- Status Open
- Area Val Bormida
An entire village, with its own church and school, that used to support itself by harvesting chestnuts, collecting firewood, and working in the nearby graphite mine, was abandoned for good in 1964. Abandoned but not forgotten by its people who still love to gather there every year around the end of August for the celebration of San Giovanni Battista.
From the wind turbine along the provincial road (near the crossroad for the higher up wind farm), take the dirt track that cuts through the east flank of Bric Chioggia. After partisan Otto’s gravestone, you will find the road sign “San Giovanni”. Going down a winding path, you will cross beech woods and chestnut groves and finally, alongside the waters of river Cravarezza, you will get to the first ruins of the abandoned village that have today beautifully become one with the woods.
You can now go up the other slope to get to the church, designed with essential and clean lines and rebuilt with the help of benefactors in 1955. It also housed the village’s school back then. In the open space before the church, there are some tables and benches.
The isolated nature of the village, together with the closure of the graphite mine in Piagge Nere, were the underlying causes of Cravarezza’s abandonment. This place is indeed off the grid.
Move past the church and the ruins and turn right on a nice, moderately steep, at times flat trail. The trail passes several watersheds before connecting to a forest trail in Piagge Nere. A few more turns will make you gain some altitude, and you will notice the track getting wider until it joins the paved road that leads to Pian dei Corsi wind farm. Just a short downhill and you are back at the starting point.