Lunigiana extends to the northwestern tip of Tuscany. Land of ancient history and traditions, is crossed by the “Magra” river and its valley. Rich in prairies, moors, pastures and hills, Lunigiana is very varied in terms of vegetation and crops. From the numerous chestnut woods, whose flour is still milled in water mills, the precious olive trees, whose oil was even appreciated by Petrarch.
Lunigiana is also a land of history and art. Named also the “Land of One Hundred Castles” many of these fortifications date back to the Middle Ages. We remember the Castle of Malaspina, in Fosdinovo, the Fortress of Verrucola near Fivizzano, Castiglione del Terziere, and the Castle of Piagnaro and many more.
Finally Lunigiana is a land of hospitality and culinary specialties. The Cake of Herbs, produced with valuable vegetables, or the “ancient” version with only wild herbs. Lasagne Bastarde, obtained by mixing wheat flour with chestnuts, and the Panigacci, an ancient dish cooked in terracotta hollows over the fire of the fireplace.
Fivizzano was born at the footsteps of ancient merchant routes (the one leading to Livorno, the one that turned to the Riviera of Levante and that from the Po Valley). The great Medici square is noteworthy, with the fountain donated by Cosimo III in 1682, the elegant palaces and the seat of the sixteenth “Literary Academy of the Imperfections”.
Also to visit is the “Arlia Mill”. An old three-milled water mill, restored and used today for grinding chestnuts and cereals.
In Fivizzano, every summer is held the “Fivizzano Music World”: a unique encounter of artists of all disciplines and nationalities. As example, 67 Countries present in the 2004 edition with over 3,000 international top artists.
The castle overlooks the landscape of the small hamlet of Fosdinovo. It is one of the most fascinating fortresses in Lunigiana and its architecture and strategic position and for the stories and legends that have been theater over the centuries. Magnificently furnished rooms, towers, slums and cobblestones, secret inner courtyards, windows and slots where you can enjoy breathtaking views from the Alps to the Apennines to the sea, in the distance Corsica, Elba, The Gulf of Poets Up to the French Alps, and then ceramic frescoes, gold coins, weapons and tools of torture. The visit to the castle is definitely a journey through history and mystery to the countless legends surrounding it.
The village of Equi Terme is located in the eastern Lunigiana between the marble mountains of the Apuan Alps Park. Here are the caves of Equi, born from long erosion processes after remarkable karst phenomena. Do not miss the Buca: an ancient natural cave studied since the ‘700, the Caves with their network of tunnels and underground ponds that can be visited since 2004, the Tecchia: a prehistoric tract not yet accessible, and lastly the Solco: a narrow and deep natural canyon at the foot of the Pizzo d’Uccello.
The Cinque Terre are one of the most popular destinations easily reachable from the Garfagnana: Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, Riomaggiore. These quaint villages offer a unique blend of the landscape, traditions, and marine life of this world famous stretch of coastline: 18 Km of rocky shores, colorful houses overhanging the sea, caves, beaches and stunning trails will make your visit unforgettable.
The visit to the marble quarries of Torano, Fantiscritti and Colonnata is unique and unforgettable: along the route of the former marble railway, you can discover the journey of marble, passing through Vara’s bridges and inside tunnels excavated in the rock, blocks of marble were transported downstream by the method of “lizzatura” and arrived at the port of Luni on wagons carried by steers. Do not miss the Fantiscritti quarry museum, which brings to the memory of visitors the hard life of cavers and quarry work. The museum is located in the heart of the Carrara marble quarries, so you can tap into the original material of Michelangelo, in places where he was intent on arriving to model the mountain to make it a great driving light for sailors.