I came to Bussana Vecchia after spending a night in San Remo (read my blog post here..). Bussana Vecchia is a small hippy/arty commune in the West of Italy with a rather interesting history.
I won't give you a long history lesson, but here is a quick overview. Basically there was an earth quake in 1887 which killed around 2000 people and destroyed lots of buildings. The authorities decided to rebuild the town down the hill and called it Bussana Nuova (New Bussana). Bussana Vecchia was then abandoned and declared dangerous.
In 1947 people from Southern Italy started living in Bussana Vecchia illegally but in the 1950s got forced out by the authorities, where they also ruined all staircases and roofs. This was done to deter people from coming back to this hilltop town.
Despite all this, in the 60s a group of artists from all over Europe moved in. Bare in mind that there was no electricity, tap water or sanitation. They resisted eviction by the police and still live there to this day. The artists living there sell their artwork to tourists and arrange art events & exhibitions.
Now, I'm not one for history but this is some pretty cool information. I loved walking around the old streets which were decorated with weird & wacky artworks. The church at the top was completely dilapidated yet absolutely beautiful. It was lovely to support such a rare community in their efforts to live the simple life and every artists dream.
Whilst we were there we had lunch at Piazzetta Golosa which was super cheap but also delicious. I had a bruschetta which was the best thing I have ever eaten. It was only bread with cured ham, tomato & mozzarella but it was just perfection! The pizzas and salads looked pretty good too.
Bussana Vecchia's art work
As I explained above, there is a lot of art work scattered around Bussana Vecchia, which is all made by the local artists. There was everything from ceramic masks on the walls to beautifully painted canvases. Some items were more surreal than others, but all of them seemed to fit right in. I couldn't imagine some of the art work anywhere else to be honest, and that was the beauty of this place. It's unlike anything I've seen before. The whole vibe of the place was very relaxed and accepting.
Bussana Vecchia's Piazzette Golosa
Cheap, delicious & filling food. What more could you ask for? I was a bit apprehensive, I'll be honest as there were maybe 3 restaurants in the whole town. And sometimes, when there isn't a lot of choice, the food can be reasonable, at best. But this little place was homely and well situated with beautiful buildings around the small courtyard. And the food was amazing.
Bussana Vecchia's church
The old church on the hill was beautiful. The colours inside the arches etc were stunning. I loved how old and dilapidated it was. It really added to the charm of the place. It was lovely to walk around the outside catching a glimpse of how this could have been before the earth quake in 1887.
Bussana Vecchia's other architecture
Walking around Bussana Vecchia really was delightful with the old buildings, gorgeous doors and narrow streets. I think one of my favourite bits of the town was the crazy assortment of letter boxes. Nowadays you see the same letter box over and over. In this town they were all hammered to a wall. All different in size, colour and material. It was so lovely to see them all so different, yet so similar.