Only 15 kilometres from the sea, in the immediate hinterland of Imperia, there is a small town where time seems to have stopped. It is Valloria, a characteristic hamlet of Prelà. An enchanted place which nearly disappeared twenty-five years ago. In 1994 a group of residents decided to do something to relaunch the town, and began painting the cellar doors which opened up on to the “carrugi” (narrow streets). The first artists to take part were almost all from Milan, as one of the founders came from there. 15 doors were painted during the first year. Now, 22 years later, the village has 148 doors painted with panoramas, flowers and other subjects, which are admired by thousands of tourists, especially from France, every year. Valloria was also reborn thanks to the idea of inserting it into the “ASSIPAD” circuit, which gathers together all “painted towns”.

However, the painted doors are not the only town attraction, as the Proloco director Gianfranco Ballestra explains: “we also have the Museum of forgotten things, a place which may be visited any day subject to booking, where all those tools which were used in ancient trades have been collected. In particular, there are tools used for field work”.

And then let’s not forget the view which can be enjoyed from Valloria. The green of Liguria, which embraces the blue of the sea creates a strong fascination, especially at sunset. “Valloria is a beautiful town, with all its carrugi and arches – ends Ballestra – a place worth visiting every day of the year”.

[Simona Maccaferri]