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Events and historical recalling in Lunigiana

The most suggestive summer events related to the Middle Ages and the Renaissance

by  Lunigiana

The Lunigiana has always been a historic land of passage crossed by the Magra River, which saw the growth of a large number of villages and fortified castles in the Middle Ages.

This fascinating historical period saw the Malaspina, the main feudal lords of Lunigiana from the 12th-13th centuries until the French Revolution.

It was at this stage that the famous division of the territory into two large blocks took place: the Spino Secco branch, on the right bank of the river Magra, and the Spino Fiorito branch on the left bank. This split was to be followed by many others, leading to the development of several feudal lordships, very often fighting each other over border issues, which helped the development of imposing castles and fortified villages.

The events of these centuries, deeply rooted in Lunigiana tradition, are revived every year during the summer, giving rise to thematic events and historical re-enactments that tell of the Middle Age and Renaissance in Lunigiana.

  • 1.
    Early summer events and re-enactments
  • 2.
    Land and Court Archers' Challenge| July 7-9, 2023
  • 3.
    Renaissance Filetto| August 11-15, 2023
  • 4.
    The Old Trades in the Village in Ponticello | August 12-15, 2023
  • 5.
    Medievalis | August 17-20, 2023

Early summer events and re-enactments

Three Nights in the Past
Three Nights in the Past - Credit: Tre Sere Nel Passato

The season opens with "C'era una volta Albiano" (Once upon a time in Albiano) (June 23-25, 2023), in Aulla, with three evenings of shows and entertainment to relive the foundation of the village of Albiano back in 1266.
At the beginning of July, we discover the "Medieval Festival" (July 1-2, 2023) in the village of Fosdinovo and "Anno Domini 1100" (July 1-2, 2023) in the village of Regnano, in Casola, whose title evokes the reading of the will of Guiterno da Regnano who, in the year 1066, donated all his goods to the bishop of Luni.
In mid-July, take the opportunity to visit the village of Villafranca in Lunigiana. where "Zùp'r e l' Borgo" will be held (July 15-16, 2023) to take a trip back to the Villafranca of the past amidst jesters, swords and crafts.
At the beginning of August, it is time for "Tre Sere nel Passato" (Three Nights in the Past) (August 4-6, 2023), when the Malaspina village of Gragnola, at the foot of the Castello dell'Aquila, in Fivizzano, will be dressed up for the festival, offering workshops with dozens of craftsmen, flag-wavers and performances by historical groups.

Land and Court Archers' Challenge| July 7-9, 2023

Archers' Challenge
Archers' Challenge - Credit: Disfida of the Archers

Discover the village of Fivizzano with the historical re-enactment of an ancient battle dating back to 1572 that combines folklore and tradition: the Archers' Challenge of Terra, Guardia, Fittadisio, Verrucola and Montechiaro, who will compete for the 2023 palio. Five archers from each team will duel with extreme precision to hit targets 30 metres away with arrows shot from traditional wooden bows!

Three days during which the village returns to the times of the Renaissance with many unmissable performances: flag-wavers, musicians and ladies of the Gruppo Storico di Fivizzano (Fivizzano Historical Group), jugglers, fire-eaters and a craft market as well as food stands with local products.

Renaissance Filetto| August 11-15, 2023

Renaissance Filetto
Renaissance Filetto - Credit: Lunigiana World

In the historic village of Filetto, still encircled by its ancient Renaissance walls, artists and re-enactors from all over Italy give life to a programme of educational activities and performances centred on daily life in the late Middle Ages and the Lunigiana Renaissance.

Five days during which the sacred will unite with the profane, just like at the beginning of the Renaissance: fantastic creatures, travelling musicians, dancers, fire shows and much more!

The Old Trades in the Village in Ponticello | August 12-15, 2023

Trades in the Village in Ponticello
Trades in the Village in Ponticello - Credit: Lunigiana World

Every year in mid-August, the village of Ponticello, in Filattiera, comes alive again to give life to a festival recalling country life and rural work to relive firsthand the trades and activities of the ancient rural communities of Lunigiana: from blacksmiths to stonemasons, from plate-topper to carpenters, shoe shiners, straw makers, farriers...

And of course numerous musical performances and many culinary and gastronomic stands where it will be possible to taste typical Lunigiana products!

Medievalis | August 17-20, 2023

Medievalis - Credit: Compagnia del Piagnaro

The historical event that closes the summer season in Lunigiana is now in its 17th edition and has its heart in the historical re-enactment of the granting of the diploma of Free Commune to the Community of Pontremoli, which took place in 1226 by Emperor Frederick II, who defined the village as the "clavis et ianua" (key and gate) of communications between Lombardy and Tuscany.

To commemorate all this, for four days Pontremoli returns to its medieval guise: cars will be banned from the historic center to make way for wayfarers, merchants, carriages and knights. There will be many figurants representing the medieval social classes, and there will also be many events typical of the period, with all the vices and virtues of medieval mankind: duels, falconer exhibitions, dinners based on dishes with forgotten flavors, flag-wavers, medieval dances and choreographies.

Not to be missed is the "Challenge of Cortina di Cazzaguerra": a daily tournament where the three historical factions (Sommoborgo, Immoborgo and Contado) will challenging each other in different specialities to win the highly desired Palio!

For further information, consult the website

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