An Orange Flag village in the upper Val Nervia, famous for its splendid Thermal baths and its delicate white beans

When you think of “Liguria” you think of … its sea, right? From Pigna the sea is just 17 km away, but here we are at the foot of the Regional Natural Park of the Ligurian Alps, where the peaks reach 2,000 metres. Pigna is a stone’s throw from the border with France and Piedmont. Going up the provincial road you find the Pigna Thermal Baths, the most famous thermal station in Liguria, where you can relax and stay for the night at the Grand Hotel.

Here the tradition is linked to olive growing and sheep raising, traces of which remain in the traditional cuisine. The sheep are of the Brigasca race and with their milk Brigasca Sheep’s Toma cheese is made; it is a Slow Food Presidium. Another typical product is the Pigna white bean, which, together with those of Badalucco and Conio, is another Slow Food Presidium.

Pigna is a very beautiful village to visit; it clings to a hill, with narrow little streets in bare stone surmounted by games of arches between one house and another; there are climbs to be made on foot and flights of steps that lead to the top of the village: the Loggia of Piazza Vecchia (15th century) is a panoramic natural balcony over the green valley. A little outside the centre is the San Michele church, where there is an exceptional Renaissance polyptych by Giovanni Canavesio. The dishes of the territory are goat and beans and gran pistau (“crushed wheat”), and among cheeses bruss. Among events at the end of September there is the Mushroom Feast, with tasting sessions, music, a display of edible boletus mushrooms and a prize for the best dish; every year on 10 October there is the San Tiberio Raviolata.