VARZI VIVA Cultural Association
Monuments and history

Malaspina Castle
The Malaspina Castle and, below, the family's coat-of-arms
(© by Pietro G. Marchetti)

Varzi Malaspina's coat of arms

Varzi can boast a very well preserved medieval historic centre, with fortifications, narrow alleys and porches which witness the town’s role in the past as a transit and stop station for caravans and convoys following the so called “salt road”, from the Ligurian Sea to the Lombardy Plain. Such valuable goods, as well as spices, precious fabrics and so on, were in fact carried along these valleys. At Varzi duties were paid to the powerful local lords, for a long time the Marquises Malaspina, who drew their feudal rights straight from the German Emperor. Varzi also includes some interesting buildings dating back to the Baroque era.

  • Rossi's Church: Varzesi's lighthouse.

  • Bianchi's Church.

  • Malaspina Castle and “Witches’ Tower”.

  • Towers of the fortified old town: Upper Gate or Clock Tower and Lower Gate Tower.

  • Churches: Capuchin Friars’ Church (romanesque - a “National Monument” dating back to the 12th-13th centuries), Parish Church (1500), the baroque Reds’ (1636) and Whites’ (1646) Oratories.

  • Palaces: Tamburelli (1724), later Malaspina of Pregola House, since 1926 the Town Hall; Leveratto-Mangini House (1700), Giacobone House (1700).

  • Porches: via di Dentro, via Porta Nuova, via Roma, via del Mercato, Vicolo dietro le Mura, Vicolo del Voltone.

  • Pictoresque alleys: via Maiolica, via della Piazzola, via della Scaletta, vicolo Odetti, vicolo del Moro.

  • Other monuments: (*)Castle at Pietragavina;“Brotherhood Temple” at Cella; Tourist Church at (*)San Martino; castle ruins at (*)Cella, (*)Nivione, Monteforte; (*)Church at Bosmenso (1000); typical villages: Carro, Monteforte, (*)Castellaro, Cella, (*)Sagliano, Santa Cristina, Casa Bertella, Caposelva, (*)Bognassi, Rosara.

  • (Bibliography: Guagnini, “I Malaspina di Val di Staffora”; De Battisti, “Storia di Varzi”; Fiori, “I Malaspina”)

      (*) Italian Version

    Pietro Marchetti