Pontremoli is history, tradition, culture and beauty, all summed up...
The castle of Piagnaro was built at the beginning of...
The word "mystery" has always been associated with Lunigiana for...
A restaurant to taste the real essence of Lunigiana
Find all of the secret of the production of flour...
Bagnone is a charming hilltop fortified village beyond Villafranca in...
Fantiscritti marble basins are one of those examples of human...
In 1987 the quarry man Walter Danesi founded a private...
Colonnata is one of the quarry areas where marble started...
A modern Lunigian cuisine with a wide selection of wines
The picturesque historic centre of Carrara is certainly worth a...
The official foundation of the Academy of Fine Arts of...
Our tour starts in Pontremoli, small town at the far north of Lunigiana that in the Middle Ages was named by Frederick II as “clavis et ianuae Tusciae”, key and gateway to Tuscany.
Water has played a crucial role for centuries in the preservation of Pontremoli, being naturally protected by two rivers, the historic centre has developed along a main street featuring several towers and bridges.
The Piagnaro Castle, commanding the town from a dominant position, takes its name from the piagne – characteristic sandstone slabs used in the Middle Ages to cover the roofs instead of the more inflammable hay or wood.
Walking the numerous ancient bridges and the narrow lanes of the historic centre historically divided between Imoborgo and Sommoborgo, we reach the Castle that houses the Museo delle Statue Stele Lunigianesi. Visiting this evocative exhibition, we will discover the fascinating stone people that today is the undiscussed symbol of Lunigiana.
On the way back to the main square we will stop at an artisan workshop where we can admire the art of chiseling by a skillful stone carver.
Time for lunch at a historic restaurant where we will savour local recipes before continuing our tour following the River Magra that will lead us to a splendid restored 1500’s watermill.
Another significant place that embeds the strong relationship between Lunigiana and water is the enchanted village of Bagnone, named after the crystal torrent that for centuries has been shaping the sandstone cliff on which the historic village was founded. Historically called Gutula, from the Latin guttula meaning small drop, to highlight again the bond between these two elements.
We end our itinerary with a walk between the ancient bridges Ponte Vecchio and Piallastra, area where in the past the ancient watermills used to be and from where you can enjoy splendid views over the village and its castle, immersed in a fairytale atmosphere.
Today we move from the Apennines to the Apuan Coast, where the historic Lunigiana was born in the 2° century BC, when the Romans founded the city of Luni at the mouth of the Magra River at the foot of the Apuan Alps commanding Carrara.
The Romans were indeed the first to start excavating the white gold from these mountains exporting it all over the world to be used for magnificient artworks.
Our marble discovery tour starts at the Fantiscritti quarries, set in a impressive white marble amphitheatre from where you can enjoy outstanding views over the quarry routes and the “ponti di vara”, picturesque bridges over which your gaze can stretch as far as the sea.
Here we will visit the Cava Museo Danesi to learn about the history of marble excavation and transportation.
Next stop is the quaint village of Colonnata, where our palate will be delighted by the mouthwatering local delicacy here produced and aged into big vats made of marble (from Carrara of course).
We finally get to Carrara for a traditional lunch at a local trattoria before continuing our tour with a guided walk through the historic centre. We will admire the gorgeous Piazza Alberica, the St. Andrew’s Church - cathedral made entirely by marble, the house where Michelangelo used to stay when he came to Carrara to choose his marble blocks, as far as the Malaspina Castle that since 1861 houses the Academy of Fine Arts.
We end our tour at an art atelier where you will see how a block of marble is turned into a piece of art.
Meet Emilio, a master stone-carver member of the Association Mani e Menti, committed to enhance ancient traditions including sandstone carving.
And the Moscatelli family, millers who in the ‘80s have brought an ancient water mill back to life launching a short food supply chain project from the production of wheat and flour to the final product, bronze dyed pasta.
Be welcomed by the Danesi family at their Cava Museo, an open-air private collection about the history of marble, founded in 1987 by the quarryman Walter Danesi.
Meet master sculptors at their atelier where we will be shown their instruments and can admire them skillfully chiseling marble blocks.
Explore the Museo delle Statue Stele Lunigianesi, completely refurbished in 2015, housing an extensive collection of stele statues carved by the prehistoric people who inhabited the Lunigiana area 5000 years ago.
Admire a skillful stone carver at his artisan workshop chiseling the sandstone to create small replicas of the stele statues. Under his guidance test yourself in this fascinating art.
Be welcomed by the Moscatelli family at their watermill where we will learn how mill stones work by mean of water power to grind wheat, corn and chestnut flour used to produce bronze dyed pasta, all in this magical place.
Visit the Museum Danesi, a private collection of ancient instruments and pictures, where we will learn about marble excavation techniques and means of transportation from the Roman Age up to today.
Meet skillful sculptors at their ateliers where you can admire replicas of popular art pieces as well as original works made in collaboration with internationally-renowned artists.
Marble is not used solely for art but also in everyday life and food production. Learn how lardo from Colonnata, the savoury local delicacy, is traditionally aged into big marble vats at a typical lard workshop.
Minimum 4 participants
This itinerary is suitable for everybody, also families with kids.
The tourist package includes:
Tourist guide for 2 days;
2 typical lunches;
1 overnight stay in a double room B & B,
Entrance to the Statue Stele Museum;
Visit and activity in the sandstone workshop;
Entrance at the the mill;
Entrance at the Danesi Museum;
Entrance and tasting at the lardery;
Entrance and activity at the marble workshop.
The word "mystery" has always been associated with Lunigiana for the great quantity of myths and legends that since ancient times have been told and passed down from generation to generation. Even the village of Pontremoli obviously has its own and you can discover it at the Museum of "Statue Stele".
Fantiscritti marble basins are one of those examples of human processing of the landscape capable of creating real masterpieces. Located in the heart of the Carrara marble deposits, they welcome the two characteristic nineteenth-century bridges of the Marmifera Railway, making the landscape one of the most evocative in the world.
The official foundation of the Academy of Fine Arts of Carrara dates back to September 26, 1769. It was patroness Maria Teresa Cybo-Malaspina, Duchess of Massa and Princess of Carrara (which at the time was a principality), wife of Ercole Rinaldo d'Este, duke of Modena.
Stretching from the Apennines to the Apuan Coast, Lunigiana stems from water and stone. From the gray limestone shaped by crystal waters to the white marble of Carrara overlooking the sea, we will travel across centuries of history, art, human landscapes and authentic flavors.