medieval village of Apricale is situated at 273 meters above
sea level in the Nervia Valley in the Province of Liguria.
The name Apricale derives from the Latin ‘Apricus’ which
means exposed to the sun. But the main characteristic of
Apricale, which enchanted the visitors for a long time, is
the scenografic aspect of the village. A waterfall of antic
stone houses on the top of the hill. Dominated in the top by
its Castle. Apricale has about 650 inhabitants and in its
glory days more than 2000. There are more people living in
the village but a lot of them own second houses and stay
here for a few weeks or months during the year.
hills/mountains around us are about 1000/1200 meters high.
The little river in the valley comes from Monte Bignone and
is called Mandancio From Apricus we have a view on
Perinaldo at about 700 meters above sea level. Perinaldo is
famous for its observatory. Mr. Cassini lived here and he
was an astrologist who worked for Louis XV at the French
Apricus it is just a 5 min. walk to the the little church
Santa Maria degli Angeli at the bottom of the village. This
church has ‘freschi’ made between the 15th and
the 18th century and restored between 1989 .1990.
In the vaulted ceiling, devided in 4, you can see the
saints Agostino, Ambrogio, Gerolamo,Gregorio Magno..
the other side of the church we see the washbasins where the
people went to do their laundry.
village has conserved its structure and its medieval
atmosphere. The network of little alleyways in the village
called ‘carugi’hasn’t been changed for the last 1000 years.
The land around us is all terraced supported by stonewalls.
The terraces were used for agriculture. The first documents
from Apricale as a village (statutes) are from 1267.You can
see the original documents in the Castle, Castello della
the statutes was a chapter about punishment. The fines to be
paid or if somebody escaped after a homicide the house would
be destructed and the goods were given to the family of the
victim. Or in case of homicide the killer was beheaded and
the head was exposed as an example. You can see the house of
the executioner ( casa della boia) near the square.
There are still a few public ovens in town. The inhabitants
prepared for example the dough for the bread at home and it
was baked in one of the central ovens.
entrances to the village were closed by wooden doors. For
example the one at the entrance of the square. There is a
hole on the left side which was used to fire at the not
square is still the central meeting point for the
inhabitants. In the summer a perfect place for outdoor
dining in one of the two restaurants. Events taken place all
year round. Christmas Eve arpund the bonfire, New Years eve,
St. Valentine’s Theatre in August and the Pansarole in
Septembre. Dance evenings and concerts during the summer
of the rooms in the castle is dedicated to the most famous
person in the history of Apricale. Cristina Anna Bellomo
(1861-1904). She ends up at he court of the tsar in Russia
She was travelling with her niece in Europe and Asia. Just
before the Russian Giapponese conflict they were in the
pacific. She and her niece both were feared as spies by both
sides. The picture on the wall in the castle is of her niece
Maria Pizzio, when she visited her aunt in St. Petersburg of
the tsar. In the afternoon of 30 may 1904 Cristina was
killed by her husband at the age of 43.
Apricale became an artistic centre not in the least thanks
to our good friend Daniele Noel who brought exhibitions of
famous artist to the town. There are regularly important art
exhibitions in the castle, from Picasso to Folon from Miro
to Louise Bourgeois etc. etc.