The town of Varese Ligure is located at the top of the Val di Vara, in the Ligurian hinterland in the province of La Spezia. The common round shaped settlement proposes the widest circular enclosed area of the province of La Spezia and is the most Northern stronghold on the border with the territories of Genoa and Parma.
The unique structure was chosen for military needs. The houses are built so that they form a circle. They feature an open porch to the inside, whilst there are no windows towards the outside, creating a perfect defense to the adjoining castle, which breaks the circle to the North .
There are traces of a settlement in the area of the Byzantine era and another of the Lombard domination period. The Counts of Lavagna took over and ruled Varese Ligure between early XI century and the late XII century and at the same time the Families of the Counts Fieschi and Pinelli settled in the town's territory. Conflicts began between the two families, up until a treaty divided the territory between the families. The Fieschi, later, thanks to their superior numbers, managed to conquer the Alta Val di Vara and to consolidate their presence in the village and enlarged the town, imposing itself in a more strategic location at the transapennine crossroads between Parma and Tortona. The center submitted the control of the Fieschi until 1386, when it was conquered by the Genoese Doge Antoniotto Adorno. The Varese Ligure returned under the domination of the Fieschi shortly after, until in the XV century, after several attacks, the town was seized by Nicolo Piccinino, who led an expedition ordered by the Visconti. In 1472 it became part of the Landi Family dominion, till 1478, when it was reconquered by Fieschi, until 1547, when it was attached to Genoa.
Not to miss:
The castle, which consists of two parts: a tower, built by Nicolò Piccinino, and a tower dating back to 1470, built by the noble family Landi for residential purposes.
The Oratory of Saints Anthony and Rocco.
The Bridge Grexino.
The Borgorotondo (town centre).
The Castle Montetanano, conquered by the Fieschi, in 1435, by Nicolò Piccinino.