Lunigiana is a region that embraces mountains, hills and sea, crossed by major and small rivers. The territory touches Liguria and Tuscany, with some locations in Emilia.
Its inhabitants consider themselves descendants of the historical population that lived on the Apuane Mountains, the “Apui“, and of which the silent Stele statues are silent, mysterious, charming offsprings.
Villages, castles, churches are the witnesses of the manifold and troubled story of Lunigiana over the centuries. The Malaspina Marquis Family ruled here with its feudal power and magnificent fortresses, battling alternatively against Florence, Genua, Lucca for the control over the primary communication route from Rome to France that crosses Lunigiana.
The region can nowaday be devided into Upper and lower Lunigiana, the latter being roughly correspondent to the Val di Magra, the Valley crossed by the Magra river and with a strategically ultimate mouth to the sea.
Pontremoli could be considered the "Capital" of Lunigiana, the possible ancient "Apua" city, founded by the Apui people. The place to be to find the real atmospheres and secrets of the Lunigiana region.
In Fivizzano, at the foot of the Tuscan Emilian Apennines mountains, time seems to stand still at the Medicean time, when the village's main square was designed, although the area was inhabited since prehistoric times.
Prehistoric site, it had its golden age between the fourteenth and eighteenth centuries, when it was the capital of an independent marquisate governed by the most important branch of the Malaspina family of Spino Fiorito, whose marquises were imperial vicars in Italy. This has left deep traces in architecture, art, and local culture.
Sarzana is the main city of Magra Valley, in the lower Lunigiana, derived from the Roman city of Luni, it had its Golden Age in Middle Age and Renaissance, as witnessed by its fortresses and mansions.
Luni is the ancient Roman harbor of the area, used for the trading and shipping of marble in the whole Roman Empire. What used to be a magnificent city was destroyed in the early Middle Age possibly by sand expansion or invasions of northern peoples, today an interesting archeological area can be visited.
La rada della Spezia, con Portovenere e Lerici ai suoi estremi.
One of the towns that gave origin to the lower Lungiana after the Roman city of Luni was destryed.
Mushrooms, Panigacci, Testaroli, Erbazzone, and a lot more to taste, to explore the many traditions about local food.
The Lunigiana region in Middle Age was a net of castles, making communications possible among the regions villages, mostly built and owned by the local feudal Malaspina family.
The Equi Thermal baths and the Giaredo canyons, and on the sea the magnificent Montemarcello Park.
The Via Francigena (formerly Via Francesca or Via Romea) is one of the longest and richest routes in history that is found in Europe, is a real pilgrimage that leads from Canterbury to Rome and was considered one of the most important European communication routes in medieval times.
From the Cisa pass the Via Francigena descends along the side of Tuscany, meeting the land of Lunigiana.
The route of the Via Francigena in Lunigiana is divided into:
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