Where is it
The Municipality of Ferriere, a border territory between Piacenza, Parma and Genoa, is one of the largest municipalities in the province of Piacenza, covering 178 sq. km. Here are the highest peaks and passes of the province. Thanks to the wild nature of the territory, valuable environmental aspects have been preserved here that are difficult to find in other areas of the region.
Why visit it
Historically, this area was occupied by the Ligures and by the Romans. Later it was a possession first of the Abbey of San Colombano in Bobbio and then of the Republic of Genoa. Subsequently, under the Landi, the Nicelli, and the Farnese, the mines here continued to be exploited, reaching their maximum output under the Bourbons.
In the last century many emigrants left the area of Ferriere, particularly the more inaccessibile parts, to seek their fortune elsewhere, especially in France, Switzerland and North America.
Today the district of Ferriere relies on tourism, agriculture and specialised products.
When to go and what to see
Ferriere is beautiful in every season.
In the spring and the autumn you can immerse yourself in nature, admiring the flowers or the autumn colours.
In summer there are sports events, festivals and other events to enliven the days and the evenings in Ferriere and in the small villages.
In winter, too, events are organised to bring people together, sports and entertainment, such as excursions and showshoe expeditions.
In the old town there are houses built of stone and winding lanes, the parish church of San Giovanni Battista, and the central Piazza del Maglio with the miners monument .
Room with a view
R&B Castello di Gambaro, a restored castle at an altitude of more than 800 metres, lived in by the owners, for a fascinating stay immersed in the history and nature of the upper Nure valley.
On the table
PDO and De.Co. Salumi (cured meats), cheeses, mushrooms, game, De.Co. chestnuts, tortelli made from De.Co chestnut flour , tortelli con la coda, pattona or castagnaccio (chestnut cakes and patties), polenta made from chestnut flour, polenta made from maize flour.
These dishes can be served dressed with melted butter, cheese, meat ragout, or sauces made from fresh or dried mushrooms, or with pesto “genovese”.
A dense network of paths for trekking or quiet walks, CAI (Alpine Club) trails of varying difficulty, trails for mountain bikes, excursions on horseback.
The Ferrata Mazzocchi is a via ferrata of moderate difficulty and is quite short.
There is an area for rock climbing at the Groppo delle Ali.
Excursions and showshoe walks in winter.
Festinquota at Lake Moo (July) Trail Festival
Ferriere d’inverno (Ferriere in winter): events, snowshoeing, Festinquota Estreme. Patron saint festival and market of St John the Baptist (June)
In summer the villages, large and small, fill with visitors. Residents and holiday-makers share in the organisation of festivals and fairs dedicated to music, including traditional music, and to food and wine.
The many side valleys are worth visiting – Val d’Aveto, Val Lardana, Val Lavaiana, Valle Lobbia, Val Grondana where one often comes across animals grazing and horses in the pastures; the villages are quiet and forgotten but come alive in the summer.
At Gambaro there is a beautiful castle, privately owned but open to visitors.
Ciregna, at 1123 metres above sea level, is the highest village in the province of Piacenza.
The stone-built village of Perotti, has a hotel where the rooms are scattered among the village houses, the Casa delle Favole.
Castelcanafurone has a number of tower houses. Not far away is the chapel of Santa Maria del Gratra.
The tower house of the Camminata is near Brugneto.
In the many villages immersed in the green countryside, the few remaining inhabitants keep the old traditions alive (Castagnola, Cattaragna, Torrio, Boschi, Salsominore, to mention just a few).