This land between the Versilia and Massa stretches from the top of Monte Carchio to the coast. At 110 meter above the sea, in a valley crossed by the Pannosa River between the Carchio and the Folgorito, we can find a variety of different landscapes with a large fauna. Montignoso is included in the protected area of Apuan Alps Regional Park. About the origin of its name, many experts think that it could be recollected to the tradition of lighting fires on the mountains in order to make some reference signs for sailormen. From this tradition, the latin name of Mons Igneus, a mountain of fire.
Historical - cultural itinerary
On the panoramic road from Montignoso to Strettoia, we arrive on the top of the hill, to the Aghinolfi Castle. This has area is very ancient, inhabited by the Liguri - Apuani, it played a strategic role, in fact in 1945 it was a nazist stronghold on the Gothic Line; the castle was set free by Americans and the partigiani (local group fighting for the freedom of the city) . The renovation works of 1997, financied by the EU, has restored the castle, making it an important centre of historical interest. Among the castles of Lunigiana, it is one of the most ancient and it was an element of the byzantine times, on the border with the Lombard territories.
The role played by the castle, which took its name by the Lombard king Aghinolfo, is very important in the whole history of the town. The fortress was an important control centre and in particular on the main roads (Via Regia, via Aemili o Scauri, via Francigena). Leaving the castle, we get down to Villa Schiff. The Villa is the current seat of the Municipal Authorities and location for many cultural events. Going out from the gate of Villa Schiff Giorgini, we are in the square of the Church of SS.Vito e Modesto. Inside, the trypthic of Michele Ciampanti, showing the Holy Virgin with the Child and St. John the Baptist, St. Vito, St. Modesto and St. Peter(dated about 1482).
A short stop in the beautiful square of the Old Town Hall and we go on crossing the small villages on the hill such as S. Eustachio, an old medieval village known also as Villa di Mezzo. The old church preserves a wooden sculpture by Tino di Camaino representing the Holy Virgin with the Child and an altar piece by Vicenzo Frediani, showing the Holy Virgin with the Child between St. Eustachio, John the Baptist, Mary Magdalene and St. Vito.