The municipality of Dolcedo is made up of various hamlets located at different altitudes.
The largest one was once known as La Piazza (the square), which is now simply identified as Dolcedo and it’s the main village of the municipality.
The village was formed around the confluence of two rivers, the Prino stream and the Rio dei Boschi.
Despite its relatively modest dimensions, the streets of Dolcedo and its buildings hide an unexpected richness, due to the general well-being that the area has always enjoyed thanks to agriculture and in particular the cultivation of olive oil. We are in fact among the olive groves of the Prino valley, a place also made famous by its buildings’ painted doors.
On the main square where once there was a big farmers’ market now stands the Loggia Comunale, this elegant structure was built shortly after Dolcedo was founded, obtaining permission from the Republic of Genoa to administer itself autonomously at the beginning of the 17th century.
The market took place then and for over a century after that. Even today it is possible to see and touch the ancient scales used to weigh the goods back then. The white marble containers served as capacity measurements for oil and wine while the graded iron bars were used to determine the length of fabrics, ropes and so on.
There are palaces dating back to the fifteenth century even, laid on a suggestive riverfront that is sometimes interrupted by covered passages, many of them equipped with roof terraces located on the top floor, where food was dried.
To go to the opposite side of the village you have to cross a gorgeous stone bridge built by the Knights of Malta. This order of warrior monks, in which the famous Templars converged after the suppression, had a seat in Porto Maurizio and they seem to have financed the construction of the bridge to facilitate their movements towards western Liguria and Piedmont.
Dolcedo was in fact also an important road junction towards the passes through the internal valleys and towards France and today a complex system of mule tracks is being recovered, with the possibility of making interesting excursions on horseback or riding a mountain bike.
In the center of the village there is a stadium where people play a sport that can only be seen in Italy in Western Liguria and Lower Piedmont. Here they play pallapugno: two teams challenge each other by punching a ball a little bigger than a baseball and they need to score points by scoring with this ball.
Under the stone houses built here you can see the ancient wheels and the channeling system of one of the many mills once used to make flour.
The main church has a splendid entrance from the fifteenth century made in black stone and supported by columns. The bell tower, one of the highest in the region, has a base of Romanesque origins on which a baroque part has been built. The interior is baroque, very elegant in pastel green and pink tones. It dates back to the late nineteenth century with an intense blue and gold. Many works of art are found inside the church, especially paintings from the Genoese school.
Dolcedo is a village not to be missed, like all this splendid valley that many foreign guests are increasingly choosing as a tourist destination or even as a home.
Dolcedo is a very charming village, worth visiting for its history and its specialties