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This happened to us the year before, that summer quickly began to draw to an end, and we hadn’t had our much needed yearly taste of the sea. Because it was already October, we chased the sun East, and flew to one of the Greek islands. There, I was amazed by the purity of the water, and didn’t imagine one could find anything as wonderful anywhere else in Europe. This year we had reason to be in the Milan area for a few days, at the end of September, and it was clear that the only sea we’d see would have to be somewhere in the north of Italy. The water at the tiny, wonderfully secluded rocky beach just before the French border, which the owner's handbook to the house directed us to, was no less perfect than the Greek sea, and I was astonished. Twenty minutes away from this treasure of a little spot, you find yourself in the thick forested mountains where Italy and France meet. The sea feels like it is hours away. The noise of civilisation seems years away. It all feels quite adventurous, and quite timeless. The little hamlet of Fanghetto sits precariously on the side of one of these mountains, an incredible view from the small winding road, which you so want to enjoy, but it is impossible to, whilst driving among the motorcyclists heading into France.
The house is absolutely delightful. It was restored with a care that is completely palpable. Everything so comfortable, the light so beautiful, and yet it feels completely authentic.
Had it not been for our strong desire to swim in the sea, we would have happily never moved from the house, like hermits. We did this for one of the days, a rainy one, and cooked some perfect meals and didn’t miss a thing. The place was a perfect hideout in bad weather, and on clear evenings the terrace was a ledge overlooking the world.
The landscape and civilisation seems to change dramatically within small distances in this area. We drove the mountain road into France for breakfast one day, and the town we stopped in seemed from a completely different time to Fanghetto, which itself feels like another world from Ventimiglia. At a time of year when we thought any possibility for a little holiday was probably lost, our time in Fanghetto was absolutely perfect, and quite unforgettable. We hope to return soon.