Brugnello, 464 meters above sea level, is one of the most suggestive villages of the Trebbia Valley: it is part of the Municipality of Corte Brugnatella, which took its name from the Brugnatelli, a native noble family.
To reach it, you have to drive from the SS45 through a very narrow road with hairpin turns (about 2 km): challenging, especially if you suffer carsickness, but I assure you that the offered panorama repays the effort.
The entrance to the village is marked by a hand-written sign, and immediately we understand that we have come to a magical place, out of time and space (we could be in France, Germany or England), almost out of reality.
The small village perched on a rocky spur, once fortified, today presents itself to the visitor as an original cluster of a few old stone houses partly dug into the rock and a church, which have retained the medieval style, although enriched by the artists that contributed to the restoration, making it a village of fairy tales.
Balconies and flowerbeds, wooden doors and shutters, alleys and houses enriched with floral stone decorations and some chairs and bench, always made of stone, waiting to be used by the next visitor / tourist who wants to enjoy good air and take some rest.
Walking through the village it is evident the love of its inhabitants, who keep it clean and perfectly preserved.
Climbing along the only narrow road, you arrive in the square of the church at the top of the village, which seen from the SS45 coming from Bobbio seems more impressive than actually is, but from which you can enjoy a view above Trebbia River that compares with no other: a privileged point of view on a place where the river is forced by nature to flow encased in magnificent meanders by drawing loops that curve on themselves.
Despite the size of the village (just 11 inhabitants, excluding the owners of second homes), it is also possible to stay in the small hotel with restaurant run by generations of Chiara’s family, for a stay that allows you to enjoy the magical “slow time” of these historic settlements in direct contact with nature.
From there, we also took the opportunity to visit the nearby village of Bobbio (20 minutes by car), a town recognized as one of the Most Beautiful Italian Villages and by the Orange Flag, where you can appreciate among other things the medieval Abbey of San Colombano, the Roman hunchbacked bridge (also called Devil’s Bridge, Ponte del Diavolo) and the medieval Malaspina del Verme Castle.
If you are a fan of outdoor sports, Bobbio is also the ideal starting point for practicing sports in a natural and evocative environment. A recommended excursion, which I still remember with great pleasure and a bit of nostalgia, to the rediscovery of fairytale and dreamlike places that our region can offer, even if often little known.