Visitors may be forgiven for thinking that the enchanting regions of Chianti, Sienna and Florence are all Tuscany has to offer, but Lunigiana is an area rich in history and tradition.
Set in magnificent mountains and chestnut woods, it’s a truly unspoiled and peaceful corner of Tuscany, yet situated only a few minutes’ drive away from the amenities and traditional shops of the historic town of Licciana Nardi and the quaint village restaurants and walks in the foothills of the Apennine mountains. The famous Cinque Terre and the seaside resorts of Lerici and Porto Venere are all also within easy reach.
The most northern tip borders the colourful Gulf of the Poets. The seaside charm of the Versilia coast is within a short drive, as are the impressive cities of Lucca and Pisa, rich with Italian architecture and culture.
Airports: Pisa is the closest, just an hour’s drive, while Genova and Parma are roughly 1.5 hours. Aulla train station is 20 minutes drive away. We strongly recommend car hire is arranged from your arrival airport prior to arriving.
Lunigiana is linked by train from nearby Aulla and so offers easy accessibility to many of the centres of both Tuscany and Liguria.
The Gulf of the Poets is a collection of delightful villages around the Gulf of La Spezia. Its moniker derives from a tradition of being beloved by great writers, artists and filmmakers, including Shelley and Byron. It’s a beautiful region, popular with seafood lovers for its fresh, locally caught fish.
The unspoiled coastal town of Lerici with its imposing castle and romantic seaside piazza is the perfect place to dine – try the famed I Pescatori seafood restaurant for a fixed-price, menu-free feast of locally sourced fish of the day.
Take a hillside train from La Spezia or Aulla to the five towns that form the stunning Cinque Terre, a UNESCO world heritage site and area of astonishing natural beauty, with traditional architecture, a reputation for fine wine and sunsets that must be seen to be believed.
− 70 minutes from Licciana, is the marvellous fortified town of Lucca where you can hire bicycles and cycle the town’s entire perimeter wall.
− A similar distance away is the medieval city of Pisa, complete with its famous tower and gorgeous squares.
− See the monumental marble mines at Carrara, featured in the James Bond film, ‘Quantum of Solace’, and the source of most of the world’s marble, favoured by the great Renaissance sculptors.
− Walk the mountain paths of the Apennine National Park and gaze at the shimmering Mediterranean coast miles below.
For many years the staple food of Lunigiana was the flour made from the local chestnuts. Now it is better known for the simple, but first class restaurants hidden in numerous hillside villages.
Set in the nearby village of Pontebosio this agriturismo has an outdoor play area for children, delicious home cooking with their own wine and has a great reputation.
Located in Pontebosio and set in another of Lunigiana’s wonderful old castles, Boccondivino has a reputation as grand as its location.
The mountain road from Licciana towards Comano leads to Ristoranti Galetti. For over half a century, this famous restaurant has been home to the hearty flavours of traditional home-cooked cuisine.
Known as ‘La Torre’, this restaurant sits 660m above sea level, as part of a an incredible restoration of an abandoned ancient tower. Expect fine dining in the traditional style, delicious local wines and cheeses and exceptional game dishes.
Hidden down a track in the village of Cattognano this agriturismo serves traditional Lunigiana dishes with a twist from the young chef Federico. Outdoor dining in the summer months.