Beyond Pavia. The southern region of the province of Pavia south of the Po is a magical territory where rolling hills and very green vines dominate. At the table or immersed in nature, the Oltrepò Pavese offers enchanting landscapes and unique experiences in the name of relaxation and respect for tradition. The Oltrepò Pavese is the territory that extends in the south of the province of Pavia, under the river Po.
Here the wine is an expression of the territory together with many villages and castles that establish the identity of the territory.
Hectares of history, hectoliters of tradition: in Oltrepò Pavese the cultivation of vines is a vocation by virtue of the soil and climatic characteristics of the area but the beauty of the landscape is also due to the great enhancement of the area, a mission for the locals.
For this reason there are many things to do and see in Oltrepò Pavese.
In this region there are numerous villages and castles, a legacy of the feudal history of a strategic territory, but not only.
In Oltrepò Pavese landscape and tradition meet in places of naturalistic interest and in the most sought-after wellness destinations.
There is no escape in the name of relaxation that does not include the discovery of local flavours.
In Oltrepò Pavese, genuine tradition ne gastronomic is an expression of the territory: among the typical products of the Oltrepò Pavese there are the Varzi salami, the cotechino, the coppa and the mostarda di Voghera. At the table, a good meal includes agnolotti from Pavia, mixed boiled meats and a cheese from the hills, perhaps Nisso di Menconico. The Voghera pepper is used to prepare an exquisite risotto and we must not forget that Oltrepò Pavese is also a land of chestnuts, mushrooms and truffles.
To conclude, the most representative desserts are donuts (brasadè) and soup Voghera. Among the excellences of the Oltrepò Pavese area there are obviously the wines. The Consortium for the protection of Oltrepò Pavese wines protects and supports the production of the fine DOC and DOCG wines of the third Italian DOC area, as well as the first wine-growing region in Lombardy. Classic method, careful oenological practices, cellars that enhance the grapes and the territory: the DOC includes thirty-six different types of wines, each unique in terms of structure, aroma and characteristics.
The eastern area of the Oltrepò Pavese is known for the cultivation of the main black berried grapes, therefore Barbera and Bonarda.
If this is the area of enviable red wines, the whites emerge in the upper Valle Versa and upper Valle Scuropasso: Pinot noir, Chardonnay, Italian Riesling, Moscato; the grapes that give firm whites expression of the territory are grown towards the valley floor, at a lower altitude.
Varzi is located in Valle Staffora, in the heart of the Oltrepò Pavese.Visiting the medieval historic center of Varzi is like taking a journey into the past, where eight centuries of history can be read in the architectural evidence of churches, towers and its castle. Over time, Via del Mercato took on the function of a place used for the weekly market and today, after various modifications, it is flanked by a double row of porticoes built from the 14th to the 16th century. Via della Maiolica is also characteristic, which borders the base of the defense wall, and with the original construction that protrudes from the wall itself with the loopholes that were used to aim weapons.
Vicolo Dietro le Mura appears as a tunnel above the medieval defense wall, and surmounted by houses that have the main access from via Porta Nuova. The shapes of the walls, the wooden doors with their jambs and the large windows of the portico can be considered medieval works of poor art. Via di Dentro, between the two towers – Torre di Porta Sottana and Torre di Porta Soprana which was built with the aim of introducing the bell of the clock – has always been the driving force of the village, as inside there is the main offices overlooked it, the most important families lived there, the proclamations of the municipal provisions or of the feudal lord were read there and public auctions were held there. On the south side of the street stands the seventeenth-century Chiesa dei Rossi, founded by the confraternity of the SS.
Trinità, and next to it, the hospice for pilgrims. On the north side is the Chiesa dei Bianchi, built in 1646 by the Gonfalone Confraternity; this oratory is unique in its kind because its interior is made in the shape of a four-leaf clover, in imitation of the great cathedrals. In addition to the Palazzo del Municipio, once Palazzo Tamburelli, it is interesting and curious to see Palazzo e Torre Malaspina (delle Streghe), built from the 12th century and gradually expanded and transformed until the 18th century.
The imposing Torre delle streghe is of the thirteenth century. so called because in 1464 twenty-five women and some men were imprisoned there, accused
of witchcraft by the inquisition and subsequently burned in the nearby square. The Piazza della Fiera is the center of town life, where you can stop in the shade of the trees in the public gardens or in one of the many bars and restaurants that open onto the large esplanade; and those who love to taste typical products must not miss the Varzi salami, renowned throughout the world.
The Oltrepò Pavese Mountain Community extends in the south-western position of Lombardy and involves those hilly and mountainous areas wedged between Piedmont and Emilia. The territory occupies a total area of 474.34 sq km. According to the subdivisions by "agrarian regions", i.e. by groupings of contiguous Municipalities which present the same natural (geology, climate, relief ...) and agricultural (current and potential crops) conditions, made by the Central Institute of Statistics (Istat), to the " The Upper Staffora" or "mountain" area includes the Municipalities of: Bagnaria, Val di Nizza, Valverde, Zavattarello, Romagnese, Varzi, Menconico, S. Margherita Staffora and Brallo di Pregola, which occupy an area of 289 sq km. .38; on the "southern hill" those of Cecima, Ponte Nizza, MontesegaIe, Rocca Susella, Fortunago, Ruino, Borgoratto Mormorolo, Borgo Priolo and Montalto Pavese, extending over a territorial area of 164.35 sq km; finally Godiasco (Kmq. 20.61) is inserted in the "northern hill"