All the fragrances and traditions of a strip of land between the Ligurian Sea and the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines
In Zignago, in the province of La Spezia, three young
partners successfully run a historic pasta factory in Val di Vara: 'I Pastai'.
They produce different types of dry pasta with rigour, skill and craftsmanship
following ancient traditions, using bronze dies and drying the pasta at a low
temperature so that it retains the characteristic roughness that holds the
sauce, as happens with homemade pasta.
At the 'Pastai' you can buy all the traditional
Ligurian pastas tempered by the scents and flavours of one of the most
beautiful valleys in Liguria, named after the Vara river: tagliatelle,
tagliolini, trofie, croxetti and so on, classic or enriched with herbs and
flavours as they used to do in the past (from chestnut to pumpkin, borage,
Zignago is a scattered municipality made up of several
hamlets (I Pastai are located in 'Vezzola') in an area of the Val di Vara that
was already inhabited in prehistoric times, as shown by the remains of many
settlements and the discovery of a Lunigiana stele dating from between 2750 and
900 BC. For those wishing to take a tour in the green Val di Vara and go to
Zignago to buy some good pasta, the statue can be seen in the permanent
exhibition 'Five thousand years of life in the mountains' in the hamlet of
Pieve di Zignago.