When you take a walk from the villa you are surrounded by vineyards
The parish church of Broni
The castle of Zavatarello
Punto Cristo near Montalto Pavese
Small streets in medieval Varzi
The landscape along the rivers Ticino and Po in the province of Pavia is formed by the cultivation of rice (risotto!). It is flat with lots of ditches and sluices to regulate the water supply to the rice fields.
But in the background there are always the Alps (in the north) or the hills of the Oltrepò in the south
The bank of the Ticino
The approx. 1100 km2 of this area are covered with vineyards, small villages, castles and forests. From the flood plain of the Po the hills gradually rise to a maximum height of 1700 meter (Monte Lesima). This provides you with stunning views.
The region is intersected by several rivers and brooks that define the valleys: Valle Staffora, Valle Scuropasso, Valle Versa and Val Tidone.
If you are not in a hurry you can explore the region by:
visiting villages and cities
Enjoying nature and the country side
Tasting its delicious food and wine
There are several auto routes that guide you to the diffrent sites. Further tourist information can be found in an App that we have developed for iPhone, iPad and Android. A part of this info is also published on the website of this Milan City Guide App.
A street view in Zavatarello
The plains south of the Po are an integral part of the Oltrepò. Still on these plains, but on the foot of the hills of the Oltrpò, there are several small cities such as Stradella, Broni, Casteggio and Voghera where you can find most of the shops and markets.
Among the the many small villages and hamlets of the region there are a number that are more outstanding and worth a visit:
Santa Maria della Versa, a centre of viniculture with its "grapperia" La Versa
the historical city of Varzi, famous for its hand-made 'salami' sausages
Zavatarello, with its medieval castle (open to the public on sundays)
the beautifully restored "borgo" of Fortunago
Salice Terme, a traditional spa with medicinal waters
The small but charming abbey of Sant’Alberto di Butrio in Val di Nizza, with a number of beautiful medieval frescos
The castles of Oramala and Montesegale
and many others
Just next to the Oltrepò Pavese lies the province of Piacenza with its own character, also worth discovering: Here you can visit many medieval castles and cities like Castell'Arquato, and in his birth place Busseto you will find everything worth knowing about Giuseppe Verdi.
The city of Bobbio is known as the cultural center of the hills of the Piacentina region. Here you can visit the tomb of one of the early 7th century Irish missionaries: San Columbano, and in the river Trebbia you can swim near the medeival bridge. If the kids want more water slide fun, we can recommend the Riverpark of Rivergaro.
Pavia Province and the Oltrepò region have several nature reserves and protected areas which can easily be reached by car from the villa within an hour, such as:
the nature reserve of the Ticino valley which runs from the point where the rivers Ticino and Po flow together (a few kilometers from Broni), to the Lago Maggiore further north,
the peak of Pietra Corva and its surroundings including the botanic garden with a special collection of alpine plants
the protected area of Monte Alpe
the area around the small ski-resort of Brallo di Pregola
A popular and lively meeting point (especially on sundays) is the Penice Pass on the road between Varzi and Bobbio.
The medieval bridge over the river Trebbia at Bobbio
Interior of the Basilica of Bobbio
The abbey of San Alberto di Butrio.
Click on the photo above to view a slide show of the interior of this abbey.
The castle of Montesegale
After a hike through the parco di Montalpe you can enjoy the view from the top of the Pietra di Corva
The view from Monte Penice (1460m)
The pontoon bridge over the Ticino at Bereguardo
Saturday market at Santa Maria della Versa