Spectacular of the sea. Beautiful vineyards. Divine wine. We spent a perfect day as guests at the agriturismo Ca’ du Ferrà in Bonassola— and that’s exactly what we found.
As the founders of a travel company, our aim is to offer quality and authentic Italy travel experiences away from the conventional tourist attractions and show the best that Italy can offer. We are always seeking out new places still unspoiled by mass tourism, as well as local producers who respect the rhythm of nature and the environment.
On a recent Sunday research trip, we ended up in Bonassola, a little village just a seven-minute train ride from Cinque Terre, but without the crowds. Bonassola is tucked in between the sea and the mountains, with a wide beach protected by the ruins of the old castle, and colourful caruggi (little alleyways) where life is peaceful and the smell of freshly baked focaccia is everywhere.
When we arrived at the Bonassola train station we were warmly welcomed by Davide Zoppi, who runs Ca’ du Ferrà, a fascinating agricultural business, together with his mom, Aida, and his dad, Antonio. Davide and his family managed to convert four hectares of uncultivated land into panoramic vineyards through sheer passion and hard work. They produce the Bonazolae, a divine dry white wine made with the local grapes (Vermentino, Bosco and Albarola).
Walking up and down these vineyards we realized what “vertical agriculture” means. This land suspended between the mountain and the sea is as as difficult to work as it is spectacular to look at. We were impressed to see how they built terraces and planted vineyards on very steep slopes. Davide proudly explained that their production is fully organic. The family offers an excellent product and their respect for the environment and nature, are key values that direct their daily work.
Ca’ du Ferrà is not only a place beautiful to spend a wonderful holiday, it is also a hotbed of great ideas. Davide and his dad, a history lover, are recovering a very rare local grape variety called Ruzzese. This grape variety disappeared centuries ago. It was very appreciated by Pope Paul III Farnese (1468 – 1549), who used to order several barrels of this wine directly from the small village of Bonassola. After researching and finding this variety, they have now planted 1000 grapes of Ruzzese and soon it will be possible once again to drink a wine whose flavour was lost for centuries.
While we’ll have to wait to taste this lost wine, we reached the heavens when Davide brought a cold bottle of Bonazolae wine and two trays of freshly baked focaccia out into the vineyard garden. We ate and drank with a breathtaking view of the Ligurian sea overlooking the two promontories guarding the bay of Bonassola.
Sound like a good way to spend the day? You should join us! With our unique tailor-made tour service, we are now ready to offer you a gastronomic experience at the Cinque Terre where, you will meet Davide, taste his wine from the panoramic “vineyards garden”, learn about organic agriculture. There will be several tastings of local products, pesto and cooking classes, and we’ll stay in a top quality, relaxing accommodation that Davide and his family converted from one former rural old building and one antique mill. It’s just a few minutes walk from the sea. Come and discover Bonassola for yourself!