In the thick and fragrant Mediterranean scrub, among spectacular rocks diving into the blue, the dwellings of Resort La Francesca arise. From the 15 hectares of estate in the land of Bonassola, in the Liguria of Levante, in a few minutes you reach the sea along a path between lentiscus, bush, myrtle, juniper bushes and tall pine trees of Aleppo. The 55 structures, between chalets and apartments, have been adapted to the ground and built suspended on pillars, not to break boulders or to ruin the trees.
A place that gives unique emotions
The story of the place and the resort is told by Marco De Poli, a great con man, who together with his wife Giovanna Cossia manages the structure. But immediately we realize that even the story of their lives is very fascinating and we can not speak of La Francesca without mentioning Marco and Giovanna’s personal path. Marco, a journalist, filmmaker and writer, not only worked with Paolo and Vittorio Taviani in “Padre Padrone” and “Il prato”, but together with Giovanna has created over 200 documentaries, reportage and television services on development issues in Latin America, Africa, Asia and the Middle East, also working with Laura Boldrini, current House President, then spokesman for UNHCR in Italy, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
Grandparents of two beautiful girls, having turned the poorest places in the world and documenting for their Urihi association the difficult living conditions of the women who work there, live in Milan but spend most of the year managing the Resort La Francesca, a place that gives unique emotions.
And, staying on the theme, it is for a woman to have the birth of the resort, Mrs. Gloria Bortolotti De Poli, a journalist and writer as well as Marco’s mother, who in the 60s from ancient times proposed tourism in direct contact with nature in a which was then only what remained of an abandoned mine.
The name La Francesca is linked to the mule track that in the Middle Ages led along the coast from Portovenere to France and so is indicated the location on a map written in 1722 by the cartographer Matteo Vinzoni for the Republic of Genoa.
The village develops into a basin that opens to the sea with three small bays, between the municipalities of Bonassola and Levanto, within the Bracco-Mesco Regional Nature Park: a paradise for those looking for crystal clear waters and uncontaminated nature and sometimes wild. Here we are in Liguria more romantic but it is also the dry and a bit bitter of the “bones of sepia” by Eugenio Montale who so loved these places.
The resort offers year-round apartments and villas with kitchenette, bathroom and terrace, in the large park overlooking the sea, where the private beach, swimming pool, two tennis courts, football field and volleyball court, boules, mini golf, ping pong and playground for the little ones with slides, swings and even a castle where the fairy tales live.
Guests can also enjoy the Rosadimare restaurant with a large terrace overlooking the sea, the bar and the minimarket. The beach is a small pebble beach among the rocks, inviting and transparent water, anticipated by a large wooden deck that houses the solarium, equipped with shower.
But not only in the hottest seasons, it’s nice to stay here: from November to March, including Christmas and New Year, La Francesca offers a solution to have your own warm and welcoming home on the Cinque Terre sea: one of the structures at the choice for a total of 25 nights to arrive at the last minute and leave your own personal effects. All the info, on this and other ideal solutions for those looking for peace and clean air, on the website www.lafrancesca.it.
We have been guests in the High Houses at the top of the park where the gulf of Levanto opens to the view: a beautiful postcard that accompanied the awakening every morning, while in the early afternoon timid pheasants came to visit us in the pinewood.
The magic continues in the path between the small houses overlooking the sea where the fusion of art and nature is perfect in the “en plein air” gallery of sculptures, shapes, bas-reliefs and statues spread in the park, including The Deposition in the “little chapel” by the sculptor Timo Bortolotti, father of Gloria, of whom many works are present in museums and private collections, and monuments in the Italian squares. Delightful ceramic formwork and bas-reliefs adorn the terrace of the restaurant, by Dodi Bortolotti Rezzoli, art daughter, sister of Gloria and Aunt of Marco.
Walking in the park of La Francesca, among the pine trees, fruit trees, citrus fruits, flowers and shrubs of Mediterranean scrub, is an engaging sensory experience in which you are captured by the views and the plants you meet on the path, including the autochthonous santolina ligustica that grows only on the volcanic rocks between Punta Mesco and Deiva Marina.
But the most original of the routes starts from the promenade that goes down from the restaurant to the cycling-pedestrian track that connects Levanto, Bonassola and Framura, following the route of the old railway line to which La Francesca guests have the opportunity to have a exclusive access.
For me, more reason to stay here, was to be able to reveal to Marco and Giovanna that exactly 50 years ago in La Francesca my parents stayed at a honeymoon and in one of these homes, which have since not changed then a lot, I was conceived.
And so in the history of this village, which Mrs. Gloria wanted with so much stubbornness and that made me live unique and intense emotions, I have added another small chapter with my own testimony.
La Francesca Resort
Info: +39 0187 813911 – email@example.com