The high Ligurian Trebbia
The high Ligurian Trebbia Valley is part
of the High Trebbia Valley Mountainous Community and it is
formed by eight Communes: Torriglia, Rondanina, Propata,
Fascia, Montebruno, Rovegno, Fontanigorda and Gorreto.
The valley is crossed by the Trebbia river, one of the
cleanest rivers in Italy and it is the most isolated and
solitary Ligurian valley, characteristic which has contributed
to save priceless environmental features such as wide
quietly woods and cryshighine waters of streams.
The Trebbia river basin which is born from the Mount Prelà (1406
mt above sea level ) is situated over the Appennine
watershed and flows into the Po River after about 118 km.
Developing from east to west parallel to the coastal arc,
it constitutes the main axis of the complex mountain system
The high valley shows a typical mountainous environment
from the springs to Bobbio: human settlements are rare
and concentrated in compact nucleuses and the economy developed
on steep and terraced slopes.
The high valley is one of the most picturesque of the Ligurian
mountains, it is tortuous and narrow, often among steep
and woody slopes, with remarkable cliffs and vast and verdant valleys
The total lack of industrial areas in the high valley make
the Trebbia one of the few rivers with no pollution.
The territory is located among Gorreto (mt. 522 on sea
level) and the Mount Antola (mt. 1597).
The uneven morphology contributes to determine the climatic
features of the habitat, also conditioned by winds and
heavy rains, mainly in spring and in autumn, due to the
contrast between warm winds coming from the sea and cold
winds going downwards from north. The relative damp,
changeable at different heights, take shapes in the fog
along river courses , especially at night and at dawn.
Once the fog was completely unknown, today it is due to
water evaporation picked up from the Brugneto basin and
to the state of abandonment in which woods and pastures
have been left.
Layers of leaves and broken branches and the growth of
bushes have increased the air damp favouring condensation
in proximity of the ground.
Below 800 metres the wooded area is almost exclusively
made of chestnut woods and mixed wood, but lately
many chestnut trees have been replaced by plantations of
conifers which can find good habitat conditions here and
which are economically more productive. On higher grounds
one can find beech trees, maples, white firs and oaks while
pastures are in complete abandonment.
The progressive and inexorable cessation of agricultural
activities by the resident population, the lack of fruit
harvests, with the consequent abandonment of woods
and deterioration of plants which have empty trunks and
broken branches, have favoured the gerbido growth,
bushes of ferns, junipers, cornels and brooms that
often block the access to woods once perfectly praticable.
Despite abandonment, the Trebbia Valley remains a territory
with a remarkable vegetation, uncontaminated air
and marvellous woods.
This valley is one of the most picturesque of the Ligurian
mountains, located among steep and woody ridges, disclosed
on dizzy cliffs and green areas.
While not populated in winter, the valley becomes
crowded in Summer offering extraordinary possibilities
either for relaxing or for various activities.
Wide spaces for any kind of sport are available.
Excursionists will find mountain paths with beautiful landscapes,
suitable both for beginners and advanced walkers ; the
river and the numerous tributaries offer resources to fishermen
, also it is suitable for canoe training with its reckless
descents among impressive meanders.
One can have beautiful walks in the green departing from
the historical centre and from small rural villages, where
dumping into valuable country architectures, mule tracks,
dry walls, fountains and farmsteads is still possible.
The Trebbia valley seems to be made by mother nature
to offer relief, ample and calm spaces to whom is besieged
by daily neuroses and looks for quiet and silence.
Nevertheless the valley is exposed to the risk of future
depopulation, especially in inner zones; many villages
in winter are already uninhabited. Depopulation causes
the loss of cultural identity and the consequent degrade
of the habitat, unrepeatable in certain aspects, such as
in rural houses and woods.
Lately, thanks to the fundation of the Mount Antola Regional
Park, we have been had some small positive signals , but
there is still a lot of work to do to promote the return
of young people to the valley, giving them job opportunities
also in the fields of habitat care, tourism,
agriculture and pastures.