Bellissimo Italian villages, delicious gelato, endless limoncello, nonstop sun, impressive yachts, crystal water, and, of course, the colors. The Italian Riviera is made up of perfection. Within its collection of small towns filled with mom and pop shops and restaurants, it’s impossible to go wrong. Yes, the Riviera really is all that and more. No one has anywhere to be, except the lounge chair they’re already sitting in, saying no to another glass of wine is sinning, and making a fashion statement is a requirement.
The first stop of the trip was San Remo, where we stayed at the Royal Hotel for a few days while driving to tiny villages nearby. The hotel is beautiful. Mornings started with a tasty breakfast overlooking the water; evenings started with a breathtaking sunset over champagne on our spacious room balconies. We visited Apricale, Dolceacqua, Badalucco, and Triora. All are delightful, but Badalucco stands out because of the restaurant located there. Ca Mea is mushroom paradise in a cozy Italian setting. Everything is made with porcini shrooms, and the set courses never stop coming. The meal is topped off with endless wine, prosecco, and homemade limoncello and grappa. It’s a delectably authentic experience, with added charm in that it’s completely family owned and operated.