If you’re traveling at night along the highway and you happen to look up towards Caprigliola, it will look like a sullen ghost ship stranded on a hill.
The unique morphology and position of this village makes it one of Lunigiana’s most evocative hotspots. Enveloped in darkness, it’s ethereal presence and shape recall cinematic landmarks such as Fellini’s Rex steamer and Fitzcarraldo’s steamship navigating the Pachitea – but luckily Caprigliola does not share their sad destiny, it has been firmly anchored to its hill for centuries.
Overlooking the Magra river that flows below, it used to protect a strategic position along the well-trodden routes frequented by pilgrims, mercenaries and smugglers directed towards the coast. No one knows the exact year of its foundation but Caprigliola’s presence is documented around the year 1185, when the estate was handed from Federico the First to Pietro, bishop of Luni. Not much is left of the magnificent palace that hosted the summer delegations and offered protection from outside attacks, just the high winding elegance of the cylindrical tower, the “mast” of Caprigliola.
Together with the settlements of Albiano and Stadano, Caprigliola passed under the dominion of Florence in the fifteenth century. In 1556 Cosimo dei Medici reinforced its role as fortified centre by building a strong set of walls around it, so solid that to this day they are well preserved and visible from a great distance. The imposing church of San Nicolò, an ancient episcopal complex, stands in the high part of the old town. The picturesque alleyways are decorated with the Medici family’s coat of arms, majestic portals and marble shrines depicting scenes of devotion. Whoever is crossing this splendid village must follow this piece of advice: stop, change the course of your trip.
Enjoy Caprigliola to its fullest, day & night, walk around its inspiring alleyways and admire the view of Luni’s hills.
Source: Trame di Lunigiana