Stone Landscapes and the Scent of Hazelnuts: Renewing Rural Tourism Through Local Culture

Where we are

Preservation and management of the rural area in the Valleys of the Aveto Park, in Liguria, Northern Italy, encourage the presence of a vital community and consolidate centuries-old tradition and cultural heritage that shaped the landscape. A combination of agricultural culture, designed by terraced hazelnut woods, the traditional use of stone, as in the suggestive “heads of stone”, silent guardians who overlook walls and portals of old houses, or in the Castle of Santo Stefano d’Aveto and in religious buildings.

Territory

The area is composed of a myriad of landscapes: from the highest snow-capped peaks of the Ligurian Apennines to the wide pastures and rural monuments supported by dry-stone walls on the hillsides, through chestnut and hazelnut woods, to the terraces of greens and olive trees, walking through small stone villages of ancient origins, surrounded by the scents of wild herbs, glimpsing the sea on the horizon.

Rural Heritage

Terraces would become the backbone of the agricultural identity of the territory, the protector of its morphological integrity and at the same time the foundation for restoring cultural activities, along all the chain of hazelnut production (food processing, trade, and restaurants) to the emotional tourist product, made of live experiences of rural life and sensory laboratories.

Dry-stone walls will connect to the history of other stones that winds in the valleys, with individual monuments, pervaded by a halo of mysticism and mystery: the ruins of the church in the woods of San Martino di Licciorno and the monastery complex of the Abbey of Borzone, the imposing and legendary megalithic Face, the apotropaic heads found on the jambs and architraves of the houses with a protective function, in a constant and deep connection with the mysterious and elusive world of nature and the supernatural.

Progress within the RURITAGE project