VARZI VIVA Cultural Association
Facts about Varzi

Calanchi, typical clay formations of the Appennines,
and, in the background, Monteforte

(© by Pietro G. Marchetti)

Varzi is a Commune with 3,497 inhabitants as of 31 December 2002 (ca. 1,800 living in the town itself), situated in the province of Pavia, in the region of Lombardy, Italy.

The Commune comprises over twenty minor villages, such as Nivione, Caposelva, Casa Bertella, Castellaro, Cella di Varzi, Monteforte, Bosmenso, Carro, San Martino, Pietragavina, Rosara, Albareto, Sagliano, Santa Cristina, Bognassi, Casa Fiori, Casa Cabano, Casa Boriani, Cavagnolo, Dego, Celletta.

The Comunità Montana dell’Oltrepò Pavese is also based in Varzi.

Varzi is more precisely located in the Oltrepò Pavese district (literally, “Land-beyond-the-Po”), the southernmost tip of Lombardy wedging itself between Piedmont and Emilia Romagna almost to reach Liguria.

Varzi lies in the hills (Appennines), at 416 mt a.s.l.; the Staffora, a right-hand tributary of the Po, flows through the town. Varzi is situated almost halfway along the Staffora valley.

Geographical coordinates: latitude 44.49’N, longitude 9.12’E.

Geological data: Varzi sits on clay extending particularly west, while at the north-east clay is alternated with marly limestone.

Climate: continental, mitigated by its relative height, which assures pleasant coolness during the Summer nights. Since the sea is only some 80 kms away, Varzi also benefits from healthy see breezes, blowing down the valley.

Etymology: although some associate the name of Varzi with the latin “varicum”, i.e. “pass”, the name is more likely derived from the Ligurian “var”, meaning “water, river”.

Pietro   Marchetti