The Val d'Aveto, or Aveto valley, straddles the Province of Genoa and the Province of Piacenza, between the Italian regions of Liguria and Emilia-Romagna. The river Aveto runs through the valley, to later join its waters with those of the Trebbia near the hamlet of Confiente. The upper, Ligurian part of the valley comprises the Comuni of Rezzoaglio and Santo Stefano d'Aveto; the lower, Emilian part of the valley is divided between Ferriere, Cerignale and Corte Brugnatella. Verdant and lush, characterized by pleasant sights, fresh and balmy summers and abundant snow in winter, the valley is flanked by forested mountains, culminating at the elevation of 1799 meters with Monte Maggiorasca.
In Roman times, the local inhabitants, the Iluates and Veleiates Ligures, gave more than a headache to the Latin powerhouse: Titus Livy and consul Gneus Fabricius had words of appraisal for their fighting qualities. The Veleiates were eventually subjugated after suffering defeat near Monte Penna at the hands of consul Marcus Claudius Marcellus in 166 a.C.. The heathen Ligurians venerated that very mountain as a deity, and the forests at its foothills were deemed to be sacred ground.
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