What it is and where it is
Arriving at the entrance to the village, after walking along the southern part of the Pennavaire Valley accompanied by the light pattering of small water droplets on the windshield, it stops raining, although the sky remains gloomy. From the square we descend down a stone staircase to the first clearing where we have a wider view of the medieval village. We are enchanted by its beauty: the color of the gray stone takes us back in time, while mostly red, blue or green doors and windows stand out with their modernity and liveliness. What secrets will they conceal?
Why it is special
It seems strange to think that all the original medieval-era heritage we are admiring here is actually the result of meticulous reconstruction, and yet it is. Something truly extraordinary happened here. I smile at the thought... Although there was a focus on the historical-architectural component in its rebuilding, Colletta di Castelbianco now boasts a new soul that is anything but medieval. In fact, the entire area was made technologically advanced, with fiber optic cabling running throughout its entire surface. A unicum in Italy.
What you can't miss
What you absolutely cannot miss is a stay, even a short one, in the Albergo Diffuso in Colletta. At an altitude of 300 meters, surrounded by endless possibilities for alternative recreation, such as climbing vertical rock faces if you are a climber, or long walks in the woods if you like to walk surrounded by nature. Rediscover the history and beauty of the nearby localities and enjoy the quality of local products, in total peace, but without giving up your hi-tech habits, which is at the very least not a given in these areas. In fact, remember that you are in the Ligurian hinterland....
A bit of history
Like many other territories in western Liguria, Colletta di Castelbianco was also semi-destroyed by the powerful earthquake of 1887. After nearly a hundred years of total abandonment, when by then it was thought that the medieval village, still in ruins, was destined to disappear from the maps, architect Giancarlo De Carlo took on the ambitious task of rebuilding the village, which, in 2006, was awarded Best Restoration by the Homes Overseas Awards. Today it is largely inhabited by northern European expatriates and is, for the most part, used as a spread hotel with high-quality amenities, including a swimming pool.
The very existence of Colletta as it is today is, in itself, a curiosity. It was a group of entrepreneurs who, between the 1980s and 1990s, entrusted architect Giancarlo De Carlo with a plan to restore the existing volumes. They sensed the potential of that handkerchief of houses perched on the hill in a privileged position. They went beyond the idea of restoring life to the pre-existing buildings, seeking to attract future inhabitants who could work from home, but in the absolute peace of the Ligurian hinterland. How? By integrating the most modern technological infrastructure: fiber!
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