The fine piazza of Bettola, the social and commercial heart of the town, is named after Christopher Columbus as it is claimed that he was born here, in the Pearl of the Nure Valley.
Although it is impossible to establish beyond doubt where Christopher Columbus was born (though Genoa is the most likely hypothesis) it is almost certain that his family was from Bettola, or, to be more precise, from Pradello, a place on the left bank of the valley.
The Columbus family possessed quite a lot of land here which, thanks to its high iron content, was and is known as "terre rosse" or red earth. It seems that Christopher, along with his brother Bartolomeo, added to his signature the words "de terra rubra" to identify the provenance of his family.
Probably the Columbus family moved from Pradello to Genoa, there being close commercial relations between Bettola and this city, to escape from the continual sackings by the Visconti militia in the middle of the 15th century.
Today there is a mediaeval tower in Pradello that has always been known as the Columbus Tower, the "Torre dei Colombo” and it now contains a small museum of memories of the Columbus family.