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Orange Flag of the Italian Touring Club

An orange flag is the mark of the quality tourism of the Italian Touring Club; it is intended for small inland villages which are famous for an excellent service and a welcoming atmosphere.
The village of Apricale was founded around the tenth century by the Counts of Ventimiglia and passed to the Doria from Dolceacqua about in 1276, when it was already governed by the Statutes reformed in 1267 (the oldest in the Liguria) and its form of government was typical of a free Municipality. Then followed the destiny of the lordship of the House of Savoy and of the Marquis Doria, suffering the destruction of the castle in 1523 by the Grimaldi of Monaco, participating in various wars and suffering the French occupation, in 1794.
At the origin of the name there is it’s perfect location, which derives from "apricus", that means "exposed to the sun", but the main characteristic of the country, which has charmed its visitors over time, it is the spectacular appearance of the town, a sinuous cascade of old houses in stone disposed along the ridge of a steep slope dominated by the rise where the Castello (castle) stands. This extraordinary sight, unique even in the rich sample of "Villages of stone" of intemelia Liguria (that is, before the ancient Romans inhabited by tribes of Intemelii), it has been celebrated by poets and writers and painted by famous painters who have helped to make Apricale particularly popular and loved by artists. The town maintains the urban structure and the medieval atmosphere, with the original nucleus on the top of the hill, where the castle, the parish church and the houses are, arranged in concentric circles, and two neighborhoods that are disposed from the central square to the harmonious opposite sides of the hill, respectively "all'abrìgu" and "all'ubàgu", that is to the south and north.
A maze of narrow streets surrounds the hill and they are fragmented across multiple levels, connected by steep stairways and covered passages, forming the street network which hasn’t changed for a millennium, overlooked by tall stone houses often joined together by arches. It is the world of yesterday impenetrable and reserved, today finally opened to the visitor that could find lodging, dining, art workshops, that get back to life thanks to the great joy of the tourists. All around, the embrace of a campaign, that from the terraces supported by dry stone walls which over the centuries have torn from the mountains some plains, precious handkerchiefs of land to cultivate, it sends the silver of the olive trees and the dark green of the other crops, up the dense masses of chestnut and pine forests on the higher mountains.
For its beauty and for the efforts lately made by the Municipality for the development and cultural growth of the village Apricale we received the following recognitions:

  • 1. "Most beautiful village in Italy", ANCI, the first Ligurian municipality recognized with this title.
  • 2. "Orange Flag" of the Regione Liguria for the municipalities of the Region of Liguria hinterland, in collaboration with the Italian Touring Club.
  • 3. "ISO 14001 for the Environment".
  • 4. "ISO 9001 for Services".
  • 5. Certificate "OHSAS 18001 safety" that has allowed Apricale - first municipality in Italy - achieving the "Excellence" evaluation.

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