Lavatoio, Zerba, Comune di Zerba, Italia, Pietro Rebolini, Lesima, 1724, Castello

Zerba is the highest capital of the province of Piacenza lying at 906 m.s.m. on the southern flank of Mount Lesima (1724 m), which imposingly shelters it from the north winds. Opposite, the northern slope of Monte Alfeo (1650 m) is wooded and steep, the Monte Carmo (1650 m) and Cavalmurone to the west, Monte Chiappo (1700 m) to the north-west complete the circle of mountains that contribute to ensure that Zerba has an exceptionally mild climate despite the altitude. The Boreca stream gives its name to the short, green, deep and suggestive valley. The offshoots of Monte Carmo, to the east, follow the border between the provinces of Alessandria, Genoa and Piacenza and still the watershed of Chiappo marks the border between the provinces of Piacenza Pavia and Alessandria. According to the legend, Zerba was founded in 218 BC. by a group of Carthaginians who took refuge in the place after the desertion from Hannibal's army. In 1164 the feud was granted by Federico Barbarossa to Obizzo Malaspina; in 1266 due to family divisions the town was added to the marquisate of Pregola dei Malaspina of the Spino Secco branch. In 1361 the Visconti, the Porri and the Pinotti took over. In 1453 the fiefdom passed to the Marquis Morello Malaspina, in 1670 to the Malaspina di Pregola until the Napoleonic suppression of 1797. The village is made up of five groups: in the upper part, at Villa Soprana, there is the church of S. Michele Arcangelo, cell medieval monastic dependence of S. Pietro in Ciel d'Oro of Pavia, reported in the 16th century and rebuilt in 1807, and a rustic, probably Casa Malaspina. At Villa Lisamara there is the old fountain.

Zerba, Comune di Zerba, Italia, Pietro Rebolini, Lesima, 1724, Castello

At Villa Scarbione there is the Town Hall of the twentieth century. Finally there are Villa Stana and Villa Fontana which leads to the castle of which some sections of walls and the base of a cylindrical tower remain. It was an outpost of the Ligurians, as evidenced by the eight bracelets (bronze armilles) found in 1888 and preserved in the Sforzesco archaeological museum in Milan. Poor agriculture and livestock have long been abandoned due to the emigration of the population in the 1950s. Today the villages of the valley are made up almost exclusively of second homes. A few tourist settlements have sprung up in Capannette di Pey. The future economy of the Valley is tending towards tourism resources. truly unique, for the natural beauties, for the uncontaminated environment and for the riches of the flora and fauna species. There are many possible naturalistic itineraries along the paths, easy and well preserved that allow you to reach the peaks of the mountains, through the woods that cover their sides, up to the unique and still existing prairies (over 1200 m) rich in flowers and shrubs such as the orchids, the yellow lily, the negritella, the gentian, the golden botton and a thousand others still the raspberry, the blueberry, the rowan, the juniper, the broom of the lumberjack, the heather etc ...; what to say about the autumn colors that such a varied vegetation presents in autumn or the spring flowering that goes from the yellow of laburnum to the pinkish white of wild cherry trees.