STROLLING IN THE HINTERLAND OF ALBENGA
The road to Vendone, as all other road linking the coast to the inland villages, is at once narrow, winding and magical… as magical as the landscape that frames it.
The name VENDONE probably derives from the Celtic word “windo”, meaning shining.
Or perhaps from the “wind” that on certain days sweeps through the valley and makes the sky magically clear and the colours of nature vivid.
The road to Vendone leads past vineyards and olive, fig and persimmon groves to the village which is divided into nine small villages, rich in authentic art and mysterious Celtic and Templar history.
Here the German sculptor Rainer Kriester has transformed a meadow and a few strips into an open-air museum, where imposing sculpted steles rise up among centuries-old olive trees.
A short distance away is the ‘Tower’, the remains of an ancient Arduinian fortification. Then, a short walk towards the Crosa leads to Claudio Vio’s wine cellar.
If you take a stroll through the small village of Castellaro, you can enjoy some fascinating views. In Cantone, the historic Bronda oil mill is worth a visit. Curenna, on the other hand, is built on a spur of rock, where the ancient sighting castle once stood, and offers visitors valuable architectural views.
The entire mountain behind Vendone was a refuge for partisans and the scene of bloody battles during the great wars. In reality, the history of these mountains and its valleys is lost in the mists of time, when the Sapiens climbed the “sacred” mountain to hunt and for their sacred rituals, as shown by the cup-marks carved into the stone.
Later in time, on a site sacred to the Celts, a Templar post station was built and a small church dedicated to San Calocero, martyred in Albenga at the mouth of the river Centa.
We recommend a nature walk, not difficult but suggestive, starting from the small church of San Calocero and ending at the Castellermo peacks, a sacred mountain, but also a mountain where the Fischia il Vento path passes, paths where you can still walk on the pebbles where the Templars passed, the outdoor paths.
A heritage of history, landscapes and art hidden in the churches of its villages. The paths are well signposted and the difference in height can be covered even by the untrained. Along the path you will find chestnut and hazelnut groves and woods where, in season, you can find the prized porcini mushrooms, the basis of many typical dishes, considered “poor”, of the territory.
What are the TYPICAL DISHES OF THE TERRITORY?
- Lazarene al sugo di nocciole (home-made noodles with hazelnuts sauce)
- Dried persimmons
- Sciumette (egg white sweets)
- Mountain oil
- Saffron “della Crosa“
- Marjoram Pesto
And in summary, what is worth a visit?
- The Rainer Kriester Museum Park
- The picturesque villages
- The Arduinica Tower
- Celtic Prehistoric and Templar Trail
- Walk through the olive groves
- The Church of San Calocero
Have we convinced you to leave the coast for half a day for an adventure in the first charming hinterland? We bet we have…..