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Valloria, the Village of Painted Doors

In the surrounding area of Liguria, there is Imperia where a small village sits with its doors painted by artists from all over the world. We’re talking about Valloria, the village of the painted doors

What a pity that in Liguria often people only stop on the coast. Meaning you lose all that magnificent inland, especially in the west which is made up of continuous valleys that intertwine with each other and covered with olive trees making it impossible to see the beginning and the end. Nestled among these small villages, carved out of the rock, with their few houses almost always colored, and in some cases even drawn, sits Valloria. Valloria, the village of painted doors

On the hilltop of Val Prino, in the hinterland of Imperia sits a small town of about 30 citizens called Valloria. Its name derives from Vallis Aurea, the Golden Valley, probably for the production of oil, which was once more active than today because most of the olive groves have unfortunately been abandoned. At the beginning of the nineties, to revive this area and to get this village recognized the local association Gli Amici di Valloria had the idea to have some house doors in the village painted by artists from various places. "We wanted to make the doors become works of art, which symbolically open and send a message of sincere and colorful hospitality". The success was immediate: initially, they came from the surroundings of Imperia, then from the rest of Liguria, then from all over Italy, until they crossed national borders.

Today there are more than 160 doors designed by Polish, Spanish, Japanese, Chinese and many more artists, each with their own technique and style, because creative freedom remains a must. So, in the space of a few years, this small village has become a popular destination for artists from all over the world, who can't wait to come to Valloria also to party.

Party in Valloria

During the same time at the beginning of the Nineties, another initiative was also born: the artistic and gastronomic event A Valloria fai baldoria, which since the first edition in 1994 has always taken place in the summer. It is a much-loved party by both the local citizens and its surrounding areas, so much so that every year many people come to the village. It is organized by the same association Gli amici di Valloria (friends of Valloria) presided over by Claudio Ghiglione, even though in reality the entire village participates because it’s the Valloria families that prepare the traditional Ligurian dishes with typical local products from the territory for the occasion: from ravioli of herbs with borage to zemin, a vegetable and legume soup; or frisceu, pancakes of various kinds with onions; or cod and so on.

This year, for obvious reasons, it wasn’t possible to celebrate, but the restaurant bar Antiche Bontà di Valloria (the only one there) thought of an alternative: every Monday, from June to the end of September, it organized a special aperitif, in compliance with the rules, to stimulate an influx from the coastal areas (a process quite rare and difficult). The only recommendation is that you stop in Dolcedo on the way, where just by entering a door (the one next to the Town Hall) you will discover an incredible world.


Courtesy: lacucinaitaliana

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