely today the village survives on tourism, I noticed the sighs of some bed and breakfast and an incredible number of restaurants of all kinds, this reminds me that I have not yet eaten. I stop at a pizzeria where the very helpful owner serves me despite the fact it is really late, he also tries to hide a certain rush, but not so well, still I appreciate his attempt.

I’ve enjoyed being among these walls and when I leave them I suddenly realize I have forgotten… the sea. Without the charm of the sea, lusted by all tourists, old Bordighera has found it’s way to reinvent itself, polishing it’s values and hiding it’s flaws, bonding it’s image to the unique pleasures of past time.
And iLiguria surely love it !


Visualizzazione ingrandita della mappa

Bordighera – the secret of the old town
Liguria Italy

writing and photography by paola faravelli
translated and adapted by daniela menzano

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