Continuing our journey in Lunigiana, an area that is identified in the valley of the Magra river, in the village of Groppoli you find the castle, villa and church commissioned by the Brignole Sale of Genoa based on plans by Matteo Vinzoni. Check out Castevoli and its mighty Malaspina village. In Campoli, a steel statue stands guard outside the village oratory. An absolute must is a visit to the church of the Madonna al Monte, with an incomparable view over the Lunigiana and, on really clear days, as far as the sea.
Montereggio, as we mentioned, is a town of book dealers, where about a century ago the locals set off from this town with panniers on their backs to sell books all over Italy, even reaching Spain and France. In the beginning the booksellers of Montereggio were street traders who sold their wares on market stalls known as bancarelle, hence the famous Bancarella Award. Today, Montereggio is becoming a town entirely dedicated to books and publishing.
Last but not least, take a look at the centuries-old Malaspina di Castevoli Castle. Founded in 1000 by the House of Este, in 1195 it passed to the Malaspina counts, who in 1306 played host to Dante Alighieri. In 1416, ownership of the building was transferred to the Republic of Genoa, but returned to the Malaspina in 1465. In 1561, it was transformed into an autonomous estate under the rule of Tommaso Malaspina. In 1797, a revolt ended the rule of the Malaspina and the castle was abandoned for two centuries. In 1990, the painter and sculptor Loris Nelson Ricci, with his Swiss wife Erika H. End, rebuilt the ancient castle on the site of its ruins. After eight years of dedicated restoration, the castle was opened in 1998. Inside you can see sculptures, paintings, designs and architectural projects.