Coli is a small mountain centre placed in a panoramic, quiet and sunny position, surrounded by nature in the green of pine forests and chestnut woods and located on a promontory between the valley of the Curiasca stream and the slopes of Mount Saint Augustine, overlooking the high valley of Trebbia in the Province of Piacenza.
Coli lays on an area of great historical and landscape interest: the 8 churches in its territory, the ruins of two castles and houses made of stones are its historical and artistic heritage.
It is rich in springs: from the pastures of the nearby mount Aserei, the Curiasca stream crosses the homonymous valley until it joins the river Trebbia.
With the foundation of Saint Columbanus Monastery in 614, the town became a flourishing monastic cell.
From a political point of view, since the XIII century, it was first under the domination of the Grassi family who built a castle in town of Magrini, now collapsed into the creek below, and then another castle was built in Faraneto where the Grassi family moved after giving the first castle to the family of Nicelli, who exercised their power over the valley since 1441.
It is possible to admire Coli in all four seasons for its wonderful natural landscape.
The season when it becomes more lively and a holiday destination is the summer.
The walk to Saint Michael’s cave of Coli.
It is possible to reach it starting from the town square following the course of the Curiasca stream (walk n. 141 CAI – Italian Alpine Clup).
History says that Saint Columbanus, elderly then, after laying the foundations for the construction of a monastery, chose the cave as the place where he spent most of his time and there he died. Legend says that his remains were found in his bed in the Bobbio monastery.
On Coli’s square stands the church dedicated to Saints Vito, Modesto and Crescenzia, built in the XVIII century on the riuns of a former pre-columbanian church of the X century.
The Crux Michaelica (cross of Saint Michael) of the IX century is inside the church and it comes from the now collapsed Saint Michael’s Church which was close to the Curiasca stream and to Saint Michael’s cave.
In the area many restaurants offer classic Emilian Apennine menus enriched with local products and game. The presence of farms that produce organic products also allow the purchase on site of genuine products.
During summer there are many events such as the “Focaccia farcita fair”, the “Cotechino and white wine fair” (which take place in Perino) which offer to tourists and inhabitants the opportunity to taste typical procucts and D. O. C. Wines of the valley.
The area is suitable for outdoor sports.
There is a modern and complete sports centre, not so far from the main square, made up of a football pitch used also for rugby, a pitch for five-a-side football or tennis, an outdoor swimming pool and a covered bocciodrome.
There are many possibilities to go trekking on marked paths (Italian Alpine Club website), to practice mountain biking, and downhill biking thanks to sloping paths.
Many tracks are also in Saint Augustine’s pine forest starting from the equipped area in Moiarda’s Lake that lead gently up, where it is possible to see breathtaking views over the entire high and middle Val Trebbia.
Since 2013 the Valtrebbia Adventure Park has been operating by Saint Augustine’s pine forest and it offers acrobatic paths and mountain bike rental.
Close to the small centre, for experienced hikers and pilgrims, there is a part of the Abbots’ Way, the ancient way traveled by monks and rediscovered by passionate scholars. The Road of the Abbots starts from Pavia, passes through Bobbio and leads to Pontremoli (PR), where it is possible to continue to Rome following the Francigena Way.
The Local Association and the Sports Club organize fairs that are special dates for loyal tourists and inhabitants.
The first one is the “Happiness party” which takes place on the weekend between 5th and 10th August, two dancing evenings with grilled meat dinners, held in the area of the sports center of Coli.
The famous "Feast of St. Augustine", a typical mountain festival at high altitude, takes place on the last Sunday coinciding with or preceding the 28th of August near the Sanctuary dedicated to the saint. Packed lunch in the woods surrounding the Sanctuary, mountain songs, numerous dining options and little markets. In the morning the Holy Mass with a procession.
On the third Sunday of October, in the central square of Coli, the "Festival of typical products of the Mountain" is held, Coli’s main fair and also a feast of the mountain: there are several exhibitors and local sellers of organic products, ideal for those who want to buy the products of the Apennines, in particular mushrooms and chestnuts. In the afternoon exhibition of songs and folk traditions of the mountains.
The small village of Peli stands not far from Coli, with its perched houses and the church of Saint Medardo overlooking a hill from which you can enjoy a beautiful view. It is also an important place for partisans because it was the headquarters of a partisan command led by Emilio Canzi who is buried in the nearby cemetery.
Situated on State Road n. 45, which starts from Piacenza and leads to Genoa, there is the village of Perino, one of the most populous centers of the municipality. There, the weekly market is held. Not far from Perino, following the street to Mount Armelio there is the tower of Macerato, the remains of an ancient castle which in the XI century belonged to Saint Paul’s Monastery in Mezzano and was then given to the peasants of the place.