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guida ufficiale della Provincia di Pavia

The Wine Valleys

The aim of this itinerary is primarily to take visitors on a journey through the Oltrepò valleys whose wines are so famous.

VALLE VERSA: famous for excellent red and white wines. From Stradella, the town of the accordion, to Montecalvo Versiggia, international capital of Pinot Noir and site of a corkscrew museum to Canevino on the historic San Colombano footpath.

VALLE SCUROPASSO: in the midst of the Versa and Coppa valleys, it emerges from the oak forests and false acacia which cling to the bastions of the Ligurian Appenines before descending towards the Rocca de’ Giorgi, Montecalvo Versiggia, Montalto Pavese and Pietra de’ Giorgi vineyards. Broni on Via Emilia, one of the most important towns in the Oltrepò area, is in the valley at the point at which it opens out into the plains.

VALLE COPPA: the main town is Casteggio, theatre of the famous 222 BC battle in which Roman consul Marcus Claudius Marcellus defeated the Celts. In 218 BC, after Hannibal had taken control, it was razed to the ground by the Romans. Packed like the others with castles and fine religious buildings, the valley boasts a charming village - Fortunago - one of the Borghi più Belli d'Italia, the most attractive towns in Italy.

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Stradella

Stradella's origins under the name Stricta Via, are very old indeed dating to the first Celtic-Ligurian settlements in the area.

Canneto Pavese

Canneto Pavese is located at one of the most panoramic points in the area and split up into tiny villages dotted over the peaks of the small round hills between the left bank of the Versa stream and the ridge of the slopes over the right bank of the Scuropasso stream.

Montescano

Depicted in the Montescano heraldic coat of arms, eighteenth century Fontana Missaga is fed by the waters of the nearby torrent of the same name and called after Carlo Missaga, Montescano's first mayor after Italian unification.

Montu' Beccaria

The ruins of Montù castle, Beccaria stronghold for three centuries until the 16th century, are still visible on Colle Castellazzo.

San Damiano Al Colle

This small town is made up of many villages scattered over the hills and its attractive streets flanked by vineyards make it one of the best places in the area to wander around in.

Rovescala

The origins of the town are ancient and meld into Lombard history. Lombard tombs of four men who lived in the 7th century and were buried with their arms - a scramsax (a sort of long knife), swords, shields and spear were found in the village of Luzzano in 1961.

Montecalvo Versiggia

In the second half of the 19th century wine making began to play an important role in the local economy and make its presence felt on the landscape as something of a monoculture.

Golferenzo

Curious tourists will find delicious and unusual panoramas in Golferenzo with vineyards nestled into the hillsides making excellent wines and Riesling and Pinot in particular.

Volpara

In an evocative landscape inside a 17th century oratory in the fields Tempio del Moscato welcomes its visitors with tastings of typical Oltrepò wines accompanied by platters of cured meats and cheeses.

Canevino

Canevino is a small town perching on a wooded hill which dominates the valley and whose ridge divides the Versa and Scuropasso valleys.

Broni

Before becoming a wine making centre Broni was a stronghold of the Beccaria family, lords of Pavia, and had a troubled past. There are wonderful panoramas from the hill with views as far as Milan on a clear day.

Cigognola

Cigognola is visible from a long way away. The castle's tower dominates the valley and from the top of the hill it seems to be welcoming visitors.

Pietra De' Giorgi

Although ancient Predalino fortress in Castellone was destroyed, Pietra de' Giorgi has a further attractive castle dating to the year 1000 with a surviving battlemented tower and a beautiful courtyard featuring a pointed arch door and a very deep well.

Torricella Verzate

Perched on top of a hill which is volcanic in origin, the church dedicated to the nativity of the Virgin was built on the site of an earlier medieval castle called Torre Saracena or Torre Paterna which is now no longer extant with a drawbridge and ravelin.

Montalto Pavese

Montalto Pavese has a very fine sixteenth century castle, one of the best conserved in the region.

Rocca De' Giorgi

In the early twentieth century a vineyard site was identified in the area which rises from Rocca de' Giorgi in the direction of Montecalvo Versiggia which has turned out to be the best zone for Pinot Noir and sparkling wine grape growing.

Ruino

In an extremely attractive position the town is perched on a hill and surrounded by verdant forests and meadows.

Casteggio

In terms of location and environmental characteristics Casteggio's are some of the most beautiful views in the area like the panorama from Certosa Cantù, a splendid eighteenth century residence which now hosts the collections of the Civic Archaeology Museum and the Civic Library with its multimedia space.

Montebello Della Battaglia

On the 20th of May 1859 the Piedmontese light cavalry and French infantry fought at Montebello against the 5th Austrian army defeating it definitively.

Codevilla

A popular legend recounts that the Pontassio sanctuary was founded by a Lombard warrior by the name of Asso who went to the Oltrepò forests to hunt during the siege of Pavia.

Torrazza Coste

Visitors are welcomed by the ancient tower and ruins of Castagnolo castle with its evocative legends and the beautiful Baroque church of San Carlo Borromeo.

Borgo Priolo

Borgo Priolo town was created in 1928 from two ancient villages - Staghiglione and Torre del Monte.

Borgoratto Mormorolo

Lively tourist and agricultural town full of footpaths, since 2011 guided visits in search of its wild orchids have been organised showing the area's wealth of flora and great biodiversity.

Fortunago

Peacefully located on the hills dividing the Coppa and Ardivestra valleys with its villages, vineyards, orchards and gentle forests, Fortunago is one of the Borghi più Belli d'Italia - the most beautiful towns of Italy.