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Dolceacqua. Province of IMPERIA
Situated seven kilometres away from the sea, Dolceacqua is divided into the two districts of Terra and Borgo which are connected by the humpback bridge over the River Nervia. Built in a strategic position on a rock, its narrow alleyways and high houses built close together make this a very charming location. Dolceacqua was part of the feudal domain of the Ventimiglia aristocracy in the eleventh century, and was bought around 1250 by the founder of the powerful Doria family. Mentioned in 1177 as «Castrum Dulzana» (from the Celtic «D’us Aga», meaПing «god of enchantments»), the town has a strict but fascinating layout. Between Dolceacqua and Camporosso, there lie the remains of a guard-house where armed soldiers once watched over the roadways.
There have been many archaeolgical finds at San Bernardo: stones with graffiti, Celtic symbols and a tomb. Remnants of Celtic culture are also to be found in the tradition of lighting a bonfire on Christmas night or the traditional Saint Sebastian’s Day procession when laurel trees decorated with coloured communion-wafers are carried through the streets. The excursions to San Bernardo, Convento, Addolorata and «Ca’ du maigu» take you along old paved mule-tracks between the terraced hillsides and the olive groves. There is a famous local superior-quality wine called Rossese di Dolceacqua. Local cuisine offers tasty dishes such as olive sauce, sun-dried tomatoes, stockfish and a sweet speciality called «michetta». A local festival dedicated to this speciality began as a celebration of the abolition of the «jus primae noctis», an ancient tradition that once allowed a feudal lord to deflower a bride on her wedding night.
Note: The above is an extracts taken from the official web-site of the Regione Ligure, Agriculture and tourism department — Tourist section.
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