Hazelnut cultivation is present somewhat throughout the Ligurian arc, concentrating mainly on large areas in the Fontanabuona valley, lower Sturla valley and lower Graveglia valley, where it occurs in the characteristic 'banded' arrangement, on terraces of different ages and structure.
In the area of Mezzanego (Cà Matta, Vignolo) and Borzonasca (Molinarso - Caregli) there are 'living relics' of these historical crops.
An important phase of the corilicultural landscape was established from the 15th century onwards (at least the first documents - notarial deeds - in which there is a trace of the hazelnut as a crop date back to this period), which evolved in continuity until the mid-1970s when, at the peak of production expansion, a series of factors led to the collapse of the trade and the consequent partial abandonment of cultivation.
In the 17th century 'Caratate', the hazelnut is found in association with vines, chestnuts, olives, figs and other tree crops, but more often as a specialised monoculture. Starting in the mid-1800s, under the impetus of the Società Economica of Chiavari and the good earnings that the hazelnut trade allowed, many olive groves, vineyards and chestnut groves were converted to hazelnut production.
The Bulletins of the Società Economica di Chiavari show that until the mid-1800s, cultivation was destined for the local market for the packaging of 'reste', characteristic necklaces sold at fairs and village festivals, but much of the production was destined for export, particularly to England and America

(photo of the hamlet ©Parco dell’Aveto)