Spending a day at the Balzi Rossi Beach & the legend of dr. Voronoff

Lucia Gaggero | Live the World

November 23, 2022

The "Spiaggetta dei Balzi Rossi" (the Balzi Rossi Beach) has always been famous in Liguria Ponente, the emerald green water and the perfectly polished rounded pebbles, create a delightful natural setting, a small gem of rare beauty, which is also a meeting place for artists, writers and famous people.

The beach is relatively small and the access is by paying, you have a small refreshment bar and restaurant. However if you are planning to spend an afternoon here without paying any access, all the rocks surrounding it are free. The name Balzi Rossi, that means Red Cliffs, comes from the colours the beautiful cliffs and the stones reflect at sunset, when everything becomes pink and red. The rocks around the small beach are flat and it's really easy to access, place a towel, take aswim or just relax. Actually rocks are my favourite spots and I like to stay after sunset and take some fun long exposed pictures playings with the stones and the sea waves.

Moreover the site of Balzi Rossi is a famous archeological site because it's where thousands of years ago our Stone Age forefathers lived, drawings, rest of primitive civilisations objects and everyday tools has been found. It's a real pleasure to walk into the museum and see the caves's walls rich of those millenary graffito, and memories. So, before going to the beach or after to conclude your day, for a really a small fee it's worth to visit it, have a look around and see our prehistoric traces.

Another charming part of the Balzi Rossi surroundings that give them a mysterious atmosphere is all the legends and stories told about the scientist Dr. Serge Voronoff. Dr. Voronoff was a Russian scientist who travelled a lot, studied and worked in France and died in 1951. in Liguria Ponente He's been called the mad scientist, the dangerous scientist, the visionary scientist etc. His impressive villa, which looks like a castle, was abandoned for really a long time and only been restored in the late eighties, it dominates from the top of the hill the all the Balzi Rossi area.

Dr. Voronoff as many other human beings was fascinated by the researches of the eternal youth. It's told that he was doing every kind of experiments in his laboratory above the Balzi Rossi during the early years of 1900 using humans and monkeys. All kind of stories has been created around it, some people even pretend that some descendants of his monkeys still live wild up the hill. Some tells that he used to mix parts of animals and humans ones, others are too horrified to talk about his experiments and still today are quite scared. What seem to be true is that apparently his theory was that the Monkey testicle could have been a source of rejuvenation if sewed onto the testicles of aging humans. In 1920 he also wrote a book about it: "Life; a Study of the Means of Restoring Vital Energy and Prolonging Life". Nowadays, It's not possible to visit his castle anymore as it has been restored and converted into a condominium, however, the hill and the surroundings are free to be explored and maybe you have the chance to meet one of his legendary creatures.

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