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Largish seaside resort (pop. 11,000 + tourists) in the north of Italy, in the Bay of Liguria, off the eastern border of France. It is the town of Elgar's overture Alassio (In the South) premiered in March 1904. The back of the town rises into foothills with a provincial feel to them, where an annual festival is held, the principal attraction of which being not their Hoop-the-Duck competion, but their peculiarly moreish sweet fennel biscette (like a straight doughnut) made to a secret recipe.

It's intolerable from mid-June to September, due to the heat and crowds, but really rather pleasant at either end, due to more moderation in both. In spite of it's new-found trendiness, the Grand Hotel is still crumbling majestically into the beach, whilst games arcades spring up around the town. It's a town slowly being destroyed by insensitive developments but you can still occasionally find charm and a conventional idea of picturesque Italy in the seaside restaurants lit at night by the peculiarly red Ligurian moon.

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