The Golfo Dianese
The Hotel Bellavista in San Bartolomeo al Mare is located in the heart of the Golfo Dianese (Gulf of Diano), and just a 2-minute drive from the motorway exit. Staying in our hotel means you can easily reach all the main towns along the Riviera di Ponente coastal region: Cervo, Diano Marina and Diano Castello are just three of the seven municipalities of the Golfo Dianese which you can reach in just a few minutes by car from Bellavista. The beaches of San Bartolomeo al Mare are a 10-minute walk away. They have about ten privately run beaches and three free beaches with amenities, and they sit next to one of the most beautiful seaside promenades on the Riviera. The Lungomare delle Nazioni promenade stretches for almost a kilometre, connecting San Bartolomeo al Mare to nearby Diano Marina. It offers excellent recreation opportunities for all those who love walking, perhaps while enjoying stunning sunrises and romantic sunsets. In the summer months, Piazza Torre Santa Maria, which overlooks the Lungomare delle Nazioni promenade, is transformed intoun vero e proprio teatro a cielo aperto e ospita concerti e iniziative culturali e di intrattenimento adatte a tutta la famiglia. L’ufficio IAT è aperto tutto l’anno ed è sempre aggiornato sulle manifestazioni che si svolgono a San Bartolomeo al Mare e nel Golfo Dianese, che è davvero a portata di pedalata e di passeggiata, pronto a essere scoperto grazie a escursioni, visite guidate e piccole gite. an open-air theatre featuring a lively programme of concerts, cultural events and entertainment for the whole family to enjoy.
The IAT (tourist office) is open all year round and always has up-to-date-details on events taking place in San Bartolomeo al Mare and the Golfo Dianese – all of which are within easy reach by bike or on foot – along with information on a wealth of excursions, guided tours and short trips.
The Golfo Dianese: Villa Faraldi, Diano San Pietro, Diano Arentino
Head inland, and you discover an area dominated by the green and silver hues of the olive trees and much more: the Western Riviera means more than just the sea – it’s also kilometres of dry-stone walls, vegetable gardens, and myriad paths and trails to be explored on foot or by bicycle. This is the most ancient and authentic part of Liguria: a land of farms, olive oil mills and abundant outdoor activities. And thanks to the mild climate here – consistently voted as the best in Italy – the inland area sees thousands of sports enthusiasts increasingly choosing the Golfo Dianese for their sport-themed holidays, as it truly offers something for everyone. Tastings, gastronomic tours and countryside walks offer an excellent alternative to a day at the beach, which in any case can be accommodated in your plans. An abundance of trails provide ample opportunities for both professional and amateur sport lovers to train outdoors year-round: from trekking and hiking to mountain biking, enduro, trail running and traditional running, there is no shortage of sporting activities to be enjoyed across the area. Diano Arentino boasts numerous locations dedicated to agriculture and outdoor activities, as does Diano San Pietro. What’s more, the two municipalities host a full programme of village fairs and gastronomic festivals with orchestras and traditional cuisine throughout the summer. Villa Faraldi, on the other hand, is famed above all for its art festivals, offering music and theatre, exhibitions, readings, and intercultural twinnings with countries including Norway, Denmark, Switzerland and Germany. Setting off from Bellavista, you can reach Villa Faraldi by following the road that passes through Chiappa (a hamlet of San Bartolomeo al Mare). Here, you can admire a milestone from the reign of first Roman Emperor Augustus. It’s one of the oldest testimonies marking the first stretch of the Via Julia Augusta Roman road. Discovered in 1837 in front of the church of San Giacomo, the stone bears the inscription of 553 miles, indicating the distance from Rome (about 818 km), and can be dated back to 13-12 B.C.
The Golfo Dianese: San Bartolomeo al Mare, Cervo, Diano Marina, Diano Castello
The modern town of San Bartolomeo al Mare extends mainly along the seafront, where most of the town’s commercial activities are also located. Shops, supermarkets and offices are located in the area that extends from the town hall to the sea. It’s also the area containing most of the town’s sports facilities: municipal swimming pool with beach volleyball courts, events area (which hosts most of the town’s festivals) and a bowling alley (with adjoining restaurant) are all just a few minutes away from the Hotel Bellavista and easily reached on foot. To reach Cervo though, you’ll need to walk a few more minutes (by car, it’s just a few minutes’ drive), but it’s a gem of a place and well worth visiting. Voted ‘One of the Most Beautiful Villages in Italy’, Cervo is one of the most fascinating villages along the Golfo Dianese, with the Corallini Church that overlooks the sea and its distinctive carrugi (alleyways) that are home to traditional restaurants and craft shops. It’s a medieval village which can only be visited on foot (the historic centre is closed to traffic), and attracts thousands of tourists every year. Diano Marina is the gulf’s best-known town, and features a pedestrian precinct bustling with amenities including cinemas, museums, theatres and gyms. With a regular bus service every half hour from San Bartolomeo al Mare, it’s very easy to reach Diano Marina for an afternoon’s shopping or to visit the Lucus Bormani Civic Museum, which also houses the artefacts found in the Roman mansio (resting place) located in San Bartolomeo al Mare. Officially listed as ‘One of the Most Beautiful Villages in Italy’, Diano Castello is also a medieval village. Its elevated position made it an ideal fortification for defending the coast from incursions from Saracen raiders arriving from the sea. Home to many historic, religious and noble buildings, the village still retains much of its original charm, and deserves to be enjoyed on a trip that includes a visit to the fascinating lone – a network of medieval underground water cisterns created to collect and store rain water.