San Colombano Certenoli: territory and history



The Municipality of San Colombano Certenoli (San Colomano: St. Columban), extends over a vast territory starting from the Passo dell'Anchetta to the South, to the massive of Ramaceto and the mountains on the Sturla river to the north. The total area is about 43 square kilometers (turns out to be the largest town in the entire Valfontanabuona area and the seventh in the province of Genoa). In its context are different terrain situations, ranging from the valley, characterized by vast farmland and clean water in mountain areas with rocky outcrops to "anti-dip slope" (ie layers with opposite inclination of the slope) of the southern slope of Ramaceto Mountain (mt. 1345), made of sandstone (sedimentary rocks derived from cementing materials like sand), that because of this characteristic shape as an amphitheater contribute to making it one of the most beautiful mountain ranges and well known in Liguria.

In the emblem shown on the right, made and designed by the architect knight Ivon Palazzolo, are symbolized the three rivers Lavagna, Cicana and Barbarasco; the tower with the gold door represents as a symbol of the centuries-old relationship between the valley of Cicana and the higher areas of the municipality, and therefore the union of the whole territory of Certenoli. This unification is taken up in the above quotation from the municipal motto - inter valles augeo: prosperous between the valleys - translable into the prosperity of San. Colombano Certenoli between the valleys of Lavagna and Cicana and other minor valleys.

From 1973 to April 30, 2011 it was a member of the Comunità Montana (Mountain Community) Fontanabuona, the latter suppressed by the Regional Law No. 23 of December 29, 2010 and in force since 1 May 2011. Today it is part of the LAG (Local Action Group) "Valli del Tigullio" (Valleys of Tigullio) located in Borzonasca.

It is currently implementing a discrete phase of population growth: 2687 permanent residents in 2011, favored by a significant economic-productive development.

From the mountains descend into the valley two rivers and numerous tributaries of minor importance: the Lavagna, named "Beautiful Fiuman" by Dante's Divine Comedy, Canto XIX of the Purgatory; the Cicana creek that characterizes the Val Chichero placed on an almost perfect oval which is one of the most peculiar orographic basins of Italy, with a unique landscape as to be a destination for many hikers.

Industrial activities are based on small to medium size businesses, many of them individual enterprises. On the territory there are, however, notable companies, appreciated both nationally and internationally, working in different sectors: underwater, production of teaching materials, electrical equipment, mechanical components.

Tourism can count on various accomodations and restaurants, in fact have arisen in recent years, in addition to restaurants and taverns existing, new villas, bad & breakfast and guest houses, where you can taste the genuine and traditional cooking. In this regard, we recall a plate of country cooking of the past due to the poverty and misery of the time, that is the "batolli", a sort of short and coarse taglierini, once the food almost everyday.

Are possible easy hiking paths of the FIE and 7P starting from the valley floor to the High Way of the Ligurian Mountains, Ramaceto Mountain, Romaggi, San Martino, Anchetta Mountain and Shrine of Our Lady of Montallegro.



In ancient times it was inhabited by various nomadic tribes who saw in livestock and hunting their main activities. With the arrival of the Benedictine monks of Bobbio (around 600 AD), led by the man who became St. Columba, these new communities addressed their interests towards agriculture and in particular introduced the terraces to change slope lands into cultivable lands that still characterize the territory and the cultivation of the vine.

Already mentioned in the tenth century in some documents of St. Columba monks of Bobbio, in which are expressly mentioned other monastic cells of Scaona, Bembelia (first name of San Colombano), Monte, Vinealis, Romalio and Plecherio, the present-day territory of San Colombano became fief of the Fieschi Counts of Lavagna from 1171.

Between the fourteenth and fifteenth century, in its lands there were serious riots between the various noble factions of Fieschi and Malaspina who dominated the area until the passage of allegiance to the Republic of Genoa since 1543. Then, by following the same historical events, communities of certenoli will be submitted first in the Captaincy of Chiavari under the Podestà of Rapallo (district Oltremonte) and, since 1608, the newly established Captaincy of Rapallo.

During 1672, the Savoy family tried to rouse the population of today's town of Calvari against the Republic of Genoa, in order to thus obtain the annexation of territory to Piemonte (Piedmont); Genoa punished the perpetrators of the incident, and the fact is now remembered by local historians as the "Conspiracy of Torre", ended with the hanging of the local conspirators..

The mayor misunderstood - Domenico Cuneo, mayor of San Colombano Certenoli from 1836 until 1845 did not recoil from ingratitude, which is often reserved for those who work selflessly and well. In fact, the churches of the town, with the exception of that of Camposasco, rang the "dead bells" in the day in which he managed to approve the draft of the road from Carasco to Cicagna. Muleteers and dockers believed that the new road, allowing access to the wagons, would make cease their activities. Domenico Cuneo had him proper recognition in 1909, when in front of his birthplace was affixed a plaque of merit. Nemo propheta in patria.

In 1797, with the French domination of Napoleon Bonaparte the various villages and country locations are set up in small municipalities (Baranzuolo, Calvari, Camposasco, Certenoli and Romaggi) from December 2nd becoming part of the Department of the Gulf of Tigullio, with capital Rapallo, in the Ligurian Republic annexed to the First French Empire. From 28 April 1798, with the new French regulations, San Colombano come into the IV Canton, capital Santa Maria Camposasco in Fossa di Peirani, under the Jurisdiction of Entella, and since 1803 the main center of the I Canton of Entella in the Jurisdiction of Entella. In this year were suppressed the two municipalities of Baranzolo and Calvari, aggregating them to San Colombano. In 1804, they merge with the municipality the centers of Camposasco, Certenoli and Romaggi; in 1805 a new revision of administrative boundaries will lead to assignment of the fractions of Celesia and Cichero to today's Municipality of Orero. From 13 June 1805 to 1814 it was be included in the Department of the Apennines. In 1815 it was be incorporated in the Kingdom of Sardinia, according to the decisions of the Congress of Vienna in 1814, and later in the Kingdom of Italy in 1861. From 1859 to 1926, the territory was included in the sixth district of Cicagna of the District of Chiavari in the Province of Genoa.

It took the final name of San Colombano Certenoli from 1863 after several years to reach an agreement between the nine municipal hamlets. It was choose to add the name Certenoli since the latter, known in Roman times under the name Certinulus, is the largest fraction of the municipality.

San Colombano Certenoli is among the cities decorated for Military Valour for the Liberation War because he was awarded the War Cross for Military Valour for the sacrifices of its people and its activities in the partisan struggle during the Second World War. In 1941, between the towns of Pian di Coreglia (Coreglia Ligure) and Calvari the Army Corps of Engineers of the barracks of Caperana (Chiavari) built the 52th concentration camp; in the period between 1941 and 8 September 1943, in the "Camp prisoners of war " were imprisoned about 15.000 persons, especially British or Commonwealth soldiers captured in Africa, for a maximum capacity setted to 4,000 people.

In 1943, during the Resistance, Cichero gave its name to one of the most famous Garibaldi partisan brigades who fought in the heights of Genoa. The brigade moved in November 1943 to Cichero because the group, rapidly increasing, had become too conspicuous. In March 1944, the Group of the Monte Antola, known as Detachment La Scintilla, merged in Cichero, necessitating a reorganization of the band, which has become of considerable size. The group is divided into three detachments, one of which, called Severino, will remain in Cichero. The group was also distinguished by an excellent relationship with the population of the valley in which he had to fight, thanks to the fact that he always watched over groups of stragglers devoted more to the looting that to the guerrilla warfare(look at the video of Marco Rinaldi which tells of the "Code of Cichero",and the video of VideoGraph which tells of some interviews to partisans of Severino detachment, both in Italian).

The people, especially in the valley Cichero, also suffered a disastrous Nazi-Fascist "combing" between 16 and 19 July 1944 which led the killing with the shooting of seven supporters.


Source: Comune di San Colombano Certenoli and Wikipedia