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Pignone

 

“D’argento alla pigna, col tralcio fogliato a sinistra, al naturale. Ornamenti esteriori di Comune secondo la popolazione” (Descrizione araldica dello stemma)

Pignone
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Once we are past vegetable gardens and terraces, all we have left to do is to enter the heart of Val di Vara, Pignone. Here the borders of the Montemarcello Magra Regional Natural Park become thick with woods and meadows, which are under the authority of another great green lung in Val di Vara, the Aveto Regional Natural Park. The Passo dei Due Santi is a stone’s throw away, and therefore, having said goodbye to the sea, you are ready to practice your skiing.

In spite of everything, Pignone is famous precisely thanks to its horticultural tradition, which is now well established, as can be especially seen when we come across the corn plantations, between a pleasant walk in the immaculate nature and a tour of tastings of local products, a trade (the one of tastings) that is credited with having given rise to the recovery of many uncultivated plots of land.

The medieval village of Casale is a joy for the eyes; this ancient property of the Diocese of Brugnato has maintained its original structure, along with other beautiful sandstone buildings and two bridges – also of medieval origin.

The territory, which is part of the Pignone valleys, is further enriched by the presence of karstic phenomena (the Grotta Grande in Pignone is a mandatory stop) and by places such as Villa, Faggiona and Caturnia, which, according to legend, are brimming with ghosts and scary events; this reputation is undoubtedly due to the presence of the abandoned manganese and copper mines.

Once we are past vegetable gardens and terraces, all we have left to do is to enter the heart of Val di Vara, Pignone. Here the borders of the Montemarcello Magra Regional Natural Park become thick with woods and meadows, which are under the authority of another great green lung in Val di Vara, the Aveto Regional Natural Park. The Passo dei Due Santi is a stone’s throw away, and therefore, having said goodbye to the sea, you are ready to practice your skiing.

Pignone

In spite of everything, Pignone is famous precisely thanks to its horticultural tradition, which is now well established, as can be especially seen when we come across the corn plantations, between a pleasant walk in the immaculate nature and a tour of tastings of local products, a trade (the one of tastings) that is credited with having given rise to the recovery of many uncultivated plots of land.

The medieval village of Casale is a joy for the eyes; this ancient property of the Diocese of Brugnato has maintained its original structure, along with other beautiful sandstone buildings and two bridges – also of medieval origin.

The territory, which is part of the Pignone valleys, is further enriched by the presence of karstic phenomena (the Grotta Grande in Pignone is a mandatory stop) and by places such as Villa, Faggiona and Caturnia, which, according to legend, are brimming with ghosts and scary events; this reputation is undoubtedly due to the presence of the abandoned manganese and copper mines.

Food & Wine

Pignone showcases local sausages and mortadella – note that the sausages of Pignone were included, in 2003, in the Regional Atlas of Traditional Ligurian Products – and provides us with His Majesty the Onion – with capital letter – of Pignone, one of the vegetables that, combined with beans, fed entire generations before gaining the status of delicacy.

The “Quarantine” potato variety, white and delicious, and at their best when crispy or baked, garnish the perfect cuts of beef.

Events and Place of Interest

At one end of Pignone, we find the church and bell tower of the Pieve di Santa Maria Assunta. Gothic in style, with a stone facing, gabled façade and a beautiful central rose window, the building has a plain front. Theoretically, it belongs to the 17th century, although, due to its architectural simplicity and its low and square structure, it recalls the pre-existing early-Romanesque church, and even seems to reproduce the original building.

Secluded but still very dear to the community, the Sanctuary of Madonna del Buon Consiglio awaits, in the shade of a lush chestnut grove, believers and visitors for the customary May procession. With a single nave, the complex is preceded by a portico supported by round arches. It is also known as Pieve della Madonna del Ponte, since construction works began near a small bridge (now destroyed) presumably of Roman origin. This bridge allowed people to cross the Pignone stream, which obviously flows next to the building.

Let’s talk about the events. The record of attendance is held by another market exhibition, “Gli Orti di Pignone” (The Vegetable Gardens of Pignone), which celebrates the rural culture and products of the Pignone area and beyond, displaying (and giving the opportunity to taste) culinary delicacies and raw ingredients certified by the Associazione Produttori Agricoli delle Valli del Pignone (Association of Agricultural Producers of the Pignone Valleys). You can stock up on potatoes, beans, “dell’asciutto” corn, and tasty sausages.

The Virgin of the Assumption, patron saint of Pignone, is celebrated on August 15th.

Lunigiana Storica - cover magazine 2023

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Monumental Lunigiana in the presence of the witnesses of time

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Lunigiana Storica - cover magazine 2023

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