Ossegna archaeological workshop
Comune di Maissana: piazza Municipio, 1 - 19010 Maissana (SP)
Telefono: 0187 84 56 17
Fax: 0187 84 56 06
Il sito di Valle Lagorara Il sito di Valle Lagorara

It is immersed in woods, surrounded by uncontaminated valleys, but just a few kilometres from the Riviera di Levante Sea.  Maissana, with its many green hamlets, is an oasis of wellbeing just a few kilometres from Varese Ligure, in Val di Vara, the Valley of Biological products.

A small rural village with Roman origins lying between Val di Vara and Val Petronio, it is in the middle of a vast woody territory, dotted with scattered villages that have maintained their original ancient characteristics and a quiet atmosphere.  

Just like many other resorts in the area, especially in the high part of La Spezia on the Apennine ridge, Maissana also has traces of prehistoric presences in its territory:  in the Valle Lagorara area, in fact, a very ancient surface mine of red jasper was identified, and is where several finds have been uncovered. 

Thanks to the Development of the natural and cultural resources of Liguria project (Level 4 of the ROP ERDF 2007-2013) the aim is to equip a former school building in Ossegna hamlet, already restored, with archaeological experimental and analysis laboratories, making it operational for educational and information activities that are preliminary to the proper visit of the archaeological site.

A little bit of history

The archaeological site of Valle Lagorara was discovered in 1987. The analysis of the elements dates it back to between 2920 and 1890 BC: the prehistoric inhabitants of the area extracted jasper as a raw material to prepare their chipped stone tools, for example arrow tips.
It is believed that the production of semi-finished products deriving from the extracted material was very considerable.

Evaluations carried out in the basis of the present debris show that production could cover the requirements of the inhabitants in a considerable part of the area of the Tuscan-Ligurian-Emilian Apennines.

The archaeological site has given back a huge quantity of handiwork made using red jasper that was mainly made up of dug scraps and working chips. From the study of the excavation traces it was possible to reconstruct the operating chain which led to the production of the arrow tips.

The intervention

The project includes the preparation of an old school building belonging to the Municipality that has been completely restored and is located in Ossegna hamlet. The basement will hold the archaeological experimental and analysis laboratories.
Direct contact between the user and archaeological activity will be made here, making it possible to handle copies of finds and authentic pieces, and become aware of the working methods used by ancient populations. The laboratory will have on-site scientific equipment for analysing finds.

This same laboratory will also have a study role by way of experimental archaeology techniques, using available tools, parts of the basement and open areas to develop and repropose the techniques and handiwork used by the populations living in Val di Vara. This also refers to education.

On the first floor it will be possible to carry out strong>educational and informative activities, thanks to the conference rooms for conventions and professional training. There is also a space that could be used for temporary exhibitions, shows, projections of scientific-informative material, to introduce direct contact with the places.

Finally, the last floor will have spaces for administrative work and, if necessary, accommodation.
With reference to this site, it may be possible to carry out activities with Research Institutions and Universities that could include study periods for groups of students and researchers; the availability of spaces and bathrooms means that a part of the building can also be used by guests.

The archaeological route, signalled by panels, makes it possible to go through the extraction area and to observe the subsequent phases of the excavation, the working scraps and the shelters used by the ancient miners.


The municipality of Maissana is proceeding with the implementation of the Anello del benessere (Wellness Ring), a route with more than 40 kilometres of already-existing trails, which will be recovered and restored.
Between trekking, mountain biking and horse-riding, the trail goes through woods, valleys and viewpoints, but it also reaches historical sites and an adventure park, without leaving out typical food.

Do not forget Tavarone hamlet, known as a high level equipped sport centre, where events and sporting events are organized.


The many small valleys and hamlets in the municipality of Maissana offer tourists and residents different opportunities, especially connected to excursions and outdoor activities. The Valle del Borsa, a small tributary in Vara, is also known as the “valle dei mulini” (valley of mills), because there are several watermills positioned along the stream.

The “Casoni della Pietra” rise up near the archaeological site of Valle Lagorara; these buildings, built as a provisional shelter, are immersed in green. In Licciorno you can visit the “witches caves".

Nota: Liguria Heritage freely offers services and technological tools but accepts no responsibility for entrance fees to the sites nor their direct management. Please refer to the individuals owners and managers regarding the implementation or changes to entry times, conditions of use and accessibility of the various sites.