Mele: a tale of honey and water
Mele is a corner of quiet rurality a stone's throw from the sea of Genova Voltri and the traffic of the Via Aurelia – an easy reach (bus, coach, train) for tourists, hikers, devotees, gourmands and accidental visitors as well.
I have been a summer regular in Mele and Acquasanta for a long time. This corner of quiet rurality (2,700 inhabitants) a stone's throw from the sea of Voltri and the traffic of the Via Aurelia – not to forget about the industrialization of the Genoa’s western outskirts – is an easy reach (bus, coach, train) for tourists, hikers, devotees, gourmands and accidental visitors as well.
As a matter of fact, the place is located along the interesting "Santa Limbania’s path" whose first leg links Voltri and Roccagrimalda, and then on towards Gavi.
Mele has nothing to do with pomi (i.e. apples) but with honey, "Ex melle mihi nomen" is the motto featuring on the village’s coat-of-arms.
The famous Oratory of Sant'Antonio Abate dates back to the second half of the 18th century. Inside, stucco decorations by Rocco Cantone, hagiographic paintings by Carlo Giuseppe Ratti from Savona, pieces by Giovanni Andrea Ansaldo and Orazio De Ferrari from Volterra and - above all - the great, restored processional chest by Maragliano. The masterpiece, weighing about ten quintals, is carried in procession, every 15th August, by teams of 16 men, during the most heartfelt of events.
The name of the hamlet of Acquasanta is a tell-tale itself. Its 19th century sulphurous water spa is located right next to the sanctuary of Nostra Signora dell’Acquasanta (17th - 18th cent.), the destination of pilgrimages and worship by the local Confraternities, and the houses of a beautiful collection of presepi (i.e. nativity scenes). The sanctuary stands at the start of the double loop itinerary known as the Frassati path, which climbs (550metres in about 2 hours), the mountains via two tracks – one for amateurs, one (equipped with steel cables) for experts.
Hikers and bikers appreciate the area for its network of paths, which climb towards Punta Martin (1,000 m "minus one"), and for its neviere (ancient snow stocking spaces), often inhabited by nice families of salamanders ...
Gourmets appreciate the area for its good trattorie.
This is the fascinating world of tastes and crafts that LiguriabyLuisa discloses to foreign markets and buyers (tour operators, travel agencies, organizations, associations, food&wine dealers and import/export professionals....).
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