The Valley of the River Vara
The Val di Vara is located in the Ligurian hinterland and is the largest and one of the most intact valleys from an environmental point of view in the province of La Spezia in Liguria.
It is a succession of villages perched on forested mountains, medieval villages, castles, churches, shrines and mills while nature unfolds below with woods, pristine waterways, vast meadows, ridges and routes which criss cross the zone.
It has also been known as the Organic Valley since 1997 when Varese Ligure became the first town in Europe to be awarded the European Environmental Certification UNI EN 14001 and the Ernas registration.
The Val di Vara offers sightseeing tours, gastronomic and sporting leisure opportunities of interest and fascination. Many of its towns have a typical medieval circular structure, with streets and houses clustered around the center of the town. They are the so-called "Round Villages", with this protective ring encompassing a church, a castle or fortress.
The valley can be easily reached along the autostrada A12, exiting at Carrodano and Brugnato. A turnoff will also take you to the coast just 20 kilometers away. here you will find the Cinque Terre, Levanto, Bonassola, Framura and Deiva Marina.
The Val di Vara takes its name from the river whose source is Monte Zatta. It flows through the media Val di Vara for 58km to eventually reach the Magra which is the main river. The valley is surrounded by hills of medium to high range with the highest summit being Monte Gottero at 1640 meters.
The villages which form the Val di Vara, all of medieval origin, are: Carro, Carrodano, Maissana, Rocchetta Vara, Sesta Godano, Varese Ligure, Zignago, in the upper Val di Vara; Beverino, Calice al Cornoviglio, Pignone, Borghetto Vara e Brugnato, in the mid Val di Vara; Bolano, Follo e Riccò del Golfo, in the lower Val di Vara.