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you are here: Home Tuscany Massa Carrara and Lunigiana Pontremoli

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Pontremoli

Description

Pontremoli lies along the Magra river, in the Northermost part of Tuscany, near the Tuscan-Emilian Appennines. It was mentioned for the first time in Sigeric's travel diary, Archbishop of Canterbury, who went to Rome along the Via Francigena in 990-994.
Between the XI and XIV centuries Pontremoli had to defend itself against the expansionist aims of the cities of Parma and Piacenza, thus parting with one of them or the other one or even with the close town of Luni. Since the XIV century numerous lordships, like the Scaligeri's, the Visconti's and the Sforza's ones, alternated to the power of Pontremoli up to 1341, when the Dukedom of Milan got the control of the village and kept it for the three following centuries. Then it entered the domains of the Tuscan Grand Dukemon.
The Piagnaro castle is set in the upper part of the town and today hosts the "Cesare Augusto Ambrosi" Museum of stele statues, anthropomorphic sculptures that represent the most important artefacts of prehistoric times for Lunigiana, and are part of the wider phenomenon of European megalitic statues.
The Cathedral of San Geminiano, realised in the XVII century, was designed by A. Capra from Cremona, has a Latin-cross plan, with a central nave and an "airy" dome. The interior, decorated with rich stuccoes, is lit by a spectacular "Ligurian style" lighting system and contains numerous lateral altars and confessionals made of polychromatic marble.
The Church of San Giorgio, in splendid Romanesque stye with a beautiful apse, is dated back to the XI century.
The Capannone (XIV century) is the symbol of the town. Originally it was the central tower of the Cazzaguerra wall, built by Castruccio Castracani degli Antelminelli in 1322 to divide the large square in two in order to keep the two rival factions, the Guelphs and the Ghibellines, separate. In 1578 the tower was transformed into a belltower.
We also suggest to visit the XIII century Church and Convent of San Francesco (today the Parish church of Santi Giovanni and Colombano) and the Sanctuary of the Santissima Annunziata.

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