Nestled on the hills behind the town of Villafranca in Lunigiana there is Bagnone, a small fortified village which peculiar cylindrical tower is clearly recognizable from far away. The tower is what remains of the old medieval castle, but the village itself is perfectly preserved and is definitely worth a visit.
The history Bagnone is the typical – maybe even stereotypical – Lunigianese story: the tale of a borderland under the control of the Malaspina family and sought after by the powers of Milano, Parma, Firenze and Genova, all trying to control the underlying Magra Valley. it is the story of battles for property and changes of power that, in the end, resulted in making the local identity even stronger and fiercely independent.
As witnessed by the founding of several Statue Stele and archeological relics in the nearby area of Treschietto, men already lived there during the Stone Age and, if the first document reporting the existence of Bagnone is a 1124 a.C Pope sealed document, the first village settlement is thought to date back to the Sixth Century a.C.
For centuries the hamlet has been under the control of the Malaspina family and caught in the middle of the power struggles between the marquisate and the Signoria of Florence, which took control of it at the end of the 15th Century. After 1796 Bagnone passed under the control of Genova, then Parma and it was only with the Italian unification in 1861 that it regained independence and became part of the Province of Massa Carrara.
Jumping to present days, it is undeniable that Bagnone is one of thmost enthralling villages of Lunigiana: its location, its portici (stone porches), the Tower – token of a Castle that exist no more – the San Nicolò’s Church… all perfectly set like in a fresco made of history, lives and nature.
Source: Trame di Lunigiana