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Map of Liguria

Favale Di Malvaro Geography

Map of Favale

altitude: 300 meters above sea level
surface:1.668 km2
inhabitants: 480
Hamlets (Frazione) of Favale
Acereto mt. 350 a.s.l.
Alvari mt.457
Arena mt. 760
    upper and lower side
Canavissolo mt. 602
Casottano mt. 363
Castello mt. 422
Collo mt. 673
Ortigaro mt. 250
Malvaro mt. 375
Montà mt. 360
Monteghirfo mt. 446
Piano mt. 366
Piano di Malvaro a mt. 280
Priagna mt. 340
Rocca mt. 376
Scoglio mt. 360

Liguria - The Region

Map of Liguria
In order to understand the Favalesi people, we must first understand the region of Italy they come from.  Liguria is a narrow area of 220 miles along the Mediterranean Sea, sometimes called the Italian Riviera.  The shape of Liguria on a map looks like a boomerang.

The land of Liguria is a force to be reckoned with if you wish to visit or live there.  The land can work for you if you learn to appreciate its wonder, or it can be a never ending aggravation.  The mountains offer protection from the cold temperatures and winter winds.  It seldom has freezing temperatures in the inland mountains, which is where Favale is located.

Liguria has no central cuisine, but instead has some basic ingredients used to make some core recipes.  But, you will know you are in Liguria by the wonderful distinctive aroma of the food.  As we were sitting a restaurant in Rapallo waiting to order, my sister said, “I can smell grandma’s vegetable soup!”  That’s when you’ll know you’re in Liguria - when the food tastes and smells just like the food your mother or grandmother made. 

The regional dialect in Liguria is Genovese or Genoese, which is named after the capital city of the province, Genova.  Occasionally the old archival documents in the parish of San Vincenzo of Favale are written in Genovese dialect.

The tourists that visit the Italian Rivera will never see Favale.  Generally it is only those tourists seeking out their heritage that leave the affluence of the Rivera to find the beautiful Favale our ancestors called home.

Favale di Malvaro - The Commune
“Favale is a small country village and it is situated among olive and chestnut trees on a small hill in the Malvaro Valley and its Roman bridge testifies to its very ancient origin. Favale is a local government that is made up various of picturesque communities that are situated in chestnut woods. This town reminds us of memorable past events, when in the Fontanabuona Valley its resources came from agriculture and its slates were exported in all the world through the Port of Genova.  The town is located on the main road of the Fontanabuona Valley and with the Ramaceto Mount (1345 meters) which is its highest peak.”  Enrico Pelos, 2004    http://www.liguri.net/portappennini/favale.htm

How did our ancestors live?  The Favalesi people were not people of influence like some living along the costal area of the Italian Rivera.  Nor were they men of the sea, like some of the common people that lived along the coast line - they were farmers, contadina.  They were peasant people living in the small hamlets of Favale, in houses that literally looked like they were clinging to the side of the mountains.

The Favalesi people spend a lot of time and energy getting from one place to another in this mountainous region of Italy.  They are either walking up and down mountain roads, climbing stairs, or climbing hills and mountains.  For many years the hamlets of Favale were not able to be reached by car.  Some Favale hamlets are no longer inhabited and are only able to be reached by foot.

The Favalesi people had to also spend much time and energy to work the land to their best benefit.  They had to learn to terrace the land so there would be some flat areas to build homes, plant crops, and space for grazing animals.  Even centuries ago the Favalesi people learned to grow grapes, vegetables, herbs and flowers.  They utilized the many growing chestnut trees and ground the nuts into flour.

So, what kind of people were our Favalesi ancestors?  They were people that worked hard every day to provide a meager living for their family.  They were good Christian people that had a strong faith in God.  But most importantly, they loved their family and imparted all these qualities to their posterity.

What are we all searching for?  I believe we are all searching for our roots, our heritage,  and hoping to find new cousins along the way.  We know we are somehow family by blood, even though we might not be able to prove it.  But more important, we are family by love and spirit.  This is our heritage, and we need to honor it in every way we can.

Ariel Map of LiguriaFavale Symbol

Both these photos, and other helpful information, came from the official Favale di Malvaro town website.  http://favaledimalvaro.com/  Even though the website is written in Italian, we hope you take the time to look at it.  The photos are awesome, and if you copy and paste, you can put the text through a free translator on-line.  Here is a link to an on-line translator  http://babelfish.yahoo.com/

This is a photo of the Deputy Mayor of Favale, Giovanni Boitano.  He has contacted us and invites all Favale descendants to visit.  He has seen our website and is impressed with the work we are doing to join Favale descendants together.