Goldilocks is in Liguria for a 3 days travel now, thus I’ll take her place for our weekly coffee chat.
Last time we talked about croxetti, they typical pasta of Varese Ligure. Today we’re talking about the town itself. Varese Ligure is a small, 2000 inhabitants, town in Liguria, just a few miles away from the borders with Emilia Romagna.
I was surprised how easy it is to reach the town from Parma, through a very smooth road that flows through the Apennines (at least smooth to me, compared to the roads you find in the Alps), and that’s probably why they founded that town in the past. It was an easy Crossroads between Liguria and Emilia Romagna, and probably one of the easiest way to reach Parma or Geneva from the other side: this made the place stategic for commerce.
The town itself is small, but really pretty, and there are some attrctions that definitely are worth to be seen, starting witht the Fieschi Castle, which we managed to find open thanks to an exhibit taking place right there. While the exhibit itself wasn’t interesting at all (some “artworks” where way past the edge of macabre), the castle is really worth seeing. The conditions of the building are really good, and you can have an example of the military architecture of the XV century pratically intact. A small chamber and few stairs after the main entrance and you will find yourself onto the very top of the tower, where you can take wonderful pictures of the surroundings from top.
The town itself seems lost in space and time, with the “Borgo Rotondo” surrounding the two main town squares. The houses around the castle were built both for people and shops but also as a second “wall” to defend the castle. This creates a special effect of “mazey” roads when you walk around, and makes you feel like you’re back to the XV century.
Also worth to be seen, is the Grexino Bridge, a single arch bridge that celebrated its 500 birthday just two years ago, that will take you to one of the prettiest areas I’ve even seen in a small town like Varese Ligure, and is just a few steps near the Croxetti stamp shop of Mr. Pietro Picetti.
I loved the fact the whole city is covered by plates that explains the history of the main places of the town, the reasons and how they’ve been built. I seriously wish more towns around the country were like Varese Ligure when it comes to historical places.
Unfortunately, we managed to get there on Wednesday, the closing day for most of the shops in the town, and we had some difficulties in getting typical food. If i were the major, I’d probably try to regulate this a little better, because the town seriously seemed abandoned when we first arrived.
The town itself takes a day to visit, maybe one day and a half, and it’s really worth a trip. However, I strongly advise you to spend a night there, because that’s when the small village really shine, at least to me. The town is wisely illuminated to be not too dark, but not illuminated enough to ruin the magic of the architecture. If you’re an amateur photographer like me, you’ll totally love to take pictures at long exposures of the views.