This territory, unique of its kind, that extends near the border between Liguria and Piemonte, links its millenary history to the Republic of Genova and even before to the ancient roman city Libarna.
It is a middle earth, located at the crossroad of the ancient communication routes like the Salt Roads, that allowed ,through the Apennines, the trade of this precious matter between Genova ,the Po Valley, the Helvetia(now Switzerland) and the lower part of Germany.
We have to remember that until the first half of the 800 the communication roads from Genova through the pass of Giovi and Valle Scrivia did not exist, and neither was feasible the pass of the Turchino, which is crossed today by the A26. The only way feasible, also for commercial vehicles , was the one mapped out by the consul Postumio in 148 b.C . The road, once arrived at Pontedecimo climbed up until the Pass of Bocchetta to join Libarna and continued to Derthona , Placentia, Verona and finally Aquilia, connecting in this way the Ligurian Sea and the Adriatic Sea.
Instead , the road in use today ,that goes through the “Val Lemme”, was built in the XVI century by the Genoese Republic as an alternative to the Salt Road.
Beginning in the first century A.D the ancient Libarna has surely influenced, during its heyday, with an essential contribution, all the surrounding villages, conditioning their politics and economy.
This land of border inside the biggest area of the Oltregiogo ,partly hilly, partly alpine, sometimes flat, was crossed by History with capital H and also today a huge amount of evidences of this past are visible even by a distracted tourist in all the districts of the area.
Starting from the Dark Ages until the XVIII century, various Lords from the highest lineages left many evidences. Among some of these families we certainly have the big Genoese families such as Doria, Spinola, Grimaldi, Malaspina, Torlonia etc.
We can still admire today a part of these medieval and of the Renaissance settlements through a unique touristic journey ,visiting intact castles or ruins, witnesses of a glorious past.
Starting probably from the most famous one ,the “Forte Of Gavi”, moving on we have the castles of the Spinola’s family in Francavilla Bisio, Tassarolo and San Cristoforo and then you can admire those one in Mornese, Montaldeo, Casaleggio Boiro, Lerma and Tagliolo. The ruins of the castle in Carrosio, destroyed by the Genoese Republic in 1197 or the ruins of the Tower of the Castle of Novi Ligure and a part of the ancient city walls and dungeons dating 1447 ,are witnesses of great battles .
The whole area was also the vacation spot for the noble and rich families of Genoese bourgeoisie classes ,who during the centuries built many and beautiful mansions in the old town in Gavi and Novi and in the hills all around ,like Villa La Marchesa dating 1700 , Villa Lomellina Raggio dating 1620, La Centuriona and La Giustiniana. Since the beginning of XIX century the whole territory passed under the domain of the Savoia family.
The biggest evidence of the oldest and ancient period of the territory remains however Libarna, whose origins date back to more than 2000 years ago. In the little but most important part of the urban fabric of this ancient city (today an archaeological area) you can still admire the amphitheater, the theater, the insulae, the decuman and the road and residential structure.
The viticulture has also ancient origins and the first evidences date back to before the year 1000. Lands with autochthonous white and black grapevines like the Cortese and the Dolcetto produce excellent wines DOCG like The Gavi or The Dolcetto.
Summing up, everything the visitor wants to contemplate, touch, or taste he will always find ancient and wise traces of a territory , unaltered in time and lived by proud and hospitable people.