Pontremoli is the most northern town of Tuscany, and can be considered as the Capital of Lunigiana.

It lays on the Magra River, which runs through the historical region, along the Via Francigena, the route that connected Rome to France, and close to the mountain passes that allowed trading from northern Italy to the sea. It had therefore a strategical position, disputed throughout history among the feudal families of the Middle Age and the Renaissance times. The castle of Pontremoli, known as the Piagnaro Castle (from the piagne – local name for shingles – used to make its roof), is a very imposing building, the reference point for wars and trade taking place in the area.

An interesting name, talking about a bridge Regarding the origin of its interesting name, it could possibly be from the Latin “pontem (or pons) (populus) tremula”, – due to the presence of an ancient bridge, today lost, on the Magra river, probably built in Populus tremula wood (Aspen wood), which already appears in the very first emblems of the town. Another hypothesis is that the adjective “tremula” (trembling) is due to the precariousness of the bridge, subject to the numerous floods that have always affected the area.
Relax between Tuscany and Liguria

Relax between Tuscany and Liguria

April 25, 2017 Tips & Activities

Most Booked Experiences

in Lunigiana

Cinque Terre villages in 6 Points


Via dell'Amore

The Via dell’Amore, connecting Riomaggiore to Manarola, is closed  but there are many alternative romantic routes.


Trek from one village to the other

Trekking the paths connecting the villages with each other is the best way to enjoy the  breathtaking views and understand the area.


The Sea Trail

You can swim from Vernazza to Monterosso on the Sea Trail, a stretch protected from the boats to swim carefree in the open sea.


Avoid the Crowd

Manarola, Vernazza and Riomaggiore can be crowded from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Visit at other times or at night to escape the crowds.


A National Natural Park

The five villages are part of a National Park, with rules to respect on land and in the sea.


More to see

The Cinque Terre Villages are not the only ones worth a visit in the Cinque Terre Park: explore beyond the kingdom’s borders.

Useful Advices

How to travel from one village to the other

  • By car, the roads to reach Cinque Terre are mostly narrow. There aren’t many places to park and it can be a good idea to reach the villages by other means.
  • By train, every village in the Cinque Terre has a train station. Check the Cinque Terre Card, with benefits also for those who love trekking.
  • By ferry, you can reach Cinque Terre during the summer. To get to Cinque Terre, please visit our ferry schedule. There are numerous marinas for private pleasure boating.
  • We recommend e-assisted bikes to ride the CInque Terre routes: view our bike guided tours.
A bike on the Cinque Terre train
The best advice to visit the Cinque Terre area is to pick one of the five villages to get off the train or boat and travel to one or more others, according to the time that you have available. In high season, the visit can be spoiled by the presence of too many visitors, while the most important thing in the Cinque Terre is in fact to get the opportunity to enjoy the relaxed atmosphere, hike the nice paths in the silence of nature, discover the enchanting sea view, rather than run from one village to the other. At La Spezia railway station and in all villages you can pick one or two of the stations and buy a single ticket to get there (about 7,50€ return ticket to reach the furthest village). If you prefer to visit the whole area you can get a Cinque Terre Park ticket. Make sure to buy the “Cinque terre Train Card” and not just the basic Cinque Terre Card, which only allows you to walk on the paths of the Cinque Terre Park and not to hop on and off the train.

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The legendary Apua?

It has been suggested that Pontremoli is in fact the legendary Apua, capital of the Ligurian Apuani, the Apuan civilisation that after centuries of resistance, were defeated by the Romans in the 2nd century BC. The Apuani were deported to Sannio in Latium because with their prolongued guerrilla war, they prevented the occupation of the surrounding territory by the Legions.

Some Apuis, however, managed to retreat towards the mountains, remaining hidden in the thick woods and in the inaccessible valleys. The remains of ancient Apua would have been recognized near the Belvedere district of Saliceto, along the course of the Magra river, about 3 kilometers from today’s Pontremoli.

In addition to giving its name to the Ligurian tribes, Apua gave its name to the nearby so-told Apuan Alps, which, of course only resemble the Alps. They are higher than the mountains of the upper Tuscan sub-Apennines, located further south.

A beautiful architecture

The village of Pontremoli features many important architectural features, that reflect the important dominations throughout history – lords were often able to invest their fortune in luxury mansions.

Pontremoli was also an important religious centre, part of the Luni bishopric, a reference point for the Church in northern Italy.

The Campanone or Cacciaguerra tower, located between Piazza del Duomo and Piazza della Repubblica, is the bell tower symbol of the town. Built in the fourteenth century by the will of Castruccio Castracani as part of a fortified system that divided the city into two parts, it was adapted for use in the sixteenth century.


An ancient, charming city, maybe the legendary Apua, capital of Pre-Roman Lunigiana.



One of the towns that gave origin to the lower Lunigiana after the Roman city of Luni was destroyed.


A noble, fine city, boasting history, art and home to international cultural events.


The Roman city of Luni, ancient port for the transport of marble from the nearby Carrara quarries.

Pontremoli Highlights

The Cathedral

Visit the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Popolo, built in the 17th century with valuable sculptures and paintings. The dome of the cathedral dominates the profile of the town.

The Cathedral of Santa Maria del Popolo

The Amor

Try the Amor, the small delicious wafer-like pastry designed and offered by the historical Café degli Svizzeri, in the very centre of the town: a relaxing and tasty moment with literary reminescence.

The Amor, a delicious wafer-like pastry

The Museum of the Stele Statues

Visita il Museo delle Stele delle Statue, uno dei patrimoni più antichi e misteriosi di questa terra, remote testimonianze scolpite nella pietra risalenti al III secolo a.C., sculture stilizzate di personaggi maschili e femminili con alcuni elementi caratteristici del loro armamento o dei loro gioielli.

A Stele statue

The Stretti di Giaredo

Explore the Stretti di Giaredo, a few miles from the town, impressive canyons dug by the impetuous waters of the Gordana stream in thousands of years.

A canyon in the Stretti di Giaredo