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
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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. Here, it is possible to travel throughout thousands of years. Starting from the fascinating mysterious sandstone sculptures carved by the local prehistoric peoples, through the medieval historic centre embraced by the two rivers Magra and Verde, until 1700’s churches and private mansions boasting gorgeous baroque frescoes.
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. The mill works by mean of a small stream that comes directly from the River Magra and actions the sandstone mill stones. Wheat, corn and chestnut flours are ground following the tradition and used to produce bronze dyed pasta at the pasta laboratory annexed to the mill.
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 word 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.
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.
Explore the Museum of "Statue Stele Lunigianesi", completely refurbished in 2015, housing an extensive collection of stele statues carved by the prehistoric people who inhabited the Lunigianaarea 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.
Minimum 4 participants
This itinerary is suitable for everybody, also families with kids.
The Touristic Package Includes:
FD qualified tourist guide;
entrance to the Statues Stele Museum and Castle;
visit and activities at Sandstone workshop;
visit to the Watermill.
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".
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.