The River Taverone Valley: We suggest you visit the historic centres of Taponecco, Tavernelle, Varano, Bastia, Panicale, Licciana Nardi and Terrarossa, with their beautiful old buildings, churches, castles and atmosphere.
North Lunigiana from Bagnone to Pontremoli: The route starts from the town of Bagnone, a short drive of less than 10 minutes from Montagna Verde, and passes along the scenic road Sp22b which goes up past Tavernelle. Within a few kilometres you can visit historical old towns of striking beauty with interesting medieval castles, such as Malgrate and Piagnaro di Pontremoli (with its Statue Stele museum). There is also the mediaeval square of Filetto, the parish church of Sorano, Filattiera, and the charming villages of Ponticello and Pontremoli.
East Lunigiana: Here we must mention Fivizzano, with its Medici Square, the “little Florence” of Lunigiana, “a pearl lost in the mountains” as the poet Carducci once described it. In its beautiful old town you will discover its Museum of Printing and the Augustinian monastery.
Continuing towards the Cerreto Pass, you come across the village and castle of Verrucola. A bit further along the road to Codiponte and another imposing castle comes into view, the Castle of Aquila, Gragnola, which can be visited upon request, and which perches on the hilltop, framed by the peaks of the Apuan Alps behind it.
Once you reach the SS 63, continue for a few kilometres, and turn towards Fosdinovo between Soliera and Rometta. You will see a charming village, a beautiful sight, alongside the imposing walls of the Malaspina Castle.
The Right Bank of the River Magra and the Valley Floor: For those who love nature Zeri, north of Pontremoli, reserves some unmissable opportunities, such as the spectacular gorge called the “Stretti (Straits) di Giaredo”. These are deep and impressive canyons which have been carved out of the rocks by running water over millennia. It is recommended to use an experienced guide for this visit, such as the association Farfalle in Cammino who organize regular trips to the Stretti di Giaredo during the summer season.
Continuing down the valley towards Aulla, you enter the Comune of Mulazzo which is a small town perched on a hill, but also encompasses two famous ‘book villages’, Parana and Montereggio, with long traditions and connections with editors and book sellers.
The route can be completed with a flourish between the hills of Podenzana, in the valley, a few kilometres from the Parma-La Spezia motorway at Aulla. Here you can taste the famous and original “Panigacci”, of which Podenzana is the undisputed capital. The “Panigaccio” is a food of ancient origins, which owes its uniqueness to the cooking method in “testelli” ie earthenware pans heated over high heat and then stacked one on top of the other to cook. This creates something unique from a simple batter made of water, flour and salt.
Aulla is noted for its “Brunella Fortress”, which is a splendid example of military architecture from the first half of the sixteenth century. It overlooks the whole town and is visible from the motorway. Since 1977 it has housed the “Museum of Natural History of Lunigiana”. In the old town of Aulla there is also the Abbey of San Caprasio, one of the most significant landmarks in historical Lunigiana, on the Via Francigena.