The territory of Fosciandora, a characteristic village of the Garfagnana, streches along the left side of the Mid Serchio Valley in a dominant position and with a spectacular panorama that includes the spectacle of the Apuan Alps. Fosciandora has always been a borderland between the historic regions of the Garfagnana and Lucchesia, and was even more so in the past when over the centuries it was under the domain of various rulers who fought each other for the land, at times dividing it amongst each other until the 19th century. As proof of these events, visitors can admire the fortifications and outposts that were built over time by this or that ruler as a way to defend the hamlets and residential centres.
After rounding the Serchio river, you reach Fosciandora by crossing the Ceserana Bridge and climbing steep streets surrounded by terraces. In the hamlets of Fosciandora, Lupinaria and Treppignana, sections of the centuries-old city walls can still be made out, while on the left bank of the river you'll see the Rocca di Ceserana which stands out. Its walls were built from river stone, and its crossed by a walkway for patrols, and is closed by two towers that guard the entrance to the village and the hills overlooking the town. The castle-church is enriched by an elegant apse and wooden statues of Sant’Andrea and San Giacomo, sculpted in the fourteenth century. This fortification was of great importance as a refuge during war.
The Garfagnana and Mid Serchio Valley is characterized by a perfect combination of history and nature. Just over 10 kilometers away from Fosciandora is the delightful medieval village of Barga, awarded with the Orange Flag by the Touring Club for its numerous cultural sites and well-kept historic center. Don't miss a visit to the Cathedral, which can be reached via a stone staircase: the panoramic view will repay the effort!
Other gems of the area include Castelnuovo di Garfagnana and Pieve Fosciana. Castelnuovo was the home of the famous poet Ludovico Ariosto who was the governor. Its symbol is the Rocca Ariostesca, whose trapezoidal mass dominates the main square. The symbol of Pieve a Fosciana, on the other hand, is the Parish Church of San Giovanni Battista. Inside this beautiful Romanesque structure built around the 11th century, you can admire important works including the Annunciation by Andrea della Robbia, some paintings by Pietro Paolini from Lucca and Antonio Consetti from Modena, and a sixteenth-century sacristy. Other monuments that are worth a visit are the Church of San Magno, the Tower of Sillico and the historic water mill that is still working and which has belonged to the Regoli family for five generations.
As in the rest of Garfagnana, in Fosciandora you can taste typical dishes based on spelt from Garfagnana IGP, an ancient cereal that was the base of the diet of the Roman populations, and DOP neccio flour, two local high quality products used for sweet and savoury preparations such as soups, cakes or salads.