Fosdinovo, the old gate of Lunigiana
Fosdinovo is a small village in northern Tuscany, 45 miles north of Pisa, 12 miles away from Carrara and marble quarries. It is considered the gate of the old historical region of Lunigiana. Few days ago I was there for a visit at the village and its Castle, built by the ancient feudal Malaspina family during the middle Ages.
Fosdinovo is out of the common itineraries of Tuscany. The landscape is different from the rolling hills of the southern part of Tuscany. We are close to the Appennins and to the Apuan Alps, so hills are steep and during winter time could snow. It is surrounded by nature, close to sea and easy to reach. I really suggest you to visit Fosdinovo and Lunigiana, you will be surprised by its beauty and you won’t regret.
From the top of the hill of Fosdinovo, the 360 degree view is breathtaking. Look down into the Val di Magra and Luni Plains with the Magra river estuary. Or look at the coast of the Ligurian sea with Portovenere. On clear days, you are able to see the sea line with Elba Island and Corsica.
Even the view of the mountains is spectacular. Legend says that these mountains inspired the famous Dante Alighieri while writing The Inferno of the Divine Comedy.
Things to see in Fosdinovo
Walk along the narrow streets of the center and stop in Piazza Garibaldi to admire the beautiful landscape.
Church of San Remigio: probably built in the thirteenth century by order of the Bishops of Luni. Today it has a baroque style with one single nave, a presbytery and a choir. Inside the church you can find also the marble tomb of Galeotto Malaspina.
Church of San Remigio
Oratorio della Compagnia dei Bianchi (Oratory of the Whites Fellowship) built in the sixteenth century on the ruins of the old building, takes the name of an ancient religious congregation. On 1666 Pasquale Malaspina donated the white marble facade to the congregation. It has a Baroque style and contains altars made of polychromatic marble and a wooden statue of the Virgin Mary from the fifteenth century.
Oratorio dei Rossi (Oratory of the Reds) is a Baroque style Christian temple, built on 1605. It takes the name from the red color of the Confraternity clothes.
Oratorio dei Bianchi – Oratory of the Whites
Oratorio dei Rossi – Oratory of the Reds
Malaspina Castle is the most known attraction of the town. Everyday during summer season (excluding Tuesday) is possible to make a guided tour of the castle. Lunigiana counts more than 100 castles, but the one in Fosdinovo is the biggest, fascinating and important. You cannot miss a visit. Read about our visit to the castle clicking here.
The entrance of Malaspina Castle
Audiovisual Museum of the 2nd World War Resistance in memory of the Resistance in the Apuan and Luni areas.
Villa Malaspina (now owned by Zuccarino family) in Caniparola and its beautiful park with Italian gardens.
Ruins of the Castrum of Ponzanello. It was one of the most important settlements controlling the access from the inland to the northern Tyrrhenian coast. The site is abandoned but easy to visit.
Fosdinovo, nature and specialty foods
- Fosdinovo makes also a base for hiking and cycling lovers. There are numerous routes to take and to explore the vegetation of the surroundings.
- The Tuscan stretch of the historic Via Francigena, travelled by thousands of pilgrims over the centuries, begins in Lunigiana and pass through Fosdinovo.
- Among all the local products, of the highest quality and prestige, you find Testaroli, Sgabei, chestnuts flour, the best honey of Italy with PDO certification (Protected Designation Origin), marmalade and jams, Porcini mushrooms and a fine Vermentino wine of the Colli di Luni.
Chestnut woods in winter time
Landscape of Lunigiana in summer time
Did you know that:
- Fosdinovo represents the Tuscan province of Massa Carrara at the Expo 2015 in Milan.
- On 2014 Fosdinovo has been rewarded with the prestigious “Bandiera Arancione“, Orange Flag. This is a reward from Touring Club Italiano for development and quality of its tourism offer.
- Fosdinovo is also considered as one of the best hamlet to live in Italy.
- Every fourth weekend of July, Testaroli-fest takes place in Fosdinovo.
- In July there is also the Medieval Festival. For two days you will experience the atmosphere of the Medieval era with street artists, exhibition in costumes, music and traditional food.