Enjoy walks in the Rio Merdanzo Valley around the town of Perinaldo during your stay in Liguria, Italy.
Tour the old castle of Cassinis and admire the breathtaking view
The parish church of San Nicola was founded in 1489 and restored during the Baroque period. The "painting of the souls", which is attributed to the Guercino school, was donated by Cassini in 1672. The country church of the Visitazione is better known as the sanctuary of the Rock of the Wicked because it is a traditional destination for penitents.
Forty per cent of the territory is covered by olive trees, which began to be cultivated by the Franciscan friars, who founded the monastery of Sant'Antonio in 1640 (now used as an observatory and astronomy museum): it was the friars who first introduced cultivation of Taggia olives. Floriculture is also widespread.
The high areas are covered with chestnuts, pines and beech trees; on the coastal side the vegetation is prevalently Mediterranean maquis. The road connecting Apricale and Dolceacqua is excellent for trekking; many other routes are also ideal for mountain-biking, such as the road from Soldano to Dolceacqua, where you can visit the ruins of the Alpicella tower. The vineyards are part of the superior Rossese wine domain. Not to be missed in August is the festival celebrating a speciality called "meesana", stuffed pumpkin flowers.
This municipality extends along a ridge between the valley of the Rio Merdanzo, a tributary of the River Nervia, and the River Verbone valley. Around the year 1000, Count Rinaldo of Ventimiglia bought what was then called Villa Junchi to make it into a stronghold and the inhabitants moved for protection to the castle being built on the hill, which was later named "Podium Rainaldi".
In 1288 it passed into the hands of Oberto Doria. In the sixteenth century, Perinaldo by now belonged to the Savoys and was involved in the war between Piedmont and Genoa. It was here that Gian Domenico Cassini was born in 1622. Astronomer and scholar at the court of the French king Louis XIV, he concentrated he studied Saturn and discovered some satellites and the empty space between the rings ("Cassini's Division"). He may have been born, but certainly stayed and worked in the villa of the Maraldi family (Giacomo Filippo and Gian Domenico continued his studies). Napoleon and General Massena stayed in the same villa.
Perinaldo is one of the villages in the province of Imperia which lies in the Liguria region. There are several other villages near Perinaldo, for example: Apricale (8.8 km), Seborga (16.1 km), San Romolo (9.5 km). Take the highway exit to Bordighera , then follow the SS1 up to Vallecrosia, where you will turn right onto SP59 and drive past San Biaggio della Cima up to Perinaldo.