Borghetto di Vara
“Scudo rappresentante: un albero di gelso di ampia chioma, che si erge su un campo libero al margine della sponda del fiume Vara; sormontato da una corona e delimitato da due rami di alloro” (Descrizione araldica dello stemma)
Bordering with the municipalities of Brugnato, Pignone and Carrodano, Borghetto di Vara is the so-called valley floor village; in ancient times, it was an important crossroads for wayfarers and pilgrims. Nearby is Cassana, a hamlet of rural houses and disused mills next to the Pogliaschina stream – making it ideal for a fishing holiday.
Events and Places of interest
When you reach the monastic complex dedicated to the Madonna dell’Accola, in Borghetto di Vara, you are immersed in an atmosphere of peace and solemnity. Located in the cemetery area, the courtyard and abbey are certainly among the oldest sacred testimonies in Val di Vara. Of Carolingian origin, with the Longobard cross (coat of arms of the bishops of Brugnato) featured in the rose window of the façade, and with a portal made of bare sandstone, this church recalls the Romanesque stoicism of the type of churches built long before the Middle Ages.
During the Second World War, as a consequence of the bombings that devastated La Spezia, Madonna dell’Accola was occupied and used as a dormitory for soldiers.
In the hamlet of Pogliasca, it is possible to visit the Church of San Rocco – a curious event is the covering of the statue (which after the blessing is carried among the believers) with grapes – and, on a hill above the village, our eyes are directed towards the Church of Nostra Signora del Poggiolo. In L’Ago you can admire the Sanctuary of Nostra Signora di Roverano, built on a pre-existing building and enlarged, thanks to the usual constant inflow of pilgrims, in the mid-19th century. It is surrounded by olive trees, which inexplicably bloom on the eve of Mary’s nativity.
Just a few days before Christmas, the streets and basements of Pogliasca are filled with the voices, lights and costumes of its itinerant living nativity scene, established by the Pro Loco, which features the menus, rigorously revisited for the occasion, of many local restaurants. L’Ago celebrates autumn with a castagnata (chestnut festival) where shopkeepers and diners indiscriminately all participate dressed in ancient costumes. In addition to roasted chestnuts, you can also taste the delicious castagnaccio (chestnut cake), cooked in the testi (cooking utensils).