2022 discoveries: Liguria and Sardinia

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Liguria is our home region of Italy and we know it better than anyone. Sardina is another destination that we personally visited this year. This week, we are sharing some of our top discoveries in these two regions over the past year.

Accommodations in Liguria

Agriturismo Missangea, Cinque Terre, Liguria

This is one of the more special accommodations in the Cinque Terre. A passion project restoration of an old rustico just above the village of Monterosso al Mare. It now is a bed and breakfast with 5 charming rooms and is a working farm. They supply vegetables to restaurants down in the main village, like La Cantina di Miky and the wine bar Enoteca Internazionale.

Villa Rosmarino, Camogli, Liguria

Villa Rosmarino, built in 1907, is an authentic Genoese palazzo with original mosaic flooring. The pool is set in a lovely garden of magnolia, lemon, tangerine and grapefruit trees. It’s been given a thoroughly modern makeover by owner Mario, an ex-advertising exec who gave up Milan for this tranquil hideaway. A wonderfully stylish base from which to explore the coast!

Villa della Pergola, Alassio, Liguria

Unique location, kind, professional and discreet staff. A Relais et Chateaux in Alassio, unique for its beauty and quality of hospitality. To being, the rooms are very cozy, well refurbished and have a wonderful view. Also, it is an enchanting place where landscape art, nature and history coexist in a balance of unique botanical forms and varieties. The view over the bay of Alassio leaves you breathless. A garden tour is a must in the summer months!

Dining in Liguria

Cracco, Portofino

Megan’s experience: Partially located in a grotto, the building juts out from the rock with fantastic views over the port. Great setting! Luigi had a cernia cooked al forno inside a crust of whole wheat flour that was to die for. I had lobster with a slight cream sauce and dab of pesto, it was amazing. We also had a white wine from the island of Gorgona (produced by the penal institution there!) that was extraordinarily good. I’m sure it’s on it’s way to getting a Michelin star.

Vignamare, Andora

Olive groves, pine trees and vineyards along the seafront provide the backdrop to this attractive corner of Liguria. Recently restored using a design inspired by the surrounding countryside. The menu changes on a regular basis and which focuses on the seasons. The restaurant has a green Michelin star. To conclude, also has almost exclusive use of ingredients from his own kitchen garden.

Activities in Liguria

Il Portofinese is a cooperative that runs an eco-farm in the hills above, a honey producer, a one-table osteria, plus the bar at the Portofino lighthouse, and more.

Hotels in Sardinia

One of the most beautiful stretches of Italian coastline is located in the northwest of the island of Sardegna (Sardinia). Hidden beaches, stunning rock formations, crystal-clear water, and top-notch hotels and restaurants can all be found here. The perfect place to unwind and relax. 

For everyone- the Cala di Volpe hotel

This iconic elegant hideaway on the Costa Smeralda was built in 1963 and is considered to be the top destination of the many luxury hotels located in the area. The hotel has been modernized and refurbished over the years, but it has done so without sacrificing its original unique character and charm. The hotel is large- over 100 rooms- but organized in a way to make the different areas of the hotel feel intimate and uncrowded. The choice of restaurants makes it hard to decide which to choose- they are all outstanding. Just make sure that you save one evening for the Japanese restaurant Matsuhisa (opened by Chef Nobu Matsuhisa). 

For families- the 7 Pines

This newcomer to the Costa Smeralda just opened in August 2022. The hotel has more of a resort feel, with a full gym, tennis courts, pickle ball courts, a kids club, and two pools open to guests. Yoga and meditation sessions are also available. The rooms are modern and breezy, many with comfortable terraces. The extensive grounds of the hotel have numerous small beaches as well as running trails through the pines. They have a range of dining experiences, including an outdoor beach club, the Cone Club, which serves lunch, dinner, and cocktails until midnight. Don’t miss sunsets here!

For honeymooners: the Hotel Pitrizza

Hidden away from the rest of the coast behind myrtle bushes, umbrella pines, and wild thyme, you’ll find the romantic Hotel Pitrizza. Each of the villas and suites is artfully arranged to have both breath-taking views as well as privacy. The restaurant and pool are located above the hotel’s gorgeous beach. For complete luxury, stay in one of their luxury villas with private pool(s!).

Restaurants in Sardinia

While staying in this area of Sardegna, don’t miss a visit to Porto Cervo- the hangout for the international jetset. After perusing the many boutiques, head to the main piazzetta for an aperitivo at one of the open-air bars. Try the Bar Il Portico’s signature cocktail of vermouth and champagne, served in a tea cup! Don’t fill up too much on the delightful bar snacks as you’ll want to save room for dinner at Quattro Passi al Pescatore. 

Down at the old fisherman’s port of Porto Cervo, Quattro Passi al Pescatore has a privileged position directly on the sea. The cuisine is 100% Italian, including local ingredients and seasonal dishes based on the fresh seafood from the island. If you’re not a seafood lover, the Linguine alla Nerano, brought from the Amalfi Coast to Sardegna by Michelin-starred chef Antonio Mellino (and made famous by Stanley Tucci), is a simple but delectable pasta dish made with zucchini and cheese. Delicious!

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