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All the charm and nuances of a thousand-year-old land, borderline but with infinite nature

An extreme territory in northern Tuscany, Lunigiana (Lunensis Ager - Area of Luni) is a land that has remained authentic in time, rich in history and mystery, crossed by the Magra River and streams that wind through ancient villages and chestnut groves.

It stretches among the valleys at the foot of the Apennines and the Apuan Alps, within the UNESCO MAB Reserve, and many are the naturalistic beauties that are hidden: from Lunigiana Bike Area to the Straits of Giaredo, to the Caves of Equi Terme and the snow-capped peaks of Zum Zeri.

Its strategic location has always made it a land of passage and natural corridor between the mountains and the sea. Even today it is crossed by important historical Routes, such as the Via Francigena, of which Sigeric Archbishop of Canterbury in the 10th century identified no less than three stages, the Via del Volto Santo (Way of the Holy Face) and the Via degli Abati (Way of the Abbots).

Among the most mysterious symbols of the past we encounter the Stele Statues, anthropomorphic sculptures carved in sandstone by the people who inhabited Lunigiana more than 3,000 years ago, brought to light since the early 1900s and now preserved in an impressive dedicated Museum.

But it is perhaps the Middle Ages that is the most fascinating and tangible period in this land. From 802, for six long centuries, the Malaspina Family dominated the entire Magra Valley, building imposing castles that can still be visited today! A true thousand-year history, also told in the small museums spread throughout the territory.

On a trip to Lunigiana, the excellent typical dishes handed down over centuries of generations are worth a taste. From the three Slow Food Presidia, such as Testarolo, Lamb of Zeri and Marocca of Casola, to PDO Honey and PDO Chestnut Flour, to Panigacci and Herb Cake, in addition to fine wines and liquors.

These gastronomic specialties are the stars of festivals and renowned events, such as Sapor Fivizzano, Premio Bancarel’Vino and TourDay. But there are also numerous cultural events and historical re-enactments of considerable appeal: the Bancarella Prize and the Book Festival in Montereggio, Medievalis and the Disfida degli Arcieri di Terra e di Corte (The Challenge of Archers of Land and Court), not forgetting the famous Disfida dei Falò (Challenge of Bonfires) and Pontremoli Barocca.

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