Famous for its wisterias, Villa della Pergola is today one of the most fascinating botanical gardens, relais and restaurant in Italy.
by Stefania Buscaglia
Ph ©Matteo Carassale, Lucio Elio
A crescent moon overlooking the sea. This is how we love to see Liguria, a region in north-western Italy whose coast is known as the Riviera Ligure.
Between the west and the east, there are many places of pure fascination, capable of attracting the traveler through architectural and natural beauties and in which, the rich vegetation represents a flagship that the world envies us.
It’s in this context that Villa della Pergola is inserted, an oasis of peace and tranquility where you can find a splendid relais, an amazing restaurant and one of the most beautiful botanical parks in Italy: an architectural complex overlooking the Gulf of Alassio whose origins date back to 1875 and that today it lives an authentic splendor, thanks to wise interventions of conservative restoration wanted by its current patron – Antonio and Silvia Ricci – that have kept its charm intact, transforming the structure originally born as a holiday of English aristocrats, in one of the places of hospitality among the most beautiful and unique in our country.
Fifteen different suites for style, ambience, nuances and furnishing accessories, but with the classic fin de siécle atmospheres in common, contaminated by colonial-style echoes. The suites are located in the four buildings (Villa Principale, Il Villino, Casa del Sole and Casetta dei Giardinieri) within the luxuriant garden.
The Villa Principale has five rooms, in addition to the main facilities, including the restaurant. The exterior is distinguished by the evident eclectic architecture and the characteristic pagoda roof realized with the famous majolica from Albissola. Like the rooms, the interiors of the common areas have kept the elegant and suggestive domestic atmospheres of the past.
Il Villino is the oldest structure within the Villa della Pergola, spread over three levels, and contains six rooms. For an unforgettable stay, we recommend the suite, located on the top floor of the building, in an attic with white exposed beams, elegant parquet floors and original furniture. Two large rooms connected by a corridor from which you can access a beautiful terrace overlooking the Gulf of Alassio and from which you can enjoy a priceless view.
Equally unforgettable is the experience at the Casa del Sole, an independent villa on two levels so named for its privileged exposure, that – at the time of its realization – made pleonastic every type of artificial heating. If initially this structure was used as a Tea House by the inhabitants of Villa della Pergola, today it’s a splendid suite with a spectacular view with two terraces, one of which with an outdoor Jacuzzi, chromotherapy shower and Hammām.
The Casetta dei Giardinieri, recently renovated, has three new rooms obtained from what was once the residence of the Hanbury gardeners.
Inside Villa della Pergola, from 2016 takes shape the Nove, gourmet restaurant led by Restaurant Manager Francesca Ricci and Chef Giorgio Servetto, author of a kitchen based on the centrality of the raw material, and on the desire to re-present the tradition of the Ligurian territory, with French and Piedmontese “interferences”, revisited in a modern key: among the proposals that are worth the trip, the vegetable menu – one of the most convincing in our country – and Capra e fagioli an amazing, succulent and determined dish.
A relais and a restaurant that – in addition to embodying the essence of an ideal Italy and offering itself in an evolved hospitality formula – are part of a spectacular park: twenty-two thousand square meters of lush gardens chasing imposing Mediterranean shrubs, exotic plants, scenic water lilies and above all one of the most interesting collections of Agapanti (450 species) and Wisterias (34 species).
A park inaugurated in 2012 under the direction of the landscape architect Paolo Peirone who, starting from the nineteenth-century English inspiration, chooses to structure the garden in thematic “rooms” in which to make the countless botanical collections live, that can be visited upon reservation.