Mountain walks, rivers, pools, the seaside and ...

Triora 35 minutes to miles of beaches

Nearby azure seas & clean sands. See larger photo at the bottom of page

Natural swimming spots galore:

lakes & bathing lagoons...

...& rivers, & rock pools

See our Italian medieval palace apartments on

To see the Belle Époque palais:


Triora's 3-headed hound, Cerberus, upon which Fluffy, in Harry Potter, is based. Our very own zootype, mythological creature represents Triora's 3 river-valleys


Lyda Borelli, Triora's very own silent film heroine, as 'Salome', with the head of John The Baptist. 1916.


Triora & the Dry Martini


Sinatra, pesto king of Triora


Thor Heyerdahl lived nearby


Columbus was born locally


"Elling" lives here! Per Christian Ellefsen, Oscar-nominated film-star owns Triora's other medieval palace.


Oscar-nominated film producer Hans Lonnerheden, best known for his  "Ondskan" & "Hamilton" films,  lives in Molini-di-Triora also!




Splendid, historic vacation rentals await you. Stay in a medieval palace in Triora, in Italy, above left, or in a Belle Époque palais in Menton, near Monaco, below. Please scroll down for Triora and the Italian medieval palace...


Aside from the many folklore mysteries of this off-the-tourist-trail spot, other delights await you in Liguria,  particularly in Triora. We are delighted to welcome you to these former Genovese lands and to our Italian palace, which stands above one of the most beautiful Middle Ages citadels of Italy. Triora itself sits above three rivers, each of which provide abundant, freshwater bathing and swimming opportunities. Shown below are just 2 of myriad pools surrounding Triora

(If you cannot wait 2 minutes, to read about orchids, dry Martinis, the beauty of our locale & Frank Sinatra, then go straight here:

Standing above three rivers, Triora is crowned with rare orchids, eidelweiss, and many other scarce breeds of flora. The butterfly-rich Valle Argentina (Argentine Valley means ‘silver valley’) is a series of stunning mountainous gorges that meet in the one, major mountains-to-sea valley, just below Triora. From here our three rivers converge. Summer bathing is a stimulating experience in the many, local waterfall-fed pools and in the cascading fresh waters of our rivers, which are all mountain-fed torrents. Our precious location is at the heart of one of Italy’s purest, least spoiled geological features and we sit central to one of Italy's national parks, of which the crown is Triora, for it is the most beautiful of gems, set amongst many other pretty jewels - over 25 other towns, villages & hamlets - which are to be found nestled, valley-low or perched, peak-high in the hills that rise upwards from the Mediterranean. These fascinating settlements range from the quaint, like Molini-di-Triora, our twin, which sits in the river-valley with its 23 watermills, 400 meters below Triora; to the mysterious Cetta, a village of 5 hamlets; to Realdo, a borgo built upon a sheer outcrop of mountain rock, a mile high! All of the citadels, villages and hamlets here are ancient - some are lost-in-time! Rare cultural treasures & curious but pleasant culinary surprises await discovery in towns like Taggia & Badalucco, and in many of the villages too. Age-old villages decorate the peak-wards road and the lower road too – this choice of driving thoroughfares allows travellers to choose preferred styles of driving, pass-high or river-low. Most of our ‘borghi’ (medieval villages or small towns) have their own peculiar dialects so Italian is often locals' second language! Many locals speak French as a third. English is spoken but mostly only in bars and restaurants, though other connections with the English-speaking world are never too far away, leastways not historically. Triora sent two things to New York, New York: Dry Martini & Pesto (thanks to Frank Sinatra). More about this a little further down the page...

The palace where you will stay, dates back nearly 1000 years, to the early days of The Medieval Republic of Genova, although Triora far pre-dates even that city's patron saint, John The Baptist, by 5,000 years! Incidentally, as the Genovese parade his holy ashes through their streets, every June 24th, Triora is celebrating its mountain saint, John of The Meadows, with night-time street bonfires, wine and cakes.  Our palace, Palazzo Borelli, is the only privately owned, residential palace in the entire valley. Here were born many famous locals. Of the family is Lyda Borelli, a recent-times silent cinema heroin. She can be seen in the photo to the left, in the title-role of the 1916 silent film ‘Salome’, playing the jealous, spurned succubus of John The Baptist, whose severed head lies upon a silver platter, gazing-up at the femme fatale. After her day most of the palace fell into disrepair and was abandoned, though wartime partisans hid in its attics. Despite war damage to the East Wing, a more recent member of the Borelli family used the palace as his holiday home when he became French ambassador to The African Republic of Benin, whence he brought back to this Italian home a collection of antique tribal masks, some of which can be seen today, in one of our apartments, in the former convent, The Palace Cloisters, where The Sisters of Mercy once had a nunnery. A Middle Ages resident, Franchetta Borelli, is perhaps the most famous woman locally, for she was the only survivor of the 1580’s witch trials that the Spanish Inquisition orchestrated on behalf of a prejudicial clergy. She is toasted (no pun intended) today with a local chestnut malt beer named after her. 

The palace commands views over Valle Argentina towards the sea, near San Remo. Long before that world-famed chic city was known for its World Rally, or for its song festival, it was an exporting port for the finest olive oil. Today, the olives that are known worldwide as the best Italian olives originate in this and neighbouring valleys. The extra warm winter climate here (it can be sunny and warm enough to eat Christmas luncheon outside) is somewhat higher than the other parts of Liguria. These days 5-star hotels around the world, as far a field as Thailand & America offer 'Taggiascan' olives (often called Nice or Nicoise olives, as Nice is the nearest city & was once Italian). A local producer of our fine olives, “Roi di Badalucco”, sells his olive oil, pastes & sauces exclusively to Harrods, in London. Of course you can buy them directly from him at a fraction of the cost, when you stay here.

Triora and pesto go hand-in-hand. Frank Sinatra made famous this area’s now world-renowned pasta sauce. He imported the sauce to his restaurant in America. He was a regular visitor to restaurants hereabouts. The cocktail, the Dry Martini, gives Triora its second "New York, New York" claim to New World Fame. A hundred and fifty years ago the proud and once noble families of Triora moved to the coast, and from there as far as the Americas. A young local man from our nearest seaside town, by the name of Martini, became head barman at New York's Knickerbocker Hotel. There, c.1900, he served the first Dry Martini, his mix of iced London dry gin and dry vermouth. To this day he is celebrated world-over as Martini di Arma-di-Taggia, the inventor of the Dry Martini.

A less fortunate neighbour to cocktail-creating Martini, was a man by the surname of Battista. He followed his bar-tending compatriot towards the new world as a waiter, on board a trans-Atlantic liner, namely “The Titanic"! In Molini-di-Triora an ‘in memoriam’ plaque is dedicated to him. It is to be found next to one of the best restaurants in the valley, “Ristorante Il Santo Spirito” (“the restaurant of The Holy Ghost”), which is a food-lovers paradise, and a place that has attracted people from all over the world, including the New York-based abstract painter, Michael Green, who came here in the 1960’s. He arrived, to live here, at the same time as American novelist and liberal thinker, Gore Vidal.  Green is by no means the only New York painter with connections to Triora. Apart from Middle Ages masters of Renaissance painting, who were born and lived in Triora,  whose work still adorns churches in Genova, the modern painter Donato, who is remembered worldwide as ‘The last of The Surrealists’, is also from hereabouts. Donato’s uncle was a former holder of the world record for altitude flying. He was also a wartime hero in this locale, credited with saving 2,500 local people from extermination! He hid two Jewish orphans in Creppo, one of Triora’s most mysterious & secret villages. Today, a famous Dutch actor lives near there. It is not uncommon to spot national and international celebrities hereabouts. Recently, a Scandinavian actor, one of three local Oscar-nominated film celebrities, bought a ruined palace and is planning to develop it into a local cultural centre.

Triora and its region are best known for being the birthplace of the Middle Ages discoverers of The West Indies and America, Christopher Columbus & John Zuane Cabot (though in 1003 Lief Ericcson, a Norse Viking; and many thousands of years earlier still, the ancient peoples of Gascony had travelled to the same American shores) but the Trioran lands are also home to modern day explorers. Living near to Triora is the Norwegian family of world sailor-extraordinaire & re-discoverer of the ancient world, Thor Heyerdahl. He made Ligurian land his own after The “Kon-Tiki” Expedition, whilst voyaging on his other reed vessels, “Ra, “Ra II” & “Tigris”.  Explorers are still making their homes here. Recently the former Governor of The Antarctic Territory of Queen Maud Land, himself an intrepid adventurer under the Norwegian flag, and a man with more than 50 polar trips to his name, decided to settle locally. That such men, travellers of the world, should decide to live here, is indeed strong testament to this area's peace & unique beauty.

Indubitably and rightly credited with the birth of the modern Italy are Mazzini and Garibaldi, who led the unification struggle from Liguria. They were born either side of Triora, in Genova and Nice - then called Nizza - an Italian city. Before The Kingdom of Italy, Triora had been one of medieval Genova’s strongholds. Today Triora is central to Italy’s  'Parco Alpi Maritimi' (national park of the seaside mountains). From Triora it is easy to walk the mountain passes & to visit other pearls of these peaks, like Dolceacqua, from where the unusual red wine “Rosesse” comes, and where the impressionist painter Monet painted. Nearby too is Apricale, present-day holiday home to British TV actor Roy Marsden, better known to some as Inspector Liam Dalglish. It’s also just as easy to go to the seaside,, or to nearby Italian or French cities & towns like the Italian capital of song, the chic port town San Remo; or the home of Princess Grace & regular haunt of 007 James Bond, Monte Carlo; or to France’s fifth city, Nice, with its huge old town quarter, replete with restaurants, haute-couture shops, antique and flower markets, a fine port & many long beaches. Only 90 minutes drive from Triora, Nice, like Genova, is a real treasure-trove of old delights. Both make for excellent breaks-within-holidays, for day-trips or overnight stays. The train from Triora’s local station takes you to both, in about 2 hours, for as little as 10 and 20 Euros, in first class too! In Genova you can enjoy everything on foot, in the impressive, huge old town, a medieval city-within-a-city, full of warren-like walking streets, packed with merchants selling unusual wares, antique churches & cathedrals, & secluded squares, surrounded by inns and artists’ studios. These medieval streets connect art galleries and museums and hide-away many fine restaurants. Getting ‘lost’ here is a delight. From Nice or Genova you can easily escape back to the tranquillity of Triora, to your spacious palatial home, though a night away, in either city, is highly recommended. 

Much has been said about Ligurian cuisine but less is heard about the musical tradition. Often accompanying special meals in local eateries is a table of instrument-wielding songsters. The sounds of yesteryear, long lost in the cities and towns on the coast, still live hereabouts, at least during occasional Sunday luncheons, which means, to the uninitiated, a feast of over 20-courses! You won’t be required to consume all but it’s nice to have the choice, especially for as little as 30 Euros a head, including wine! The nearest of these fonts-to-vanquish-famine is in our own Triora-twin, in Molini-di-Triora. A walk to and fro is a good way of preparing for and then, shedding the gains made from such a banquet. Most of the local food is farmed or sourced locally. One usually eats organically here.

5,000 years ago ‘Occitan’ bronze-age farmers from Languedoc came to this valley, bringing with them ancient musical traditions. Today, local musicians & dancers have re-introduced the ancient culture. Moreover, some local folk melodies & dance traditions traversed the globe in the opposite direction 150 years ago, to evolve into Argentine Tango! Today 'Tango Argentino' has arrived in Italy. Triora is a centre of the dance.

It’s not only the mountains & the sea (see photo below) or the nearby historic cities, or the many, local Mediterranean towns that have drawn many happy holiday-makers towards this land, following in the steps of the royals of yesteryear. Often our name precedes us because our visitors go home satisfied, and we are sure of meeting again many of our guests,  and their friends, returning not only as holiday-makers but as our friends. We look forward to welcoming you. 

Remember, when you stay at our Italian palace there are no additional fees, like cleaning charges. Neither is there a huge deposit that some house owners return to their guests as a cheque, late, and minus various deductions! Here, you will be treated well and you will enjoy the highest level of local hostelry in one of our many, different but beautiful, quiet and private, very clean & newly fitted-out palace holiday homes... the only palace holiday homes for miles, a long way above run-of-the-mill holiday houses!

Parking. There is relatively safe, free parking nearby. Driving here is easy and getting around by car is fun as traffic jams are not a thing that blights this valley. Car crime is not known locally.

All of our Italian palace apartments are newly restored. Kitchens and bathrooms are clean and well-fitted, in marble or other stone, with all the amenities, including dish-washers. TVs have an English satellite service. Bedrooms have beds that are usually larger than standard and are orthopaedic quality, ensuring a good night’s sleep. We will welcome your arrival with a selection of food and wine, with our compliments.

Below is an aerial photo of our a small portion of one of our nearest beaches, with sea-break rock islands. Along the Riviera you will find many more, mostly sandy, but pebble and sheer rock seafronts can also be found

Go here: to see summaries & photos of the palace homes

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Menton : our Belle Epoque palais on La Cote d'Azur

1 hour from Triora is Palais Lutetia, in Menton, our Franco-Italian palace home

Below : the view from Palais Lutetia, with Corsica on the horizon.

Photo of Corsica from Menton, copyright Robert Parabis, Menton, 2010

It seems unfair to have two Rivieras, the Italian and the French, between 35 minutes and 1 hour from Triora but that's how it is and that's why you'll have so much choice here. Our French palais is located in the beautiful "pearl of France", Menton, a chic border town that was Italian until 150 years ago. More details of our palais apartment, in this seaside & port town, with its museum to Jean Cocteau, amidst many other charms, will follow soon.


Triora - our medieval citadel - between Genoa & Nice




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