Fontanabuona Slate Valley
Hotels Fontanabuona Slate Valley
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The Fontanabuona Valley is one of the most industrious valleys in Liguria. It is a valley of transit, as it appears from its particular morphology. It runs parallel to the coast between the Gulf Paradise and the Gulf of Tigullio, from Genoa to Chiavari for about 40 kilometres. It is protected northward by rocky buttresses of the Apennines which separate it from the Trebbia Valley and the Aveto Valley. Southward it is separated from the sea by a more gentle chain of mountains crossed by many ancient cobbled roads, that connected the valley to the coast. Over the centuries Fontanabuona was crossed far and wide. For this reason maybe it preserves a wide cultural heritage which is a mixture of different influences.
The Slate: In the Fontanabuona Valley they call it the "sleeping bread" and the expression gives the idea of its importance for local economy. They began with its primary treasure, slate, and then started exploiting tourism. In this way the local Mountain Community has begun the "Via dell'Ardesia" (Slate Route) also known as the eco-museum because it is to all effects a museum route made up of six sites. The route along the black stone begins at Chiapparino, 16 Kilometres from the motorway exit in Lavagna, on the road n. 225 where there is an old slate factory with a chimney in red bricks dating back to 1900. It has become the base of a local action group for the development of Fontanabuona, called "G.A.L. (Gruppo di Azione Locale) Fontanabuona Sviluppo" and an exhibition centre with a convention hall.
Here one can see the multiple uses of slate: from the "abbadini", the sheets that form the typical roofs of the Ligurian houses, the bricks, the flooring for gardens, the tables, the billiard table tops to the most particular objects - a use that was only discovered a few years ago, giving the designers an opportunity to be creative when using this material. The tourist route proceeds to Cicagna to the small museum (250 square meters) expressly dedicated to the working of the stone and to its history, as well as a museum of history and archaeology installed in the municipal building, where the history of the valley is represented in 27 panels from pre-historic to Medieval times. One can only however experience the quarrying of the stone when visiting the open air sites. In Isolona di Orero, an underground quarry is equipped for a visit. During summer it is always open, while in the winter months only at weekends. Inside the quarry the old methods of extraction still live in the myriads of dents on the rock surface made by pickaxes while the new methods are revealed in the traces left behind by machineries used nowadays, which cut the slate into blocks, many meters thick. Two walking paths complete the Slate route. One follows the historical quarries of Monte Tuggio near Tribogna, in the higher part of the Fontanabuona Valley visiting quarries narrow like burrows, descending sheer in the mountain. The other path is where the extractions were made, Mount San Giacomo, in San Salvatore dei Fieschi, just on the border of Lavagna.
At Fontanabuona Slate Valley, there is tourist accommodation available in hotels, agriturismos, residence self-catering accommodation, b&b, rooms for rent, holiday homes, camp sites and tourist villages.
Genoa and environs
Residences - Flats - Holiday Houses Moneglia
Imperia and environs
La Spezia and environs
Hotels La Spezia
Bed and Breakfast - Room rentals La Spezia
Farm Holidays La Spezia
Residences - Flats - Holiday Houses La Spezia
Bed and Breakfast - Room rentals Campiglia
Residences - Flats - Holiday Houses Corniglia
Bed and Breakfast - Room rentals Levanto
Residences - Flats - Holiday Houses Levanto
Agencies and Estate Agents Levanto
Bed and Breakfast - Room rentals Portovenere
Residences - Flats - Holiday Houses Portovenere
Residences - Flats - Holiday Houses Riomaggiore
Savona and environs
Residences - Flats - Holiday Houses Alassio