Zavattarello: a constellation of hamlets
Some of the small hamlets of Zavattarello are in picturesque and panoramic places, rich in history and art like Zavattarello.
There are places where agriculture is the main activity, where life follows ancient rhythms. Others are very active and often host traditional events.
One bizarre thing to notice is that each one of these little villages has a church... except one: this is a peculiarity you can fully understand only visiting these places.
Each of Zavattarello's hamlets is a little gem, with its peculiar features, that deserves to be discovered.
Which are the hamlets of Zavattarello?
Hamlets full of history
The ancient rural houses of Tovazza seem to be proud of their millennial history: already in 862 we can find traces of this hamlet among the properties of the monastery of Bobbio. Not far you can reach Pradelle, ideal for nature lovers and calm seekers.
On a sun kissed you can find two peculiar hamlets: Ossenisio and Perducco. The are situated in the area called Oltretidone because from Zavattarello it's beyond the Tidone river.
Ossenisio is on a steep slope on the river; Perducco, just a couple of kilometers away, is mentioned in the 862 documents from Bobbio, where you can read about an ancient fortress and a church dedicated to St. Antoninus. Perducco is a place where time seems to have stopped: the old houses with still working ovens for bread baking, the narrow alleys, the deep Groppo caves not yet completely explored.
The near San Silverio is the ancient "Sancti Severi" mentioned in a 14th century document of the Bishop of Bobbio, where a hospital is also mentioned.
Between Zavattarello and Pietragavina, going towards Varzi, you meet Rossone, on a sunny hill about 750 m above the sea level, a place well appreciated for a peaceful vacation.
Le Moline, a couple of kilometers from Zavattarello towards the Valtidone Dam, is the most historical hamlet, with the Piarists tower, the ancient monastery and the peculiar mills that give the village its name.
Churches and oratories
Almost each hamlet has its own church. Some of them are real artworks.
The oratory of S. Silverio is one of the most ancient: from a document dated 17th February 1486 by the notary Bertola Gazzotti from Zavattarello, Bartolomeo Ramella, procurator of the local priest Antonio Bozzola, declared having received from Francesco and the Cavaleri brothers 36,18 imperial Lires for a rent in "San Severo", in the land of Zavattarello".
At the end of the 16th century, the oratory of Perducco was dedicated to St. Antoninus: during his visit in 1597, the general vicar of the Bishop of Bobbio said that this church needed a restoration to celebrate the Holy Mass.
The oratory of Pradelle was built in 1870, with an annex that was then used as school and teacher's dwelling.
The oratory of Crociglia is dedicated to S. Dominic. We do not know the exact date of its building: the first known mention is in an inventory dated 8th March 1788.
Also of the St. Michael oratory in Tovazza we do not know the origin. An inventory by the priest Domenico Franzosi dated 12th november 1925 mentions a notary document dated 23rd May 1848 saying that some of its properties came from Carlo Marchisola, son of Bernardo.
St. Martin's oratory in Le Moline has a little nave with stone altar. In 1927 a little bell tower was built to host a bell that used to be placed on the roof of a private house nearby.
In 1858 was built the St. Stephen oratory in Cascine with the autorisation of the court of appeals in Genua and agreement of the Bishop of Tortona: the inhabitants of Cascine asked the permit to build a church to give sacraments to sick and for the celebration of the Holy Mass on 26th May, 17th January and 8th December each year. This was to obey vow for the end of the cholera epidemic.