Bordighera. Cocktail Italiano
The seaside town of Bordighera is one of the first stops on our tour of the Riviera, and a great introduction to the region. Although close to France, this town is still quintessentially Italian and offers a first sip of the Italian Riviera cocktail culture. The grand boardwalk at the seaside is wide and inviting; perfect for a morning or afternoon stroll. Brightly-colored beach clubs offer a dazzling day spent by the sea, swimming or merely whiling away hours under your bright beach umbrella. Colorful cocktails add more sparkle to the setting, and light the way to evening.
The Italian Riviera town of Bordighera is simply breathtaking. It’s one of the first Italian Riviera towns you come to when driving east from the French Riviera. The distinctive tree line that frames the boardwalk, seen in the distance from the cliffs, mark the entrance to the city center (centro). Against the backdrop of the water, delicately-feathered evergreen trees along the seaside appear in relief, almost like handmade paper cutouts on a delightful pop-up card. It’s no wonder that many famous painters and writers have vacationed and worked in Bordighera. Like many elegant Italian Riviera towns, European travelers flocked here in the summertime during the 1800s and early 1900s.
The abundance of formal gardens and the magnificent beauty of the beaches were a source of inspiration, along with the painterly feel of the dramatic landscape. Claude Monet was one of the many notable artists to paint the gardens of Villa Moreno in 1800s. He wrote that he was fascinated with the light. It is said (in Italy, of course) that Bordighera was where Monet’s style matured. A French influence is apparent in the art nouveau architecture seen around the town. In comparison to cities farther down the coastline, buildings here are more formal and ornate because of the nearby influence of French architecture.
Bordighera is hardly a sleepy seaside town. It is bustling with lots of chic shops and hip bars. The boardwalk along the beach is wide and full of great places to grab coffee and panini in the morning, or a proper aperitivo in the early evening.
“Cocktail Italiano” by Annette Joseph