Varese Ligure: looking beyond the corzetti stamp

The castle in Varese Ligure.
Fieschi Castle in the village center

Mentioned among the list of villages in I Borghi più belli d’Italia, it has been almost 4 years since we made a quick stopover in Varese Ligure to seek out local artisan Piero Picetti and his much talked about corzetti stamps. Back then, the stamps seemed to be experiencing a sort of revival, and I, as with other cooking blogs and foodies in-the-know, was all caught up in glorifying the round wooden tools to a level of must-have gadgets for the gourmet cook.

Piero Picetti's shop in via Pieve 16, Varese Ligure

Piero Picetti’s shop in via Pieve 16, Varese Ligure

Jump forward to 2014. An overnight stay earlier this month proved just how much we missed on that initial visit years ago. Varese Ligure might be small enough to see in 10 minutes tops, but having the luxury to explore it in the evening and then again in the daytime brought new perspective to a place that I thought famous only for a traditional pasta tool. Enjoy the tour!

Ponte di Grecino (o Grexino) Ponte di Grecino (Grexino)

The Grecino quarter View from Grexino bridge
Ponte di Grecino from several angles. Built in 1515 after heavy rainfall demolished the only footbridge that connected Grecino quarter to the main village. A low overhead tunnel from Grecino’s side of the Crovana stream leads to the ponte.

Grecino (or Grexino) bridge in Varese Ligure
I just find it so incredible that come 2015, this bridge will have been around for 500 years.

The Birth, Death, and Resurrection of Christ
A 15th century sandstone bas-relief on the right shoulder of Ponte di Grecino. It represents the Birth, Death, and Resurrection of Christ.

Borgo Rotondo
The colorful stone houses in the historical center follow an elliptical shape, hence the name Borgo Rotondo, or round village.

Multi-colored buildings in VareseLigureThe beginning of May must be a slow period because there was no problem securing a room at Albergo Amici on such short notice. The hotel also houses a well-reputed restaurant (Slow Food, Routard, Michelin) and we devoured our plates of corzetti in a delicious pine nut sauce. Excellent, as was “Il Musaico”, an intense ruby red wine (70% Dolcetto, 30% Barbera grapes) from local producer Bisson.

Albergo Amici


2 thoughts on “Varese Ligure: looking beyond the corzetti stamp

    1. Rowena Post author

      It was great to get away from the chestnut forest, even if for one night only. On the way back home we stopped in Recco for their famous thin cheese foccacia, but I was too hungry to take photos! 😆



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