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A journey through the Bormida Valley

01/04/2024 - 20/10/2024


An artistic journey from the depths to the sky of Val Bormida.
A tour to approach Gothic architecture that aspired to bring the human soul close to heaven, starting from the karst caves to meet the cave bear and passing from small well-preserved villages and a cast gallery with statues in plaster, unique works for marble and bronze replicas.


Day 1

• Arrival in Albenga for a walk in one of the best-preserved historical centres of the area. Besides the towers, visitors can admire the Ca- thedral of San Michele, the baptistery, the Church of Santa Maria in Fantibus and piazza dei Leoni. • Entrance to the Civic Tower at Palazzo Vecchio, from where you can see the town from a height of 33 metres.
• Dinner at leisure and overnight accommoda- tion in 3* star central hotel.

Day 2

• Breakfast in hotel.
• Transfer to the Caves of Troiano and guided tour. Duration 70 minutes.
• Lunch at leisure.
• In the afternoon, transfer to Bardineto, munici- pality and scene of the clashes that allowed Na- poleon Bonaparte to clear his way in the Savona area of Finale and the rest of Liguria. Visit to the Church of San Nicolao.
• Visit to the Sanctuary of Santa Maria delle Gra- zie in Calizzano.
• Dinner at leisure.
• Overnight accommodation in 3* hotel in Millesimo or Carcare.

Day 3

• Breakfast in hotel.
• Departure for the visit of the village of Saliceto, surrounded by walls and featuring many towers already in the mid-15th century, as documented by a “Gothic-subalpine” fresco in the ancient sacristy of the Church of Sant’Agostino, next to the parish church of San Lorenzo. The castle was already present at the time, with its high Gothic vaults on the outside, above all on the eastern side and with the typical medieval decorative motifs inside, in addition to the exquisite 14th century frescoes, including a nativity attributed to the painter Taddeo di Bartolo from Siena, the only one in Piedmont.
Other frescoes seem to be attributed to the Le- onardesque more than the mannerist school: two female faces on the walls (sibyls as in the Sistine Chapel), inserted into rhombuses between crosses of David, immersed in the delicate floral motifs, and a lamb symbol of Christ on the vault, with a cross embellished with pearls, the stigma- ta and the wounded chest, where the blood flows in a thick gush, in the direction of the Grail cup. • Continue to Monesiglio, a town in Langa, with very old origins. The first inhabitants, the Ligurian Stazielli, tenaciously opposed the Roman invaders to whom they had to eventually submit towards 172 B.C. and subsequently live with. This brought significant advantages, above all for communica- tion routes. Visit to the Chapel of Caldera Castle and the Church of S. Maria dell’Acqua Dolce.
• Lunch at leisure.
• Departure for Cortemilia. Guided tour of the Eco Museum, of Monteoliveto and the Heroic Vineyards, to discover the dry walls with arches, unique in the world!
• Dinner at leisure.
• Overnight accommodation in 4* hotel in Bistagno.

Day 4

• Breakfast in hotel.
• Departure for Vesime. Visit the medieval villa- ge and the Cathedral della Pieve, of Romanesque origin, restored in the Baroque period. Eye-ca- tching 18th century front which makes the church visible from a distance and shows it located on the right margin of the Bormida valley floor. A position connected to the ancient road system that crossed the valley.
• Transfer to Bubbio with stop at hazelnut IGP Piemonte workshop for visit with tasting.
• Lunch at leisure.
• Continue to Bistagno for a guided tour of the Plaster cast museum.
The works present in the plaster cast gallery dedicated to Giulio Monteverde document the important milestones of the sculptor’s artistic activity, between 1870 and 1917, the year of his death. A visit to the plaster cast gallery of Bista- gno can be considered the re-discovery of an im- portant sculptor of the Italian 19th century, which was somewhat unjustifiably neglected by critics. • Transfer to Cassine.
• Visit to the Church of S. Francesco. The complex was commissioned by the Friars Minor Conven- tual, who arrived to Cassine in 1232. One wing of the ancient cloister is home to the ecclesiastical museum, comprising the chapter house which is home to a 14th century pictorial cycle that acts as a setting for the tiara of Pope Pius V and diffe- rent Roman relics of the 18th century.
• Dinner at leisure overnight accommodation in 4* hotel in Bistagno.

Day 5

• Breakfast in hotel.
• Transfer to Sezzadio and visit of the Church of Santa Giustina.
According to tradition, its foundation is attribu- ted to a miracle which occurred during a journey made by Liutprando, a devoted Christian, who was close to Sezzadio and wanted to rest under a tree which was in the place where the Abbey of Santa Giustina now stands. Liutprando was carrying the relics of S. Giustina in a pyx; to rest, he placed it on a branch of the tree. When he woke up, the pyx started to move from branch to branch. Liutprando decided to build the Ab- bey in honour of S. Giustina depositing her relics there. The Abbey was restored and entrusted to the Benedictines in the early 11th century by the Marquis Ottoberto.
During the Napoleonic era, the Abbey was tran- sformed into a granary. In 1863, the complex was purchased by Senator Frascara who began the recovery of the church. In 1956, more restoration work took place on the church.
The church presents itself as austere and striking, in the shapes of the 11th century, with a terracotta facade marked by pilasters and hanging arches. The majestic three-nave interior preserves the frescoes of the Lombard school of the 14th and 15th centuries. The left apse is home to the stories of the Virgin Mary of the mid-14th century, the median apse to the scenes from the Passion and a Universal Judgement of the early 15th century. • Lunch at leisure and end of package.

Rates / Supplements

Price per person from:

€ 520,00 (groups of 2 pax)

The price includes:

• 1 overnight stay with breakfast in 3* hotel in Millesimo / Carcare
• 1 overnight stay with breakfast in 3* hotel in Albenga
• 2 overnight stays with breakfast in 4* hotel in Bistagno
• Entrance to the Civic Tower of Albenga
• Guided tour of the Caves of Toirano
• Guided tour of the Eco Museum at Monteoliveto of Cortemilia
• Visit to hazelnut IGP Piemonte workshop • Guided tour of the Plaster cast gallery of Bistagno
• Guided tour of the Church of San Francesco with the Museum of Furnishings
• Visit the Abbey of Santa Giustina Sezzadio.

The price does not include:

• Transfers, tourist tax (if any), extras, personal expenses and anything not indicated in The price includes
• Medical/baggage insurance
• Cancellation insurance


Holiday formula:

Families, Groups, Individuals

Guided tour:

No, on request (with supplement)