Wherever you stay in Lunigiana your holiday villa or apartment will be close
to some of the most wonderful scenery in Italy so scenic drives are one of the
pleasures of the area.
If you want to explore the magnificent hills and ancient villages do be aware
that some of the mountain roads can be very winding and are often quite narrow,
so if you are hiring a car go for the smallest you can manage with. It can also
get very hot in summer, especially down at the coast so air conditioning in
the car will add to your comfort and pleasure.
Here are a few of the drives we have enjoyed or which have been recommended
Licciana Nardi - Fivizzano: In Licciana Nardi turn right onto
the road signed to Fivizzano. Follow the road going straight on at the fork
signposted towards Fivizzano. The road goes high up over the hills crossing
over to the next valley. The road is very winding and passes through magnificent
scenery with the Apennines in the distance. Park in the large car park by the
bus station and walk towards the main street turning down the hill. Piazza Medicea
is halfway down on your right where you can enjoy coffee and cakes or ice cream
or perhaps have lunch at the excellent Il Giardino restaurant (bottom of the
main street on the left, the restaurant is on the first floor). The drive is
approximately half an hour.
Fivizzano - Casola: Leave Fivizzano by turning left out of
the bus station car park towards the traffic lights. Go straight on at the lights
(turning right takes you to Aulla). Simply stay on the winding road until you
get to the junction with the old road to Lucca at Vigneta. Turn right here,
go straight theough Vigneta and down the hill to Casola.
Licciana - Bagnone - Filetto: From Licciana take the road
to Panicale. Pass Panicale and on to Villa di Panicale, Lusana and Gabbiana
(perfect place to stop and sample local dishes at the trattoria and admire spectacular
views towards the Apennines from the terrace). Keep on same road, which eventually
arrives in Bagnone. Bagnone, a truly splendid picturesque town, is set on the
river and a marvelous place to potter around. Take the old lane to the Ponte
Vecchio and view Bagnone from the other side with almost every window trailing
with geraniums. From Bagnone follow the road over the bridge through the old
part of the village and out the other side. Filetto is approximately 5 minutes
drive further on. Filetto is an intriguing village built in a square maze pattern
and has a marvelous house bridge crossing the main road. The drive akes about
Monti - Villafranca: From Monti go straight on and follow
sign to Villafranca. This drive passes the most spectacular rolling countryside
and some perfect picnic places.
Rometta - Sarzana via Fosdinovo: Turn off the main road at
Rometta and go over the railway crossing signed to Fosdinovo. The route is well
signed so just carry on along the main road. There are many places to stop to
admire the views. On reaching Fosdinovo park in the large car park at the entrance
to the village and walk along the road and up the steps immediately to the left
of the castle wall. Walk straight ahead through the old town and yu will arrive
at a terrace with spectacular views over the valley to the sea beyond. On leaving
Fosdinovo simply carry on along the main road in the direction you were going
and you will drop down the hill to Sarzana and the coast. From the Aulella valley
road this is a much nicer and shorter (if slower) way to get to Sarzana than
going through Aulla and down the motorway.
Licciana Nardi - Lagastrello Pass: Simply follow the main
road from Licciana Nardi in the direction of Tavernelle (i.e. going away from
Aulla). The road will take you along the Tavernelle Valley and climb up to the
Passo di Lagastrello. A small detour to Comano is well worth while. There is
a tourist information centre in Comano and we can recommend the Albergo Elisa
Casola - Passo di Carpinelli: The road directly uphill past
Casola passes through Vigneta. At the top of the village bear right towards
Pugliano passing through Montefiore, and on to Metra and the Carpinelli pass.
There are some good hotels and restaurants on this road and some magnificent
views out over the valley below. The views from the terrace of La Civetta pizzeria
at Pugliano are wonderful and the food is more than acceptable.