Andagna's history

The Alps Maritime region was populated in the protohistory of the tribes of the "Mountain Ligures", proud and valiant people, who built shelters against external incursions. Testimonies of their presence have been found on the mountains above Andagna examining different archaeological rests. Between the Passo di Teglia and Mezzaluna, in the locality called Ciotta di S. Lorenzo, a very ancient pastoral settlement has been located where you can still observe a menhir a couple of meters high, inclined on one side. In 1934/35 a series of excavations were carried out to bring to light ancient relics.

The founders of the primitive village were the Benedictine monks, who named the village Andagna in honor of their Saints, Bega and Gertrude, referring to the content of an ancient Roman martyrology "Andanie apud septem ecclesias beatae Beggae viduae sororis sanctae Geltrudis", putting by assonance Andanie in relation to the name of Andagna. The first monks, in addition to the Gospel, brought new agricultural techniques and new crops, teaching a rational tillage of the land and its subsequent arrangement, terracing it through the construction of dry stone walls: our well known fasce (belts).

In 641, Liguria suffered the plague of barbarian and Saracen invasions. The Saracens did not spare from their raids the countries of Argentina Valley.
A legend tells that the village of Andagna, located lower than the present one, was burned and destroyed during one of the Saracen invasions. In memory of this fact, the survivors supposedly placed a cross on the ruins of the gate of the village; so the name Croce del Portò, still in use today, was born Croce del Portò.

The Saracens ruled the whole area for about 200 years, permanently occupying the Passo della Mezzaluna.
Their definitive expulsion from western Liguria was between 975 and 980.

Andagna's history after year 1000 is closely linked to the one of Ventimiglia Counts and in 1259 Andagna, and other villages, was sold to the Genoese.
Genoa had the domain over the whole valley. Triora due to its strategic position became a large podesteria with jurisdiction over Andagna, Molini and Corte villas and the villages of Castelvittorio, Bajardo, Ceriana, Badalucco and Montalto. Andagna became part of the history of the county seat and followed all its political and administrative affairs.

Around 1625, when the Republic of Genoa entered the war with the Duke of Savoia - allied with France - Andagna, with all the podesteria villages, was involved in the conflict. The same happened in the following years and in the Napoleonic period.

In 1654 with a division act, the villages of Andagna, Molini and Corte obtained autonomy from Triora; the community of Andagna was free to administer its own property and to have its own parliament.

In 1797 the Ligurian Republicwas proclaimed, inspired by a French model. The entire territory was divided into 20 jurisdictions: the twentieth, called the Palms, had Sanremo as its capital and was divided into ten cantons. the fourth canton included the villages of Triora, Molini, Andagna, Corte, Glori and Montalto. The second proclamation of the Ligurian Republic gave a new administrative structure to the territory, divided into six jurisdictions. Andagna, like the wholeHigh Valleywas assigned to the " Ulivi" one, with Triora at the head of the canton.

Meanwhile in Genoa the wind of war was blowing: at the end of the 1798 spring, the Piedmontese attacked the fortress of Gavi and invaded the Liguria in several parts. The armed clashes did not delay to arrive in our valleys. The mobilization of all citizens between 18 and 30 years old was decreed, given the need to get men together in the shortest possible time. The mission had a happy initial phase, but then ended in retreat. Our villages then knew the foreign occupation. The political disorder, in the very first nineteenth century, was strong. After the proposal of aggregation to theNapoleonic empirewas presented, in some villages there were even demonstrations of joy. In 1805, the whole Liguria was united to the Empire.
With the fall of the Napoleonic Empire, the Congress of Vienna decreed that Liguria was annexed to the Kingdom of Sardinia in 1815.
The Argentina Valley was incorporated into the Division of Nice, in the province of Sanremo.

Many facts occurred in the last century, but it is recent history. We have only the duty to remember the large tribute paid to the Homeland by the sons of Andagna during the two world conflicts on all sides, and in the village, after 1943, by the civilians innocently shot.

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