The small Vergemoli territory is nestled between several mountains including Monte della Pania della Croce, Monte Forato, the Pania Secca and Gallicano. The waters from the Serchio River maintained a large number of ferries, mills and shipyards until 1900, and continue to be used as an energy source today. The waters collect in the artificial Lake Trombacco, formed by a dam in Panicata which puts the electric center in Gallicano in use.
Underground, the area is rich in magical grottos and caves—a true paradise for speleologists. Vergemoli, whose name comes from “Vallis Gemins” due to its position between two valleys. Like many other centers in the Garfagnana, it belonged for many years to the Lucchesi feudal lords before passing to the d'Este family who gave it a castle and beautiful Romanesque church. The church was restored in 1683. The entire town is levelled on a platform where one can admire the beautiful peaks of the Pania and Appennines. The streets of the center are flanked by imposing 16th century palaces, whose ancient doors and window fixtures are now used as garden ornaments.
Cover image credit: Comune di Vergemoli