"Alpi Apuane in Festa" - Careggine, sabato 16 e domenica 17 agosto 2014 - a Bosa "la via dei pani" e "un pomeriggio di gusto"


The St. Viano cabbage

Main projects and actions

silver fir

hightlighted entities

the "Pinguicula" genus

the St. Viano cabbage

Descriptive cards
of some important
(in italian)

Aquilegia bertolonii

Biscutella apuana

Campanula medium

Carex macrolepis

Carex macrostachys

Carum appuanum

Centaurea arachnoidea

Centaurea arrigoni

Cerastium apuanum

Globularia incanescens

Hypericum coris

Lomelosia graminifolia

Moltkia suffruticosa

Orchis pauciflora

Phyteuma scorzonerifolia

Polygala carueliana

Rhamnus glaucophylla

Rhinanthus apuanus

Salix crataegifolia

Santolina leucantha

Saxifraga lingulata

Scabiosa holosericea

Sesleria tenuifolia

Valeriana saxatilis

Veronica aphylla

The Park's Herbarium

The St. Viano cabbage is a plant which is closely related to the common cabbage (Brassica oleracea L.). It is very rare, and distruibuted over an Etruscan-Ligurian-Provenšal area. It can grow up to 2 metre in height, lives on calcareous debris, up to 1200 meters above sea level and blooms in May. It lives in few places in Italy including the Apuan Alps, where it can be found on several limestone slopes and peaks, such as the eastern crags of Mount Roccandagia, near the St. Viano shrine. In the Apuan Alps this species is strongly linked to the tale that tells the story of the Saint who lived here as a hermit, only eating the wild cabbages growing in the rough and rocky mountains where today the shrine dedicated to him stands.



The unique and spontaneous presence of such an important plant in such a hostile environment, probably inspired the popular tale, where the St. Viano cabbage is presented as a true "gift of the Lord," a rare and precious gift, to be used sparingly, like the water, so rare in that kind of soils. Brassica montana had, at least in the past, a significant role in the folk tradition, not only as plant food, but also as a therapeutic and sometimes miraculous cure.




Today, people in Vagli Sopra collect the cabbages - "as a blessing" - at the cave-church of St. Viano, on the feast day of the Saint, on May 22. Thus, in the pastoral village of Campocatino, next to the shrine, you can still see wild cabbage plants that are cultivated here with the only purpose of obtaining a sort of divine protection. The same thing occurs at the marble quarries, infact Viano is also the patron Saint of quarry men.




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