Every stone of this Albergo Diffuso has a story to tell…
The Casa Madre, dating back to the early 19th century, is the main house with reception, breakfast hall, garden with swimming pool and 6 rooms. The original structure first appeared in the Statistica del Dipartimento di Montenotte (Statistics of the Department of Montenotte), written by the French prefect Gilbert Chabrol de Volvic between 1806 and 1812 (published in Paris in 1824). Before it was converted, it housed the butcher’s shop that used to serve excellent meats prepared by Grandpa Peppin and Grandma Evelina (today you can still see the plaque outside that bears the name of Macelleria Amoretti – Amoretti Butcher’s). Mamma Piera was born and raised in the first floor of the house and Elena spent her summers there with her grandmother and aunt.
The terrace of the Casa del Borgo is striking and is ideal for relaxing with a good book. It is the evolution of those buildings that followed the urban plan set out by the Lascaris di Tenda lords. It still has the original 15th and 16th century lay out: on the ground floor there were warehouses and stables, while upstairs there was a terrace for drying foodstuffs. Today those store-workshops that formerly housed the furnace, the Zia Maria barber shop and other businesses that animated the village still stand out.
The Casa del Fienile is synonymous with intimacy and originality. You encounter it along one of the paths that climb the hill towards the upper part of the town, towards Marocastello. It is located on a bend: it is therefore no coincidence that the shape of the building resembles a “slice of orange”, the best solution for taking advantage of all the available space. The internal walls date back to the late Middle Ages. In the past bundles of hemp were dried here and then used to make ropes or fabrics.
How we were
The “Casa Madre”
This is the main house before being converted into an albergo diffuso: it was the site of the village’s old butcher’s shop, which used to offer excellent quality meat, prepared by Grandpa Peppin and Grandma Evelina.
Today it is the centre of the hotel, with the reception, the restaurant for breakfast, the garden with swimming pool and 6 rooms.
The history of the house:
The two-floored building is part of a newer settlement , which lies outside the village’s older center . The first mention of the house was made in the printed collection of the Statistica del Dipartimento di Montenotte (Statistics of the Department of Montenotte), written by the French prefect Gilberto Chabrol de Volvic between 1806 and 1812, published in Paris in 1824. In the picture, we can see the view with the church and bridge, and then immediately beyond the bridge, the houses where our Relais is situated today, probably built in recent times near the main roads at the bottom of the Maro valley.
The building therefore dates from the first half of the nineteenth century, as part of the development of the land beyond the river, with no buildings on either side, as the properties on the slopes belonged to the town’s most important families. From the beginning, the ground floors were used for commercial purposes, as they faced on to the street.
The Casa nel Borgo
This is the house in the Borgo where there are six rooms and a beautiful terrace, ideal for reading a good book in peace.
For the more curious: the history of the house
Borgomaro is a village created according to a fixed urban plan, with a checkerboard pattern, as ordered by the local gentry, the Lascaris of Tenda. The houses were originally all the same shape, with ground floors for shops and stalls, generally quite steep stairs that ran perpendicular to the street, with the rooms on the upper floor and often a terrace on the roof for drying foodstuffs (there were no refrigerators) which was sometimes turned into a covered loggia. The house in the Borgo was renovated over the centuries, mainly in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, but it has kept the original 15th-16th century layout. It looks out on to the main street of the village, which is now called via Paolo Merano, and it is connected to the building on the hill, which looks out on to via Garibaldi.
From the vertical dimension, we passed to the horizontal accommodation, with well defined living spaces.
The charm of the little entrance and the boutiques on the ground floors is immediately obvious. At the end of the 19th century, the bread oven of the late Giovanni Marvaldi was also housed in this block. In the entrance area at the front, there was the barbershop that belonged to Aunt Maria, Evelina’s sister. The countrymen willingly went for a shave from her, an artist with the hand razor. The family is part of the Brioglio clan, one of the three branches that have dedicated themselves to the commercial activities, from “shaves and haircuts” to “cobbling”. The Broglio family have been based in via Umberto I, now called via Merano, since the end of the 19th century, as descendants of Felice Giuseppe late Giacomo.
Indeed, in this instance, whoever stays in this house takes two journeys: one real, into Borgomaro, and one virtual, into history.
The Casa del Fienile
Finally, the Barn House, a little further away but more intimate.
The history of the house
This building is very special. It is situated along one of the minor trunk roads that climb the hill leading from the higher part of the village, towards Maro Castello. Just a little corner, a house shaped like an “orange segment”, as a way of making use of all the available space. In the lower part, there is a barn and storage space with internal walls that certainly date back to the late Medieval period. The building then rises upwards almost in the shape of a tower. It has only a few openings, but well-built. Stone slabs with a hole in the centre are fixed into the wall, which may have been connected to some wooden constructions which have since disappeared. But there is also the possibility that they have something to do with the bundles of hemp that were strewn out here to dry, as at one time, this was widely cultivated in Western Liguria. Hemp was used both for weaving ships ropes and high quality fabrics.
As we are today
The Casa Madre (Main House)
We have sought to achieve the greatest possible level of comfort as afforded within the confines of the spaces in the old buildings, and to thus bring new life back to the original style of the dwellings in which you will be lodged. Hand-made features, furnishings created by excellent artisan craftsmen and fabrics decorated with painstaking care are only some of the details that we, and our interior designer Julia ( www.juliadesign.it) have thought of for you, to make you comfortable in a place that feels cosy and familiar as soon as you arrive.
The Casa nel Borgo
From reception, cross the bridge, go up the pedestrian street and turn left; it’s about 90 metres total by foot. The actual street address is Via Paolo Merano No. 69. has 6 bedrooms, as well as a living room on the third floor.
Rooms 11 and 12 are sixteen steps up; there are another fifteen steps up to Rooms 13, 14, 15, and 16.
All the rooms in the Casa del Borgo are really quiet as they face a typical ligurian Caruggio: this type of road is practically a pedestrian area. All the rooms have the view on the other houses of the historical centre of the village.
The Casa del Fienile
Go up another 40 metres and you reach the third building in the Albergo Diffuso: the Casa del Fienile (Barn). It is definitely the property with the most history and dates back to the 14th century when they worked with hemp to make rope and other products. These days, it houses 2 rooms, perhaps the ones which are the truest to the Borgo’s soul.