Discovering the Ligurian Riviera
July 05, 2021
Usually those who stay in our apartments are travelers who pay attention to the territory, who love the hinterland and the stories that are hidden behind our villages. For this reason, we like to propose some timid visiting suggestions with the articles of our blog. Today, for example, we thought to take you to Zuccarello, a medieval village of unchanged charm!
You are probably looking forward to your vacations in Liguria, and all you think to do, once here, is to enjoy the beach until sunset. That's great! Diano Marina has one of the most beautiful beaches in the area, and for years, in fact, it has been awarded the prestigious blue flag: it will not be difficult to find a way to relax to the gentle sound of the waves.
But what we suggest you to do, at least one day during your vacation, is to take a break from the summer heat to allow yourself the discovery of our territory. Zuccarello, for example, is just 30 minutes by car from our farmholidays and the visit is definitely worth the trip! Here, we promise you, you will find an enchanted atmosphere, as all the medieval villages of Liguria can offer.
During the trip, moreover, you will be able to admire the view towards the sea and, why not, maybe consider a stop along the road, between Andora and Laigueglia.
Read also - A tour to the discovery of Andora and Val Merula
It is easy to say medieval villages. But when exactly was the village of Zuccarello born and why? To find these answers, we must necessarily refer to the sources in our possession, such as the one kept in the historical archives of the Municipality, which gives us the date of foundation of the village: April 4th 1248. In this precious document it is told that Zuccarello was built by the powerful Clavesana family, called by the inhabitants of the neighboring territories, frightened by the continuous enemy attacks in the Neva valley.
After the Clavesana family, it was the turn of another important family, the one to which the village is still linked: the Del Carrettos. Following the marriage between Caterina di Clavesana and Enrico Del Carretto di Finale, Zuccarello's destiny was strictly intertwined with the events of this important family of Ligurian feudatories.
But the first to bear the title of Marquis of Zuccarello was Carlo I Del Carretto: with him the family reached the maximum expansion, with the acquisition of castles and fortifications in the surroundings.
From some scholastic reminiscences you may remember the beautiful funeral monument of Ilaria del Carretto sculpted by Jacopo della Quercia and preserved in the cathedral of San Martino in Lucca. Daughter of the marquis Carlo I Del Carretto di Zuccarello, the unfortunate Ilaria died in childbirth at the age of 26 after marrying the lord of Lucca Paolo Guinigi. We don't know much about him, except that he dedicated to her one of the most beautiful monuments of transition from Gothic to Italian Renaissance.
Like many medieval villages, even Zuccarello guaranteed the access to its interior through some big doors, still partly visible today, because they were incorporated in the ancient walls. Among these, the main ones are: Porta Soprana to the North and Porta Sottana to the South; while other minor doors, Porta del Ponte and Porta del Mulino, are still recognizable. Porta Roncazzo and Porta Interiore, instead, are along the path leading to the castle, even if they are now reduced to ruins.
Our visit starts from the south gate, where we are welcomed by the statue representing Ilaria del Carretto. Once passed the entrance, here is the main street of Zuccarello, with its curious arcades, typical of commercial villages.
Those small windows you can see near the doors are the same ones where goods were displayed in medieval times. In order to fully enjoy the atmosphere we suggest you to stroll through the caruggi, stopping to chat with the inhabitants of the village, that you will surely find sitting in front of the door of the house, while they assist curious to the incessant coming and going of tourists.
Going straight on, after a visit to the parish church of San Bartolomeo, you will soon find yourself in front of one of the most beautiful postcard sceneries Zuccarello can offer, that is the Romanesque bridge on the Neva river.
We warn you: this is the occasion to take memorable pictures of your vacation in Liguria!
The most fascinating place in Zuccarello for many people is, together with the castle, the bridge over Neva torrent. From this point of view it is possible to admire closely the flow of the river with its suggestive noise.
Finally, if after having refreshed yourself with an ice cream or a drink you still have some energy left, we suggest you to visit the Zuccarello castle (12th century). The access is located near the Soprana gate, marked by a sign with the words "Via del Castello".
The path is easy and allows you to observe closely the ruins of the structure and to admire an incomparable panorama. From the top, moreover, it is possible to continue along two other paths leading to Castelvecchio di Rocca Barbena and Vecersio.
At the end of the path it is possible to admire the ruins of Zuccarello castle. These give us an idea of how imposing the building must have been in origin and how important it was from a strategic point of view to defend the village.
As you have seen, it is not difficult to dive into the past in Liguria and, if the Middle Ages fascinate you, you cannot miss Zuccarello!
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