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Dolceacqua and Rossese d.o.c.

Orange Flag by the Italian Touring Club

It is the national headquarters on the Association of Orange Flag Countries.
The Orange Flag is the mark of quality of the tourism of theItalian Touring Club; it is intended for small inland villages which are famous for an excellent service and a welcoming atmosphere. The trademark is valid for two years and is subordinated to the maintenance of the requirements through the passing of time.
The oldest traces of settlement in the area are represented by the "castellari" from the Iron Age, rough fortifications in dry stone walls built in concentric rings that occupied the heights of "cima d'Aurin", "cima Tramontina" of Abellio mountain along the watershed between the Nervia and Roia valleys on the one side and Morgi mountain and the Tower of Alpicella on the opposite one. The collected archaeological reperts confirm that these cornerstones of defense of the territory were garrisoned by the Intemeli from the fifth century BC to the fourth century AD during the Roman period, to protect villages, pastures and fields. The first document that mentions Dolceacqua is dated back to 1151, because it was in the 12th century that the Ventimiglia family built the first nucleus of the castle at the top of the rock which strategically dominates the first narrow passage and the bifurcation of the valley towards Rocchetta Nervina and Roia valley on one side and the medium and high Nervia valley on the other hand, having the accesses under control.
Over the following centuries, at the foot of the castle, bought in 1270 by the Genoese Captain Oberto Doria, the winner of the Pisans at Meloria, and expanded by his successors, there was developing the district of the Earth ("Téra" in the local dialect), by following the level lines in those concentric circles around the fortress and connected by steep ramps. The water of the Nervia river was brought to give water to the fountains and to irrigate the vegetable gardens. In the middle of the 15th century the growth of the town, who had made the main urban road network from the path of via Castello (Castle Street), it led to the growth of the new district of the village called Borgo, beyond the river Nervia; the two nuclei were connected by an elegant humpbacked bridge, to a single arc of 33 meter span.
The district Earth (Terra), once occupied all the available space for its expansion, grew in height by the raising of the houses, which reached six floors, and today still keeps intact its medieval atmosphere, where time seems to stand still. Dolceacqua's story it’s linked to the affairs of the castle and lordship of the Doria which boasts one among many characters Caracosa, mother of Admiral Andrea Doria; the dynasty got under the protection of the Savoy dynasty, from 1652 he was in charge of the Marquis of Dolceacqua.
The castle underwent several transformations. The primitive feudal building, at the end of the 13th century defended by the round tower, was enlarged and included in the 14th century by another wall, wider than the previous one; during the Renaissance the "castrum" became a grand manor house fortified thanks to defensive devices. After withstanding several sieges, but could not resist the heavy artillery Franco-Hispanic, which partially destroyed it on 27th of July 1744 during an episode of the War of the Austrian Succession. No longer inhabited by the family of the Marquis Doria, who moved in the palace near the church, suffered the latest outrages suffered by the earthquake of 1887.

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