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Clean lines, geometric designs and raw materials - at first glance, the minimalist atmosphere of the house contrasts with the vibrancy of the surrounding landscape. But from the coolness of the vaulted rooms and the warm brightness of the upper levels, a connection to this unique and mysterious region steadily emerges. It is a region where steep paths lead to both the seaside, the wooded reliefs of the Alps and the northern Apennines. The house and the village are a gentle retreat that will delight holidaymakers in search of a resort with a strong identity and well preserved tourist attractions.
For the well preserved nature and the authenticity of the region. We both began coming to this area at a very young age. My husband even spent part of his childhood here. Because of our professional careers as an architect and an art director we have lived in many different places and have got to know different areas of Italy. The western part of Liguria, the ‘Riviera di Ponente’, has always been a favourite of ours. There is an atmosphere of yesteryear here which can be so difficult to find nowadays.
When we bought the house, it was an abandoned ruin about to collapse. We wanted to spare it from any contemporary architectural trends. Our approach was to carefully reduce the layout to the bare essentials in order to preserve the original charm of the property and subtly integrate the necessary comforts. We realised that the more authentic and true it was, the more the house could reveal its hidden beauty. We have discovered a real affection for unpretentious things. It quickly became apparent to us that we should use recycled and traditional materials, ancient Ligurian fabrics and patterns. Old stone walls and vaulted ceilings reveal the original look of the house, as well as the restored tiled floors and wooden-beamed ceilings in the bedrooms. We wanted everything to be made by hand and made to measure, nothing industrial or prefabricated. Everything had to be as simple as possible. Our main source of inspiration was the art of everyday life in Liguria, and the surrounding nature.
Liguria lies between the mountains and the sea and has always had a special place in our hearts and those of our parents. Simon's father, an architect, arrived in Liguria almost forty years ago and started renovating old houses. As for my parents, they bought a holiday home twenty years ago in the same village. We were intrigued every time we passed in front of this old stone house which had been abandoned for several generations. It seems we were the only ones to see its unique charm and have the audacity to breathe new life into this hidden beauty! We bought it in 2016 and spent almost three years restoring it because we did everything ourselves, with our own hands. It took us a long time to grasp the meaning of local traditions and historical traces in order to recreate and respect the modesty and universality. It was an incredible experience for us.
Surrounded by olive groves, Casa Francese is ideally located in the quiet mountain village of Montegrazie, in the hinterland of Imperia and less than ten minutes from the seaside. We offer an authentic house for family events and family holidays. The communal areas are perfect for group meals and offer direct access to the Mediterranean garden where guests can enjoy the sun all day. The rooftop terrace, with a shaded loggia and breathtaking views of the village, is a great place to relax or indulge in an aperitif.
We love the Ligurian hinterland with its humble valleys such as Valle Argentina and Val Prino. The atmosphere changes as one moves away from the bustling Mediterranean coast and beaches to reach the rather archaic Maritime Alps filled with emptiness and silence. It's both a trip back in time and a perfect getaway.
780 € - 1565 € per week
With a surface area of 180m2, the house has three levels. On the ground floor are an equipped kitchen and a large dining area with direct access to the Mediterranean garden and a large bathroom. A staircase leads to the upper level with a vaulted living room, a bathroom with walk-in shower and two bedrooms with double beds and sea views. On the second level are a third double bedroom and a library, both have direct access to the roof terrace and shady loggia.