A series of passages, and in particular a scenic walkway that from above the highway leads to the archaeological area, to take a journey through time: from our days in a few steps to the glories of Luni Antica
The area of ancient Luni is an important archaeological park, witness of the glories of the city that was the port of the Romans for the transport of the marble of the quarries towards the whole Empire. Portus Lunae was a very rich city, beautiful and also poetic in the name of “Port of the Moon”, some say because of the shape that the bay on which the city stood had to have, but more probably because Luna was the Roman colony, founded in 177 BC , at the mouth of the Magra river as an outpost in the campaign against the Apuan Ligurians.
Of it, little has remained in the post-imperial era, due to an earthquake and the subsequent advancement of the marshes in the area.
From today, however, the walkway on the A12 motorway lights up a spotlight on one side of the archaeological area undergoing restoration and including the beautiful amphitheater datable around the year 2 AD and the recently completed “Luni Experience” multimedia passage.
Of the greatness of Luni there are many witnesses, Dante mentions the city
to make Cacciaguida say of the tragic destiny reserved even to the most grand cities:
they went to ruin (Sinigaglia follows,
and Chiusi, too, will soon have vanished); then,
if you should hear of families undone,
you will find nothing strange or difficult
in that—since even cities meet their end.
All things that you possess, possess their death,
just as you do; but in some things that last
long, death can hide from you whose lives are short.
It is said that Luni was destroyed by a terrible earthquake, and by the swamping that affected the area in the late imperial period.
However, there are also numerous legends about the end of the beautiful city, and probably the most famous is that belonging to the northern epic that spread in the fifth century, at the time of the Sack of Rome led by Alaric King of the Goths, who is in fact its protagonist
Lucio, prince of Luni, was hopelessly in love with Alaric’s wife, and was reciprocated by the young woman, who however was forced into a life of confinement by her very jealous husband. The princess then decided to pretend to have contracted a serious contagious illness in agreement with the doctor, who spread the word of the imminent death of the young woman. Alaric, very much in love with the empress, after having celebrated the most sumptuous funeral ever seen, set off again for his broken kingdom due to the loss.
The Princess and Lucio lived happily for some years one of the arms of the other in the beautiful city of Luni. But one day Alaric learned of the deception and in the grip of anger, he gathered his most powerful army and razed the city to the ground.