On January 30th 1805 a snow avalanche suddenly hit Verdeggia: the village was partly destroyed and sixteen people died. However, the locals did not lose hope and rebuilt new homes further down the valley in a safer and more pleasant location.
Dating back to the sixteen century and founded by the same Lanteri family from Briga Marittima that would take charge of the Borelli farmstead in Triora, Verdeggia is an artistic and well preserved village, rich in small water streams. The village has been revived in the last few years thanks mainly to tourism; during the summer months the number of people residing here is even higher than it was a century ago. Historically, Verdeggia belonged to the Republic of Genoa and was always separated from Realdo, not only by the valley with the same name but also by a proud rivalry, despite the common roots and an almost identical language. The two villages made peace only a few years back when the bridge located at the hamlets’ crossroads was named “the bridge of peace”.
Over the centuries the mountains above Verdeggia saw many bloody battles; during the Napoleonic age, French troops clashed with the Piedmontese around Mount Saccarello. In those days the Emperor’ soldiers that were camped in Collardente looted Verdeggia on a regular basis. As soon as smoke lifted from the houses’ chimneys they would rush to the village and raid foods with cakes in particular. However, local women soon smartened up and as soon as they spotted the French, they would hide their cakes on the bargeboard, leaving the invaders bewildered. Until one day one of the soldiers who discovered the trick lifted his sword in anger and cut a woman’s leg open. As a consequence, the village men met up and armed with shotguns entrapped some of the soldiers and hit them badly with wooden sticks then took them to the Barbone Rock and killed them for fear of a retaliation. The dead bodies were later buried in a common grave on a hill below, a place still know today as the “French hill”.