Founded in 1120 in the alluvial plain of the stream Orba, Badia di Tiglieto - whose real name is Abbazia di Santa Maria - was the first Cistercian abbey built outside the French territory and represents the most important historical monument of Tiglieto. The abbey consists of the church, in the north, whose main axis has a west-east direction; orthogonal to this building, in the east, there is the monastery, from where the area already used as a refectory develops. Church, monastery, and refectory represent the three sides of the cloister; the fourth side and the adjacent places are formed by other buildings with agricultural purposes. The Romanesque-style plan of the building is still evident in the cloister and in the oratory, while the subsequent measures have changed the other structures. In the Middle Ages, the "friars of Cîteaux" played here an important role in the cultural and economic developent: this is witnessed by the presence of hump-back meadows, made in this way to make the water flow out, and the lands of the plain still bearing the signs of an intense activity. The settlement of the area depended on the monastery and consisted of the organization of a series of minor units and small farmsteads which shaped the territory and formed a thick network of canals. The abbey has been recenlty renovated with the funds put at diposal by Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Genova e Imperia, the Province of Genoa, and Beigua Park. Since 2000, the Cistercian monks have returned. Moreover, in the plain it is possible to visit the five-arch Romanesque-style bridge on the stream Orba, recently restored, next to which there are the ruins of an ancient mill. Crossing the bridge, on the other side there is a stone with the sentence: "Anno a partu Virginis MDCLXVII". Many people think that 1667 is not the date of the founding, but the date of its recovery. Immediately before finding the stone, you walk between two columns, almost delimiting an ideal gateway to the complex of the Badia.
Province: Genoa Region: Liguria