The ancestors of these beans reached Liguria in the 17th century from Spain, and found ideal conditions in the Nervia, Oneglia and Argentina valleys, where they were grown on dry-stone terraces. Natural selection produced three different varieties, cultivated around three small towns: Badalucco, Conio and Pigna. Conio beans are large and kidney-shaped, while the other two are oval and slightly smaller, especially the Pigna variety. The best-suited land is the highest, where the soil is loose and well drained and the calcareous and mineral-rich water comes from springs.
The pods are harvested from mid-September until mid-October and dried beans are available year-round.