We walked towards the door of Nelly G B&B pausing to admire the variety of flowers, herbs and trees and to take deep breaths of the sweet clear air. The door opened and Sonia the owner ran out to greet us. Straight away we were on first name terms and felt like old friends. Sonia showed us our room and then the sitting/eating area with breath-taking views of the hills sweeping down to the sea.
The three of us stood looking out of the window quite awe struck.
Nelly G has three rooms, two family rooms and a double room with an American patchwork quilt on the bed. All clean and tidy and inviting.
The communal area has kitchen units and straight away we made tea and chatted with Sonia.
She had a wealth of information of the local area and many guide books and maps so we could familiarize with the beautiful hill top villages and the vast amount of activities available in the area from Climbing, to biking and hiking and fishing for tuna, along with open air theatre and jazz concerts. Sonia told us a bit about herself. we weren't surprised to hear that she had a mother from Naples, it was there in her friendly brown eyes and open manner. Her father was from Como and had been told to move to the sea or stop smoking. He just moved to the sea.
Sonia left us to settle in and said she'd be back with our Apericena.
There was one other couple staying at Nelly G. They arrived breathless and exhilarated from a panoramic walk from Noli to Varigotti. They told us they had also discovered Nelly G from a Wonderbox and this was their fourth visit. They had fallen in love with Liguria and Nelly G. They told us they had already had Sonia's amazing Apericena and were going to eat on the coast at Finale Ligure in a restaurant belonging to Sonia's friend.
Sonia brought our Apericena, staying to chat awhile before disappearing to get us yet more delicacies. Everything was home made, there were squares of Ligurian focaccia, stuffed tomatoes and peppers, olives, a typical Ligurian spinach pie, locale salame and ham, bruschetta, goats cheese, and a generous glass of homemade wine.
As it was such a beautiful evening and the countryside was gleaming silver under the moonlight Sonia suggested we drove down to Calice, which means wine glass, to have an ice cream.
It is a small village and we quickly found the ice cream shop, full of young people and with a great selection of ice cream flavours, including one of my current favourites, Ricotta with figs and walnuts. We strolled along the village streets with our ice creams listening to the rousing chorus of the frogs coming from the stream that ran alongside the path. It must be the mating season, they sounded very excited, probably saying things like 'Hop onto my water lily baby.'
The bells rang from the local church and a crowd surged towards the entrance, talking in loud happy voices. It was nice to think that there was a community spirit thriving among these sparsely populated hills.
When we arrived back at Nelly G, all was silent, except the hooting of the owls and the now distant croaking of the frogs. The woods loomed dark and mysterious around us, we were aware of the presence of the nocturnal creatures and how the steep sided woods gave them a safe home.
Waking up the next morning to the brilliance of the blue sky and the bright clear sunlight we were greeted by tantalizing aromas of freshly made coffee. Sonia had laid out an amazing spread, home made crostata, chocolate, cream or jam brioches, home made lemon marmalade, home made bread with walnuts.
We sat together with the other guests and it was like staying with friends.
Sonia told us that she would like to start cookery courses for her guests. She would stick to just one or two dishes, home made pasta, pesto, lasagne. She already takes guests out fishing with her husband in the Summer, all fish caught is taken back for supper.
Here is her website and address:)
Via Canto di Sopra, 26
17020 Calice Ligure, SV
Telephone 00 39 019 65331
|View from the back of Nelly G|
|Towards the sea|