The historians do not agree on the origins of the town's name: for some, the name derives from Latin, Dulcius, others it would be of Celtic origin, Dussaga. A fascinating settlement that features a compact structure of buildings, built at the feet of a castle, now reduced to ruins, with the difficulties of life during the Middle Ages. Today a town, with its own council in the province of Imperia, consists of two districts: one older, called "Terra" (Earth), that is dominated by the castle of the Doria and is located at the foot of Mount Rebuffao, the other more modern, called "Borgo". The two villages rise on both sides of the river Nervia and are connected by two bridges, one medieval, slim and thin and the other modern. Dominated by the bulk of the feudal castle, the houses clinging to the rock and built of stone, grow in height between passages, alleys and steep stairways. The area is famous for its fine wines such as Rossese.
The presence of castles, the fortifications in rough stone, show that the area was inhabited since antique ages. The county was part of the possessions of the Counts of Ventimiglia, that built the castle in the XII century. Then it was acquired by the Doria family of Genoa and flourished in a period of great expansion. In 1524 Dolceacqua was placed under the protection of Savoy and became a Marquisate in 1652. It was annexed to the Kingdom of Sardinia in 1815 and to the Kingdom of Italy in 1861.
Not to miss:
The castle of the Doria is the re-elaboration of an earlier fort of 1100. It was built in the XIII century, enlarged in the XIV and adjusted to a noble residence with frescoes in 1500. Partially destroyed during the Franco-Austrian war, the castle was further damaged by the earthquake of 1887.
The ruins of the convent of the Augustinian monks of the XVI century.
The Sanctuary of the Shrine of Our Lady of 1890.
The Church of San Giorgio which preserves in the XI century crypt, the graves of Stefano and Giulio Doria.
The Church of Saint Anthony Abbot in Terra dating from the XV century. It keeps within it the altarpiece, entitled to Santa Devota of the artist Ludovico Brea in 1515.
The area of the medieval bridge on the stream Nervia, which is an extremely picturesque valley, where the creek has delicately engraved the stone of the rocks over the centuries.