In Pigna

Most people will arrive in Pigna from the south, along the road that winds through the Nervia Valley, passing through the other medieval villages of Dolceaqua and Isolabona.

The Italian drivers here are fairly considerate, probably because there are quite a few young and elderly cyclists on this stretch. With an ascent of over 300 meters from Ventimiglia to the village of Buggio, which is the younger sibling in the "double municipality" of Pigna and is located higher up in the valley, this route is perfect for a few hours of cycling.

Pigna seems to emerge from the mountainside as you approach it. It's hard to see where one house ends and another begins — they blend into each other organically. The color scheme is muted, with walls in shades of beige, light yellow, and ochre, contrasted by the bottle-green color of the shutters and the reddish-brown tiles of the roofs.

The air around the houses is filled with agile swallows and swifts as they hunt for insects. And towards evening, in late spring, you can hear the croaking of frogs from the stream at the bottom of the valley.

Nature is close in this village.

As you venture into and up this ancient town, where time seems to stand still, you feel a refreshing breeze in the shady alleys.

The tranquility of the town, along with the friendliness and hospitality of its people, makes it delightful to be a guest and live here.

In the town's only proper grocery store, an "alimentari," located on Via S. Rocco, you can find the most essential groceries despite its small size. The bistro Da Nui on Corso de Sonnaz (closed in winter) has an attached Alimentari with a limited selection of goods. And then there is only one more store, a pharmacy. Cash can be withdrawn from an ATM.

While there may be few grocery stores in Pigna, the town is well-supplied with restaurants and bars: the aforementioned bistro, a café, a pizzeria, three restaurants, and 2 bars. And if that's not enough, there are nearby villages with a good number of restaurants, cafes, and bars as well. During the winter months, many dining establishments have limited opening hours.