The Castels of the Gavi land
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The landscape of the Gavi lands is an unbroken flow of vineyards, woods and castles. One castle on each hill, one in each town. Some of them are no longer in use, other castles are only ruins, but many are still inhabited.
In order to explain such a concentration of castles in a small area, one has to go back to before the year one thousand, to the history of Genoa, state-city and maritime republic, then the largest port in Europe, that at the time was extending its influence at sea and on land.
At that time, in a trendy city like the Superba, prestige and social status were measured based on owning a “contrada” (palace) in the city, some "fondaci" (goods warehouses) overseas and a castle in the inland area of Genoa, beyond the Apennines and towards the plains, in the Oltregio.
And not for pleasure or for hunting, but because the Oltregiogo was a rich land, with sources of water, timber, it was essential for shipping, it was fertile and productive, as well as being exactly along the Via del Sale, a commercial route that from the port and the cost leads directly to the Po Valley and up towards Europe, to the rich markets of the North, and to the Via Postumia, an outlet onto the Adriatic.

Along the landscape of the Oltregiogo, around the year one thousand, at least 50 feudal settlements with a similar layout emerged: there is a castle-fortress and residence of a Genovese family, owner of fleets, woods, vineyards, streams, water mills, foundries, spinning mills and sawmills. A wealth on which the Doria, Spinola, Adorno, Malaspina, Grimaldi, Marini, Grillo, Carpeneto and Salvago families built their heritage and strengthened their influence.
The essence of Genoa has since then influenced the Gavi DOCG area in relation to its territorial identity (“Ligurian” is the name for most municipalities), its ethnicity, its language and especially its cuisine


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