What to see in Lunigiana
Pontremoli - Museo delle Stele Lunigianesi
Among the most important centers of Lunigiana, Pontremoli is one of the richest areas of history. Walking through alleys and streets, you will encounter numerous historical buildings built between the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries that retain the beautiful noble structures. There are also numerous churches, including that of San Nicolò (St. Nicholas) built in 1126. On top of the village, the Piagnaro Castle dominates the landscape, built around the year 1000 destroyed and restored several times until the last eighteenth-century plant. The castle is home to the museum of the Statue Stele Lunigianesi, recently reorganized with a new tour route that picks up the story and the fascination that lurks around the famous lapidee representations, symbol of the territory.
- Address: Castello del Piagnaro, Pontremoli (MS)
- Phone: (+39) 0187 831439
- Website: http://www.statuestele.org
- Opening hours: October to April : 09:00 to 12:30 / 14:30 to 17:30. May to September: 09:00 to 12:30 / 15:00 to 18:00.
- Price: 4 euro. Full ticket €4 , reduced to under 16s, over 65s and groups of at least 10: €2.
- Notes: On the evening of January 31st or 17th in Pontremoli you can watch the great bonfires on the shore of the river Magra, which perpetuate the traditional challenge of the highest pyre among the parishes of San Nicolò and of San Geminiano. Fascinating show.
Gragnola - Castello dell’Aquila
Once arrived in Gragnola village, a steep climb that can be traveled on foot or by shuttle-bus service, leads to the castle of Aquila. The structure impresses with its grandeur and majesty with which it dominates, from the top, the valleys below and the landscape of the Apuan Alps. Around the central weaponry square overlook a number of buildings of the castle and the small church inside. The structures are surrounded by a ring of crenellated walls with ramparts and lunette. The entire complex was recovered in recent years from the state of ruin; during archaeological excavations carried out simultaneously in the work of restoration, was revealed the burial of a fourteenth-century knight blanketing of extra charm and mystery this place.
- Address: Gragnola, Fivizzano (MS)
- Phone: (+39) 0585 99157
- Website: http://www.castellodellaquila.it
- Opening hours: Open by appointment: please call (+39) 335 6628357.
- Notes: Upon booking, you can stay overnight in the castle.
Fosdinovo - Castello Malaspina
Among the best preserved of Lunigiana, the Malaspina castle rises imposingly on the ridge where it has also being developed the village, overlooking the valley down to the coast in a surreal atmosphere, especially in foggy days. Steeped in legends and fantastic stories, was built in the twelfth century by the noble family of the Bianchi of Erberia and it became a dominion of the Malaspina of the branch Fiorito at the end of 1300. A series of expansions and renovations succeeded one another until seventeenth century. Inside you can visit the ducal rooms, the secret rooms, the places of torture, and the room where according to the tradition stayed Dante. In July, the castle and the village are animated for the traditional medieval feast.
- Address: Via Papiriana 2, Fosdinovo (MS)
- Phone: (+39) 0187 680013
- Website: http://www.castellodifosdinovo.it/
- Opening hours: from 1st May to 30th, 11:00 to 12:00 - 15:30 to 16:30 - 17:30 to 18:30, from 1st October to 30th April 11:00 to 12:00 - 15: 00 - 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Upon reservation evening visits. Closed on Tuesdays.
- Price: 6 euro. Full ticket €6, reduced €4 children.
- Notes: The castle is accessible by guided tour only (min. 6 people).
Sorano - Pieve di Santo Stefano
Definitely worth a visit is the church of Sorano. Masterpiece of the first Romanesque, the church was built on the route of the Via Francigena, and is among the most important in the province of Massa Carrara. The bare facade is enriched by a simple three-lobed rosette and draws the three naves plant without transept of the Interior. The whole structure is made of hewn river cobbles, a special technique that finds its greatest charm in the beauty of the three apses lightened by mullioned windows framed by thin pilasters and blind arches. The church was built in the eleventh century on an area already settled in Roman times, and saw its heyday in the fourteenth, abandoned in 1700 has been recently renovated and equipped with an adjoining educational center on archeology. From the excavations in the church area come the stone statues called Sorano I and V.
- Address: Sorano, Filattiera (MS)
In the heart of Lunigiana, Sarzana maintains the charm of the old town within the city walls and four towers of the sixteenth century. Two fortifications characterize the landscape of the city: the oldest fortress of Sarzanello, already mentioned in a document of the tenth century, which passed repeatedly by the dominion of Lucca to the Genoese and Florentine undergoing a series of renovations and expansions until the building of the nineteenth century of two central towers and gunboat wanted by the French; the Firmafede fortress, built by the Pisans in the mid-thirteenth century, consists of two overlapping rectangles with seven massive cylindrical towers. Both forts are visitable and are often venue for events, among the most famous there is the National Antiques Show (in August) and the Festival of the Mind (in September). The alleys of Sarzana, full of shops and craft shops, are perfect for those who love the taste a bit retro and wants to browse unhurriedly between old and new objects.
- Phone: (+39) 0187 622080
- Website: http://www.comunesarzana.gov.it/
- Opening hours: Sarzanello castle: in summer: Saturday and holidays 15:30 / 19:00 with guided tours at 16:00 and 17:30. In August: from Tuesday to Friday 15:30 / 18:00 . In winter: Saturdays and holidays 14:00 / 17:30, guided tours at 14:30 and 16:00.
The municipality of Mulazzo extends from the valley, along the northernmost section of the river Magra, up to the Apennines. The village was originally the site of a Ligurian castle area and later of a medieval castle of which remains the massive hexagonal stone tower called Torre di Dante (Tower of Dante). Headquarters of the study center Malaspiniani, here you can see the arches of the aqueduct made built by the Malaspina and the homonyms buildings that were the residence of the Marquis in the sixteenth century and were the scene of the disputes between the branches of the family "del Castello" and "del Palazzo". There are many small villages in the municipality of Mulazzo, including Montereggio, on the border between the valley of the Magra and the valley of the Vara, the walled village of Castevoli dating to the eleventh century and that of Lusuolo with early Middle Ages origins. is also recommended to make a pass to the "Chiesaccia" of Fornoli, Romanesque church flanked by what was once a hospital for pilgrims along the Via Francigena, and the Benedictine sanctuary of the Madonna del Monte, built in the woods in the twelfth century.
Stazioni sciistiche: Cerreto Laghi e Zum Zeri
The Apennine portion of Lunigiana is also famous for its ski resorts, bordering the Emilia Romagna area. For the more experienced, are popular the area of Cerreto, on the homonymous passage, inside the National Park of the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines and that of Zum Zeri - Passage Due Santi, at 1600 m above sea level, both offering 25 km of slopes. For beginners and children we recommend the small ski resort of Pratospilla, passed the pass of Lagastrello and Schia, passed the municipality of Comano, with 9 km of slopes.