A day trip to Varese Ligure
On Sunday we had a short trip to discover Varese Ligure, the so-called ”Borgo Rotondo”, only forty kilometers from Levanto.
After a series of property passages between the noble families of Genoa and of the Val di Taro, in the middle of the sixteenth century, it passed under the Republic of Genoa. This till the reorganization wanted by Napoleon, who in 1797 annexed the neo Ligurian Republic to the Empire of France, by appointing Levanto chief town of the department.
Many traces of the history of the village are still visible and valuable. In addition to the topography which carries with it the various steps from the Byzantine period onward and the structure of the medieval village still intact.
The Fieschi Castle has an immense value , it welcomes those who arrive in the village and impresses with its two towers, known as ”the Piccinino ”and” Manfredo Landi. ”
Of Historical importance was also the Fieschi Castle on Mount Tanano, today only a ruin, also because its walls were destroyed to be used as material of the houses of the Borgo Rotondo.
Remains of the walls are still visible here and there, but the core of all it is, without a doubt,the village itself, with its stone houses placed in ellipse and characterized by arcades and side narrow streets along the perimeter, home to warehouses and workshops of great charm. Also very nice the Civic Tower and the Bridge of Grecino.
A curiosity for those who loves history and literature as me: in the center is also placed Palazzo Ferrari and in its chapel were was celebrated the wedding between the marquis Domenico Pallavicini and Luigia Ferrari to which Foscolo dedicated his ode ”A Luigia Pallavicini caduta da cavallo”.
Among many shops still exist and active, my passion-health for shoes and handbags led me to the threshold of the Calzoleria Marenco, a paradise.
Here the production is still on demand and custom-made, starting from an existing template or from a simple personal idea according to a fashion or just to satisfy the personal taste of the customer. Everything is done by hand, from the first steps to the last seam and cleaning and polishing are guaranteed free for life …
I recommend you to open the door and enter, just only for the charm of this small workshop, the cradle of true art. For fans, you can also see the site of this historic workshop.
Another shop in my opinion not to be missed is that of Pietro Pacetti, a former bank now artisan creator of wooden molds for the ”croxetti” or in Italian corzetti.
It is an home made pasta typical of the area, like a small, round lasagna, decorated with these molds, which reproduce more or less ancient designs, tailored according to dynasty and events to celebrate.
These designs have not only an aesthetic function but, in fact, they hold the dressing and it seems that the printing pressure does not allow the pasta to overcook. In addition to the very traditional meat sauce or pesto, are also excellent with the white pesto, made with pine nuts, garlic and marjoram.
I bought a mold and pinned the recipe. Now I just have to wait the first Sunday of willingness to roll up the sleeves, roll out the dough and crush the pine nuts in a mortar … I will let you know!