Famous Tuscan cities such as Lucca, Pisa and Florence are easily accessible for a day trip. There are many close towns and cities also worth visiting, such as Pontremoli (castle, museum of the 'stele' statues), Sarzana (antique market, great restaurants and yummy ice cream), La Spezia (shopping and naval museum), Massa (castle, museums), Carrara (marble quarries and tours), Lerici (port town with beach) and the UNESCO-protected Cinque Terre (5 neighbouring fishing villages clinging to the cliffs of the Med).
In Fivizzano you will find a variety of local restaurants, a supermarket, gelateria, pharmacies, post office and many of your holiday needs. If you're here in June, there's our delicious Sapori (local food festival) and in July, the entire town goes medieval for the Disfida archery tournament.
The historic centre, surrounded by walls, is dominated by Piazza Medicea with its imposing fountain. Many historic buildings overlook the square and the Prepositural Church of Saints Jacopo and Antonio, a Marian sanctuary of the Madonna of Reggio, blessed Virgin of Adoration, since 1946.
It may be surprising to learn but Fivizzano hasn’t played a minor role in Italy’s humanistic culture. This is where Jacopo da Fivizzano opened one of the first print houses in the entire country, where the first typewriter ever built was created and used.
Inside the Palazzo Fantoni, a historic noble residence recovered by the famous Fivizzano-born doctor and writer Loris Jacopo Bononi, is the Museum of Printing, established in honour of Jacopo da Fivizzano.
The Accademia degli Imperfetti played an important role in the cultural history of the town. The institution was founded in the 1500s and operated with enthusiasm until the mid-1800s; they were responsible for building the Teatro degli Imperfetti – inaugurated in 1807 and fitted with 600 seats.
Literature lovers shouldn’t miss a visit to the Augustinian complex, with its library, home to a beautiful collection of works coming from the adjacent church. The hospice is also unmissable and, outside, the bronze monument that celebrates the Fivizzano origins of Nicholas V (the pope responsible for creating the Vatican Library).
The Verrucola fortress is a medieval construction located in Verrucola, a hamlet of Fivizzano (province of Massa and Carrara), in eastern Lunigiana.
The fortress, whose first documented records date back to the early twelfth century, retains all the elements of a medieval castrum with a real system of fortifications that responds to the military and legal organization of a feudal domain. The castle walls include the court, the chapel, and several towers.
Aulla sits pretty on a narrow strip of land where the Magra meets the Aulella, a plot of ground that proved pivotal for the civil and religious life of the Lunigiana immediately after the year 1000. At that time Aulla was already a little town and its importance was linked to its position: the centre was decisive in defending the bridges and streets that led from Lucchesia and Liguria to the Passo della Cisa. This was a central zone in what were years of great fortune for the Via Francigena, both as a pilgrim way and as a trading route.
It's an understandable oversight. Situated minutes to the east of Cinque Terre by train, and sidling up to the exquisite Lerici and Tellaro, this hard-working port town and home to Italy's largest naval base is routinely overlooked. It is also the best start if you're heading to the Cinque Terre, it's really worthy of exploring – the winding streets of the old town are hugely atmospheric and there are plenty of cosy trattorias showcasing the Ligurian kitchen's finest.
Lerici is located in a picturesque cove of the Gulf of Poets south of La Spezia on the Ligurian coast. This small town has been called the Perla del Golfo (the pearl of the gulf), because of its breathtaking beauty. The area around the Gulf of Poets attracted many writers in the early 1800s and the English poet Lord Byron spent part of his life here.