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A typical view across the Aulella valley - Scenic Drives - LuniHolidays

Scenic drives

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 to us;

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 thirty minutes.

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 for lunch.

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.

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