In a territory full of contrasts as Liguria, enclosed between the mountains and the sea, the area of the Beigua Geopark represents an exemplary section of the region, where it is possible to find also within short distances such varied environments and landscapes as to impress the unaware visitor: a wonderful balcony made up of mountains overlooking the sea, where nature, history, culture and ancient traditions represent elements of extraordinary value and interest.
In the last 20 years, this landscape is radically changing, due to wildfires and climate change. Pine woods are transforming into heath and Mediterranean scrub, raining is more violent than in the past, and the land is subject to erosion. Everything is different and nobody knows the outcome of this deep transformation in the future years.
San Colombano hill is the only place in the province of Milan devoted to viticulture and winemaking. It’s said that these were introduced—together with Christianity—by St. Columbanus in the 7th century. The hillside park extends between the Lambro and Po rivers and covers almost 1,500 hectares (~3,707 acres). This land is shared by five municipalities, but 60% belongs to San Colombano. The highest altitude is at Madonna dei Monti which reaches 147 meters (~482 feet).
Vineyards occupy one-third of the hill. There, vines of Croatina, Barbera, and Uva Rara are cultivated and their grapes blended together to make the fine San Colombano Rosso, or red. Pleasant and sparkling with notes of berries when young, the vino reaches its highest expression in the mature Riserva version. In a turn of events from legend to literature, the San Colombano red may actually be the wine featured in Alessandro Manzoni’s famous historical novel, The Betrothed, which is set in and around Milan in the 1600s.
There is a wonderful place, perched on the mountains above Lake Como. A necklace of villages, connected by ancient roads and paths, made of stone and wood, with and incredible scenario in front of them. Here, lake and mountains come together in an unique experience, made of an historic, rural charm, and the grandeur of the immense scenario of the lake basin.
Walking the ancient stone paths between villages, the same “Via Regia” crossed by Pope Urbano II in 1095, is an astonishing experience. The view on the lake, in the clear winter light, is a pure joy for the eyes, and entering the narrow street of the villages, with their medieval passages under the houses, or stopping near the stone churches with ancient paintings, it’s reconnecting with our past and history with a single, intimate line.
Here the nature benefits from the lake influence on climate, with olive trees, flowers, and green meadows even in the middle of winter. The smell of grass, wood, smoke and moss are mixed in the air, and the silence recall ancient times when the Lake Como was a place of passage, legends and mystery.
The "Entroterra" is the land between the Ligurian Sea and the Po Valley. Is a land of mountains (the Appennino Ligure) with a wonderful view on the sea. From this mountains, in winter's sunsets, it's possible to clearly see the Corsica island on the horizon.
The countryside of Po Valley, in a foggy and cold day, can be charming and mesmerizing. The silence in the fields, the many water canals, the sleeping trees, everything transmit a sense of calm and quietness.