Proceeding northwards along the via Aurelia, one encounters the road leading off last towards Luni, the ancient chief town of the Lunigiana. Notwithstanding its many fascinating aspects, the latter is one of the least known and visited parts of Italy.
The Lunigiana runs roughly from Pontremoli to Aulla stretching along the course of the Magra river. It is an area possessing its own distinctive customs and traditions derived from the fact that it is a kind of melting pot in which Aemilian, Tuscan, and Genoese cultures have met and blended. Its war-ridden history has given it a whole series of well fortified settlements strenuously defended throughout the many visits paid over the centuries by foreign invaders.