Not just the sea. La Spezia has (at least) 4 fabulous inland paradises

June 16, 2016

The “orange flag” award of the Touring Club certifies excellence in the offer and the quality of the small inland towns. In the area of La Spezia 4 villages earned it.

Featuring sustainable tourism and high-level quality services: the Italian Orange Flag of the Touring Club is assigned to the small Italian inland centers that can offer all of this. In the province of La Spezia 4 villages boast this important recognition (three of which are in Val di Vara).

Varese Ligure and its round shaped center

Varese Ligure and its round-shaped center
Considered the “capital” of the organic District, Varese Ligure is definitely worth a visit even if food-centered travel is not your cup of tea. The symbol of the place is definitely the round-shaped center. The quaint village is built at the behest of the Fieschi family in the fifteenth century and enclosed within the circular walls. There is also the Grecino district, which extends beyond the scenic bridge built in 1516 above the Crovana ridge.

Brugnato, in the history of the Val di Vara

The ancient village of Brugnato in Val di Vara
Brugnato holds with pride the history of the Val di Vara and has earned the orange flag for the proper preservation of the preciousness of its historical towns. A walk in its streets will let you discover numerous mansions with beautiful facades. The heart of the village is St. Peter’s Square, with the church that dates from – in its original form – the eleventh century.

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Pignone, gateway to the Cinque Terre, built by the Romans

Pignone and its ancient bridge, now rebuilt after the 2011 flood - Ph. Eco del Levante
Pignone was funded – even before the Romans – in the neighborhood of the river as a trade settlement. The nowadays village keeps much of the medieval organization and is gathered around the beautiful Piazza Marconi with its lodge dating the fourteenth century. You can visit Pignone following the itinerary proposed by the signs with explanations on the history and the curiosities of the village. Do not miss a visit in the village at the beginning of September during the trade show of the Orti – cultivated gardens, in which the town shows off its many local products (potatoes, sausages, etc etc).

Castelnuovo Magra: high on the Val di Magra, home of Dante Alighieri

The village of Castelnuovo looking out at the whole Magra Valley
The greatest of Italian poets, Dante Alighieri , knew Castelnuovo very well. In fact, he lived in the bishop’s castle-building, and here – as a prosecutor of Marquis Malaspina – signed peace with the local bishop Antonio da Camilla. And after Dante is named the central street of the village, surrounded by buildings with splendid portals. Surrounded by the walls of the palace of the bishops of Luni-Counts, the historical center enriched by the two towers, the palace Amati-Ingolotti-Cornelius with its frescoed rooms, its rooftop gardens and the ancient seat of the Enoteca Regionale della Liguria and Lunigiana cellars.
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