Pigna in Liguria – history and sulfur water
When visiting Western Liguria, the bus also took us to a little village I had never heard of before – Pigna. It was one of those places you know you will super enjoy and always think of in a good way. It reminded me a bit of how I felt in love with Caldes de Malavella.
Charms of Pigna in Liguria (yes, there are more places on the Earth called Pigna) got under my skin the minute I got out of the bus. Pigna was so different to Sanremo we cycled the same day in the morning. Once surrounded by coniferous forests, this is where Pigna got its name. It is situated beneath the Little Dolomites overviewing Monte Torraggio mountain with 1973 m. a.s.l. where next village Castel Vittorio stands out.
Because of its location next to French boundary, Pigna was a place of a few battles. Walking through the village you will go back in history and realise that medieval history is still present here in the 21st century. The houses are built one of top of the other and thus form so called ”Chilbi” – a labyrinth of tiny streets looking like a fortress.
We also strolled along the alleys of Pigna with steep stairs and got up to the Museum of Pigna and the main square of the historic centre – Piazza XX Settembre with San Michele Arcangelo church. The church was built in the 15th century and inside we can be amazed by the Gothic style carving of the Saint Michael fighting the devil as well as the 4-metre high polyptych framed in wood and covered in gold painted by Giovanni Canavesio.
I found a few pecularities in Pigna in Liguria:
- when walking, we saw an umbrella hanging out on the wall
- there’s stunning views of the mountains surrounding Nervia valley and also the Castel Vittorio village can be seen from almost any place in Pigna
- many Latin monograms showing the ruling families and stone carvings can be found in Pigna
- the importance of commerce in the area is proved by the units of measurement carved in the stone in Loggia di Piazza Vecchia – we discovered the length standards at the entrance to San Michele church and units for corn and grain
- the house where the archaeologist Carlo Fea was born lies in Pigna
- Pigna seemed like a very quiet village when we visited but the tourists do come here to experience dancing and food at the popular summer festivals and lovely small lakes in the surrounding mountains
- I heard a legend saying a person was hanged to be punished for something he did wrong and his head was hanging at one of the columns at the square where everyone could see it.
- Pigna is famous for uncontaminated nature and sulfur water. Just above Lago Pigo you can enjoy all the good properties of the sulfur water in Grand Hotel Terme. We had a chance to relax for a bit there. I went to sauna and turkish bath, swam in the inside warm swimming pool and got a massage with both hot and cold water. The hotel has magnificent views of Pigna and outdoor pools for warmer days too.
Getting to know history and sulfur water of Pigna was a press trip organized by Agenzia Regionale per la promozione turistica ”in Liguria”. As usual, all the thoughts in the article are of my own.