The organic valley
In the Alta Val di Vara, the green heart of La Spezia, they have been awarded the label of first organic valley. There are plenty of reasons to plan a holiday or trip to the Italian organic valley where the value of nature and authenticity was understood for the first time. Here you can taste many dishes made with few ingredients available: from lasagne with leek sauce to tagliatelle with beans and zimino soup, as well as corsetti pasta, tomaxelle rolls and cuculletti (potato croquettes). Chestnut flour is often used to make castagnaccio (chestnut cake) and tagliatelle.
In Varese Ligure
Given its village type, Varese Ligure recalls the structure of other medieval settlements in the area, gathered around a square surrounded by porticoes, under which warehouses were located: it is precisely the mercantile and defensive function of the centre (Varese is located on the axis between the coast and the Po Valley) that characterises its elliptical structure. Inside the village there was the square, currently known as Piazza Fieschi.
Small restaurants in the round village
Once in Varese Ligure, you can admire the Borgo Rotondo conceived in the Middle Ages. Here you will find many small restaurants, delicatessens and many delicacies, all with their organic certification. The Captain's house, which can be dated around 1500, the church of Santa Maria inside the village and above all the Castle, on the northern side of the village, at the entrance of Via dei Portici, are definitely worth a visit.
From the historic centre to Passo Cento Croci
The so-called Napoleonic route, one of many itineraries in the area, starts from the historic centre of Varese Ligure and heads towards the Cento Croci pass. From the centre, follow state road 523 to Cento Croci, leaving Borgo. From the village, you run along mule tracks that cut through beautiful meadows with grazing cows, until you reach Case Langasco and the Colonia of the Cento Croci pass. A route through meadows and castles which you can enjoy by foot (5 kilometres and 2 hours)