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“Italy at it's best...Pigna is truly stunning!!!”
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Overview
Villa -
2 Bedrooms, 2 Bathrooms, Sleeps 6
Pigna, Province of Imperia, Liguria

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Excellent - based on 16 reviews
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Reviews from our community

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Gabbi J
Darlington, United Kingdom
Level 1 Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Italy at it's best...Pigna is truly stunning!!!”
Reviewed October 9, 2013 for a stay in September 2013
2
people found this review helpful

We stayed at this villa in Pigna in September. We flew locally from Newcastle to Nice, as this is the closest airport to Pigna. The flights were very reasonable just over £100. As advised by the owners we hired a car. This proved essential in getting to the villa.

Once we arrived we were greeted by a lovely Brummy woman named Georgia, who advised us where to park and gave us the lowdown on Pigna. She then showed us to our villa. We had arrived at night and really didn't know what to expect. As soon as we walked through the gate it had such a lovely feel. The terrace was all lit up with fairy lights, and when we walked in the kitchen there was a complimentary bottle of red wine. Just what we needed after our travels.

The villa has a lovely country style kitchen and has everything you could need...cooker, fridge/freezer, washing machine, iron and ironing board. The living room downstairs is huge, it has a sofabed in case you need more beds, there are a selection of DVD's and books if you fancy a night in. And best of all it has SKY TV, which meant we could still watch X Factor! You will also find a comments book and a selection of leaflets as well as a visitors file (bible). We found these very useful, they really helped us get the best out of our trip. The main bathroom is also downstairs. This was immaculately clean and again very well equipped with hairdryer, towels etc.

Upstairs there are two bedrooms. One master bedroom with a lovely balcony, and the other equipped with bunk beds, one of which is a double bed. There were four of us staying, so this was perfect. There is also another bathroom upstairs, which is a lot smaller than the one downstairs. But again very well equipped.

Outside there is a sun terrace which we spent most of our mornings lying on the loungers enjoying the sunshine. Downstairs there is a lovely garden, which has fruit trees and fresh herbs. There is a chimnea and BBQ, a seating area and a dining area. We had a BBQ a couple of nights, which was lovely. We would also eat our breakfast outside every morning.

We mainly had breakfast at the villa. On our first day we made the trip to the supermarket. It is just outside of Pigna, there is a Lidl and another supermarket that sells lovely fresh meat and pasta. We found we mainly shopped at Lidl as it was soo cheap. Not just the food, but the alcohol as well. A bottle of Prosseco was 3 Euros and a good bottle of local wine was less than 2 euros. If you can't be bothered to venture out of Pigna, there is a small shop where you can get all your essentials. There is also a bakery, which offers fresh bread and croissants on a morning.

We ate out quite a lot, as everywhere was so reasonably priced. We mainly ate in the restaurants that were recommended to us in the visitors file (in the living room).
In Pigna we'd recommend Sul Ponte (Bed & Pizza). They make the most amazing pizzas, and a glass of prosseco was just over 1 Euro. We also went to Terme. This is an old hotel/restaurant further up the hill. It offers traditional Ligurian food. We had the Lasagne and Tiramisu was to die for.
Castel Vittoria has an amazing little family run restaurant called Osteria del Portico. It offers up to six courses and you basically eat & drink until you are full. The food is amazing, and it only costs 25 euros. We walked there and back. It's all uphill , which was a bit of a challenge, but good fun. And we got to see some beautiful scenery on the way down.
But it was in Casa e Bottega in Dolceaqua where we had our best meal. The village is just beautiful. The restaurant is situated just next to the river, it has spectacular views. The food here is a bit more al a carte, but absolutely stunning. You could order courses individually or as a set menu. We had the squid risotto for a starter, and the clam spaghetti for a main which were both really delicious.

If you fancy going a bit further a field. You can get the train from Ventimiglia to the South of France: Nice/Menton/Monaco. We would recommend getting a taxi to the train station, as the buses aren't very regular. This will cost you 45 Euros, which isn't bad if it is split between a few of you. Menton was our favourite place to visit. It has a lovely beach with lots of sun loungers. All the restaurants and bars are on the beach. Perfect for kicking back and watching the sunset.

All in all this is probably one of the best holidays we've had. The villa in Pigna made it extra special. We will be definitely be returning!

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Liked best: Pigna itself.
Liked least: Mosquitos :(
Traveling group: Spouse/Partner
Your age range 25-34
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway Families with young children
Large groups People with pets
  • Was the property as advertised?
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Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Management Response
Oct 10, 2013
Thank your for the comments - and the tip re Casa e Bottega in Dolceaqua !
We have never been, but will be definitely trying it on our next trip at christmas. The photos are amazing ! regards Ian
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Katy H
Darlington, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Prepare to be enamoured!”
Reviewed October 7, 2013 for a stay in October 2013
1
person found this review helpful

We stayed in Ian’s place from Sunday to Thursday (end of September – beginning of October). We chose not to get a car rental and instead have a real adventure on public transport – this is so easy! We flew in to Nice Airport (flights were £111 each return) and we got the train from Nice to Ventimiglia (€7 each, one way). Then we were supposed to take a bus from Ventimiglia to Pigna, however, there weren’t any buses on a Sunday – so I recommend planning for a cab (€45) or travelling on a weekday. We did take the bus back and it only costs €1.50. When we arrived, Georgia, Ian’s friend and housekeeper, met us in the village and took us to the villa. Pigna is very hilly, steep in some places, I’d recommend it to keen walkers or those who are generally fit and well.

When we arrived at the villa, we were just blown away. The kitchen looks like it should be in a farmhouse, huge wood burning fire, nice sturdy kitchen table with bench seating, pretty brick work and a real warm, welcoming feel. There was a bottle of wine on the table to welcome us, which was such a nice touch! The feel continued throughout the villa, warmth, cleanliness, everything we needed including hairdryers, a dishwasher, even a couple of paracetamol in the cupboard when I was nursing a sore (red wine) head… we really felt like it was our home.

Outside, we were lucky enough to have two private areas, one with seating, a chiminea, a BBQ, and the cutest fairy lights. The other boasts sun loungers and cushions – I didn’t expect to be sunbathing in October, but on one day it was 37C in the sun! Scorching! The beds in the upstairs bedrooms were so comfortable and on an evening we spoilt ourselves with total relaxation, watching movies and eating snacks – because we just don’t get to do that at home… There was also an abundance of leaflets, travel guides, business cards and even an Italian dictionary in the villa, which, along with Ian’s great handwritten guide book, helped us to make the most of our visit.

Pigna itself is absolutely beautiful. The views are incredible. I wanted to do so much more than we did (visit Dolceaqua a nearby village for instance), but for those taking a short break, try to do the following as an absolute minimum:

1. Go to a local festival. There is one on pretty much every weekend (we went to the Festival of San Michele, the following week was the Festival of Mushrooms….) if not in Pigna, then in the surrounding villages. We were up dancing the Merengue with the locals, eating local cuisine and drinking local wine which was cheap and delicious.
2. Go to Osterio Del Portica. It’s a restaurant in Castle Victoria (Castl Vittoria) which is up the hill from Pigna. Get the bus up for €1.50 and then walk back (stick to the roads, not the through the mountains footpath!!). You get between 4 and 6 courses from a set menu plus wine, coffee and water for around €20-25. I had Anti Pasto Cold (tongue, veal, ham, salami plus potato, mushroom and onion side salsa/pickles) and then Hot (5 different types i.e. courgette fritter, spinach pancake, omelette, etc), then I had wild boar and salad, followed by Tiramisu. White wine by the jug, a bottle of fizzy water and a cappuccino. Bargain!
3. Go to Desir De Roy – best coffee in town. And the ice cream. Yes we had it for breakfast! Potato Pie is another recommendation. Everything seems to be €1. Our bill on the first visit was €8 for four coffees, two scoops of ice cream and two pastries. Lovely service and they do take out for early morning bus journeys too.
4. Go to Sul Ponte (means on the bridge). They have a pizza oven and do a huge pizza for €6-8 depending which toppings you choose. The drinks are cheap too. There’s free Wi-Fi and they have music on (although we didn’t get to see that on the Tuesday / Wednesday evening that we visited). And the lasagne ‘al forno’…
5. Visit Ventimiglia. Again, the bus is dirt cheap and will get you there in 40 minutes or so. It’s a coastal town, so enjoy an ice cream and a stroll along the pebble beach. We bought Italian Nomination jewellery for 1/3 of the price in the UK. And there are so many interesting Delis that I would try and do it earlier in your holiday so you can…
6. Cook at home. There’s so many fresh amazing ingredients available (including the medieval bit shop which is a stone’s throw away from the villa) and Ian’s place has a dishwasher. It’s cheap and you can supplement pasta dishes with…
7. Bakery goods. There is a really hard to find bakery which all looks a bit odd. No sign, just a little brown door. But you have to make it your business to find it. It’s about half way down the hill on the way down to the town (from the medieval bit). The pizza is lush and the pastries are wonderful.
8. Walk a lot. There are so many places to go and see, including the Grotto de Lourdes and two or three Italian churches.
9. Relax, with a movie, or a book, or sitting watching the world go by. Most shops shut between 12.30 and 4, so we used this time to really recharge our batteries.
10. Watch the sunrise from the Piazza. It’s absolutely incredible.

We have completely fallen in love with Pigna. It’s wonderful and in no small part is this due to the amazing villa that we stayed in. We will definitely be back.

How easy was it to book the property? How helpful were the directions to the property?
How easy was key pickup/access to the property? Overall condition of the property
Bedding & mattresses Kitchen & utensils
Bathroom cleanliness Other facilities & amenities
Service
Liked best: Feeling at home
Liked least: The bugs! We were bitten to death!
Traveling group: Spouse/Partner
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway Older travelers
Families with young children
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Management Response
Oct 10, 2013
Thank you for your kind comments - Feel free to return :-)
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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