Discovering Lunigiana

Fosdinovo, Sarzana and Luni

Lunigiana is an historic region, situated in between Tuscany and Liguria, a place full of traditions and culture, where our Casale Amati rises. From here there are many places you can visit that are just a few minutes away by car. Luni, for example, is a place you must get to see. It is an ancient Roman city founded in 177 B.C. as an outpost against Ligurian Apuans during a war of conquest of the Italian peninsula. Nowadays one can admire the ancient ruins and help conjure up the past glory of this city, which, year after year, became fundamental for its port from which ships full marble from the Apuan Alps used to be shipped. Visit the once great amphitheatre (one of the biggest in Italy) and the archaeological museum where artefacts which came to light during excavation are safeguarded. Accessing ancient Luni will become simpler in few months time thanks to some important renovation improvements, such as a footpath currently under development to connect highway traffic directly to the city centre.

Directly connected to Luni is the close by city of Sarzana. In 1204 Pope Innocenzo the Second moved the diocese here, sanctioning, in this way, the death of Luni, already having fallen into a long period of decay. Today, Sarzana is a lively small town, where, at the end of summer, many cultural events take place, such as the famous “Festival della Mente” (mind fair) dedicated to creativity, and “Soffitta nella strada” (attic in the street) focused on the world of antiques. The thirteenth-century cathedral with an elegant Gothic-Roman white marble facade dedicated to Saint Maria Assunta is a must visit or the wide Matteotti Square, full of pubs where to enjoy a great coffee, or perhaps contemplate about Dante’s verses as in 1306 he stayed here during his exile.

Fascinating also are the sarzanesi castles: Firmafede Fortification and Sarzanello Castle which overlooks Sarzana. And if you like castles, Fosdinovo is without a doubt another spot you cannot miss. It is a small Medieval village, 500 meters above sea level, with a few thousand residents and with an extraordinary view on the Luni and Magra valley plains below. The impressive squared base Malaspina Castle with its round towers overlooks Fosdinoro and, in addition to offer a breath-taking panorama, is related to evocative and intriguing tales. A guided tour will also give you the possibility to discover the castle dungeons and rooms such as the Sala of Torture and Trap Chamber which still hides traces of the renowned trapdoor from which it is said that the cruel Cristina Pallavicini Machioness used to have her unlucky lovers fall through.

Not to be overlooked are the traditional and tasty local culinary delights. Testaroli, castagnacci and pattone are a timeless culinary classic. great if served with a local Vermentino wine produced in the surrounding hills.

Casale amati



Un prezioso angolo di eleganza.
Abbiamo alloggiato nel Casale per il ponte del 1 maggio, con altre due famiglie, prendendo 2 delle 3 strutture contigue che formano il Casale. Ogni struttura è definita da uno stile proprio e molto curato nei dettagli, lasciando inalterate le suggestioni di quando era la residenza estiva dei proprietari.
Federica, la proprietara, vi conquesterà immediatamente per la sua gentilezza e la passione che trasmette nel racconto sulle origini della struttura. Un perfetto rifugio se il desiderio è quello di vivere autenticamente e senza eccessi, la zona già di per se stessa è meravigliosa.
Grazie di tutto!!

Diego B. Roma, Italia (Marchesa&Macine)



Simply Perfect
A perfect place to stay in with your family and/or friends. From the outside the old olive-oil mill may not look like much but inside you realize that you have stepped into a castle. It is a grand old place with parts of the mill still showing it one of the two great kitchens. There are plenty of rooms to choose from, the upper rooms with AC and down below cool enough for a hot summer. The garden is very pretty, with gold-fish in the dam, plenty of room to relax. The house is situated in the foothills of the mountains, but not far from the sea. There is plenty to do in the area and I cannot enough stress that you need to see this place and realize you will want to come back. The hostess is very pleasant and helpful, a very nice encounter.

Elisabeth Nyköping, Svezia (Marchesa&Macine).



L’endroit où nous sentons chez nous.
Il Casale Amati est devenu notre lieu de référence en Italie que nous fréquentons beaucoup. Son emplacement entre mer et petite montagne, le bon goût de la restauration de cet ancien pressoir ,le calme, les ressources de la région font que nous nous sentons chez nous ! et si l’on ajoute la charmante hospitalité des propriétaires…..nous n’avons pas les mots pour continuer.

Fedrigo Orléans, France (Le Macine)



Une magnifique maison.
Nous avons passé un week end de 4 jours en famille dans cette superbe maison. Nous avons tous été bluffés de la beauté de cet endroit et de la place que nous avions. Les photos sont conformes à la réalisté, c’est tout aussi atypique, original ! Ortonovo est un petit village paisible ou le calme est au rendez-vous. Très agréable pour se reposer après une journée très occupée au 5 terres par exemple ! Proche de la mer en voiture, je conseille à tout le monde de découvrir cet endroit !

Girot Thonon Les Bains, Francia (La Marchesa) 



Very cool place- takes you back in time!
Great place, the grounds alone should make you want to stay here! Federica was a fabulous host! My kids didn’t want to leave. Easy access to Tuscan hill towns or the 5 Terre!



Just Excellent, historical and authentic.
We stayed in this wonderful old olive mill several days together with our family including 3 kids. So we had both flats on the 1st floor which are connected by a door. So it was just one big flat then with 2 bathrooms, two kitchens and 6 bedrooms in total. We used just 5 bedrooms. The whole house is nicely decorated with old furniture/antique furniture in good condition besides modern aspects, especially wifi, TV with obviously every available channel of the world, and for sure a well equipped kitchen including dishwasher. Everything was clean and the whole house and every room is very cosy. We didn’t use the very big garden behind the house due to the bad weather we had in November. But in summer it must just be wonderful to have a BBQ on the terrace. The service is also very good. The owner explained us everything regarding the old house and how the oil was produced. There are many historical parts of the old oil production system still visible. That makes this house and especially the flat “LA Macine” a very particular and authentic place. We got also many recommendations for what we can do and visit around. Thanks for the amazing stay and your support in our situation. Hope we come back one day.

Markus Amburgo, Germania (Marchesa&Macine)



Awesome, unique adventure!
Wonderful host, wonderful unique accommodations! The apartment had all the amenities we need plus some extra and it was so unique and charming. It was fun stepping back in history. We will always treasure our stay here. It was very nicely decorated and the beds were very comfortable. The grounds were also very nice. We highly recommend this rental!

Ruth M. London, Ontario (Le Macine) 



Unforgettable birthday party in La Marchesa!
We were quite a big party with 6 adults who came to celebrate my birthday in La Marchesa. Such a beautiful house with a lot of space! Large bedrooms, kitchen and not least the wonderful barbecue garden. The house has a working Wifi which for us was important. From Ortonovo it is easy and close to reach Cinque Terre, La Specia, Pisa and Via Reggio. One day we went out to Tuscany, eat lunch in the wonderful Vignamaggio (birthday house of Mona Lisa) and spend some hours in Florence. After intense excursions coming back to the quiet place and bird songs in La Marchesa, felt very luxurious. Highly recommended accommodation. We are coming back!

Suzana L.(La Marchesa)