Unlike the majority of villages on the hills of Luni that offer a view that follows the plain onto the sea, the small village of Ameglia dishes out something completely different.
Sure enough, from here the panorama unwinds following the course of the Magra River and then gets lost behind the promontories of Ponzano and Santo Stefano, in a flurry of green hills and sharp peaks.
Ameglia is a fortified village developed on a structure of concentric rings that rise in various levels above and around the original nucleus of the castle, episcopal residence of the Bishops of Luni who already owned the territory in 963.
A maze of paved alleyways, steps and staircases, vaulted streets and small piazzas rise up towards the majestic manor and its round tower. We suggest you get lost in this labyrinth, discover the ancient marble portals, the decorated epigraphs, the romantic courtyards and unexpected architectural gems such as the fifteenth-century San Vincenzo church and its parvis that opens up like a large welcoming terrace onto the valley below.
If you’re looking for an excuse to visit, a special occasion is the traditional and irreverent Omo ar bozo celebration that tops off the carnival festivities with an ancient ritual that apparently dates back to the fifteenth century when the rather pernicious Bravi family of Ameglia inaugurated the tradition of arresting the first passing stranger that happened to walk by the village on Fat Sunday. The victim was asked a donation for the benefit of the local Dance Society and, once the demanded sum had been paid, the poor passerby was then thrown into the cold waters of the ditch – the so-called “bozo” – that conveyed water to the mill wheels.
This tradition was revived during the 70s thanks to a group of young locals and to the artist Walter Sacchini, an expert in Social Art. Because of them, Ameglia can now boast one of the most evocative carnival events in Italy.
Source: Trame di Lunigiana