If you know Podenzana, it’s probably thanks to its panigacci, a typical kind of unleavened bread cooked in terracotta presses: a tradition that this village boasts and preserves as its own. If you don’t know Podenzana – not even its panigacci – we recommend that you visit in August, during the most celebrated festival dedicated to this local specialty. Like Zeri, Podenzana is a scattered village, made up of several populated areas that dot the road towards the Gaggio Sanctuary, where documents have registered a miraculous Marian conversion of a blaspheming woodsman.
Whether you come to Podenzana for gastronomic or religious reasons, take advantage of this occasion to stop at Podenzana Castle. An imposing building, it was entirely rebuilt in the 1950s after suffering serious artillery damage during the War of the Spanish Succession, at the beginning of the 1700s.
The structure dates back to before 1000: traces of it have been found in a document from 884, the year the abbey in Aulla was founded. The Bishops of Luni and the Malaspina family fought over the castle in the 12th Century. The Malaspinas conquered it during the 13th Century, but had to suffer continual occupations by families from Genoa before they could make it the center of an independent feud. Its layout from the 1500s, still visible today, is in fact due to Malaspina domination.
Today the castle is private, and unfortunately it is closed to the public, unless you have the opportunity to visit for a wedding.
Source: Trame di Lunigiana