Val Borbera lies in the piemontese Appennino along a Nord-South axis, at the very border between Piemonte, Liguria and Emilia.
To the east and the south, the peaks of mounts Giarolo (1473 m), Ebro (1700 m) and Antola (1587 m) are the enchanted frame of the valley which collects the water of the Borbera and of other minor streams. The water flows together into the narrows of Pertuso, where it runs into a tight and beautiful valley. There, transparent pools are the ideal spot for a bath or a breakfast on the shores in Summer and Autumn.
After the inauguration of the Giovi motorable road in 1828, Val Borbera has been kept aside from any commercial and then tourist flow. Just a few scattered new buildings have been erected, and vacation houses, which today devastate several valleys in the Alps and Appennini, are rarely spotted in the area. The villages of Borbera valley, Cantalupo, Cabella and Dernice, preserved the original features of Ligurian hamlets, while the fields and the woods still resemble the medieval landscape.
Thanks to the isolation of the valley, light pollution is at the lowest level, allowing exceptional night-skies observations and astronomy activities just a few kilometres away from Pianura Padana and Ligurian shores.
Poggiolo lays down on a natural balcony in the northern part of the valley, with an East-South South-West exposure, and is protected from the northern winds from the highs on his back. It stands on a typical rocky structure of cliffs, the Arenarie di Ranzano, dated back to remote geological ages. Sixty millions of years ago, during the Eocene, a wide ocean covered this areas. About 20 millions of years ago, geological forces started pulling up the sea bottom, in the slow birth of the Appennini chain. The first inhabitants of Poggiolo did not know this, but chose the land as a secure place to build their homes, with low risk of landslides, and for the charming landscape.
To get here:
From South you will travel along Val Borbera. From the Milan-Genoa A7 highway, you exit at Arquata-Vignole Borbera. After Vignole, towards Cantalupo you will pass through the narrows of Pertuso and you will then take a right towards Dernice. Right after Vigoponzo, you need to take a left on a small paved road going down for 200 m until you reach the buildings of Poggiolo.
From North, you will travel along Val Curone. From the A7 Milano-Genoa highway you can exit at Tortona and then follow the signs to Val Curone until San Sebastiano, where after the bridge you will take a right towards Dernice. After about 5 km you will cross the village and keep the left towards Cantalupo. After the sign “Vigoponzo” and short after the road to Garbana and Montebore you will find on the right a small paved road going down for 200 m until you reach the buildings of Poggiolo.