It is a valuable sacred building consisting of a church and a bell tower, the ruins of a cloister, and the buildings of Case Araxi. The hypotheses on the origins of the Abbey get lost among history and legend: the inscription on a tower marble block dates back to 1244, but without a doubt the main body of the church dates back to the Longorbard period (7th century), and was built on a pre-existing building dating back to the Byzantine period (6th century).
The abbey, situated in the Municipality of Borzonasca, is surrounded by minor settlements and placed in an enchanting position in the middle of a natural amphitheater, giving the visitors a sense of peacefulness.
In the area between the mountain chain going from Mt. degli Abeti to Groppo Rosso, ancient glaciers have left basins housing interesting wetlands. Thanks to the waterproof nature of the soil and the natural morainic barriers, the melted waters of the glacier gathered in a series of small lakes, ponds, and peatbogs, originating peculiar environments, rich in rare plants, amphibians, and insects. The most interesting area is the Riserva Naturale Orientata delle Agoraie, open only for study reasons. Other wetlands of remarkable value which are open to public are: Lago delle Lame, Asperelle and Code d'Asino lakes (in the Foresta Demaniale delle Lame), through a didactic route of easy reading, and the Lago Riane in S. Stefano d'Aveto.
The extraordinary mineralogical richness of Val Graveglia gave birth to a flourishing mining activity which has continued until recent times. The Park has accomplished a project of recovery of the abandoned mines and the preparation of a mineralogical museum in Reppia, in order to preserve the local historical memory. Gambatesa mine can be visited thanks to the refurbishment of the equipment which was once used for the extraction of the manganese and for the miners' safety. Besides the minerals useful in manufacturing processes such as braunite, which gives high-return manganese, very rare minerals like tinzenite or tiragalloite have been found.
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The most representative mountain in the Park is Mt. Penna - 1,735m of basaltic rocks - whose silhouette and the presence of the Pennino, which is almost its small replica - inspired the Park symbol. Its rocky and steep northern slope differs from the southern slope (in the province of Parma), which is gentler and covered with a conifer and beech tree woods (Foresta Demaniale del M. Penna). The favorable position and the considerable altitude give the opportunity to those people who reach the peak to admire a unique landscape joining mountains and sea from the Ligurian Sea to the Ligurian Alps, from Monviso to Central Alps.
"Pietra Borghese" in Pratomollo is an imposing boulder of peridotite, that is a mineral rich in iron which has magnetic properties (if you get close to the rock with a compass, you will see that the needle changes direction). Its size and this particular feature have fostered the legend according to which the Stone was a fragment of meteorite fallen from the sky. Now we know that its origin is completely different, and that it is similar to the origin of the rocks scattered in the territory, like "Roccia del Fulmine" (above Agoraie Nature Reserve), which tends to attract lightnings for its composition. Today "Pietra Borghese" is a significant stage of a didactic as well as hiking itinerary organized by the Park to discover our mountains' geological origins: the "Sentiero Ofiolitico" represents a real walk on the bottom of an ancient ocean, one of the Park's "Nature Trails" which is also recognized at a regional level as IGL, "Itinerario Geologico Ligure" (meaning "Ligurian Geological Itinerary").
S. Stefano d'Aveto: the main center of Val d'Aveto since the early Middle Ages and a mountain health resort in the middle of an alpine valley dominated by Mt. Maggiorasca, the highest summit of the Ligurian Apennines. The castle, which has been recently restored and is now open to the public, lies in the center of the town. It was built in 1164 by Malaspina, to watch over the pass leading to the Po Plain.
Rezzoaglio: a long feud belonging to Della Cella family, it has always had a trading vocation, since it lies along an ancient road linking the coast to the plain; next to the parish church, you can admire the bell tower which, with its 52 m, is the highest one in the valley.
Borzonasca: town where the Park Authority headquarters are situated, it lies at the confluence of the streams Penna and Sturla; a few kilometers far from the center, there is the most significant monumental complex of the whole area: the Abbey of Borzone, dedicated to S. Andrea, founded by the monks of S. Colombano and rebuilt in the 13th century. It is national monument since 1910.
Mezzanego: a town of Roman origins, it is formed by more nuclei; among these, Prati, a well-preserved historical nucleus and Borgonovo, founded in ancient times along an important commercial way crossing Bocco Pass, which is still today a comfortable and beautiful communication way with Parmense.
Ne: the only Municipality of the valley, with municipal seat in Conscenti where, from May to October, on Saturday morning there is a street market for the direct sale of the products of local agriculture. Some historical town centers are interesting for their good conservation status, in particular in the country hamlets of Nascio, Cassagna, and Statale.