«Anno ab incarnacione Domini millesimo septuaginta VIII quando restaurata fuit ista ecclesia Oto magister me fecit»
(Epigrafe di Otone – 1078)
We know that in 884 the Castle of Comano was donated to the Benedictine monastery of Aulla by the Marquis and Duke of Tuscany Adalbert I. In 1164, Frederick Barbarossa granted the fief to Obizzo Malaspina the Great through an imperial certificate. In 1352, Spinetta Malaspina, who was also called the Great, bequeathed it to his legitimate heirs (1352), namely his nephews Gabriele, Guglielmo and Galeotto Malaspina, his brother Azzolino II’s sons. Later, Comano was included in the marquisate of Fivizzano, before becoming part of the Florentine republic (1478). In 1811, under the Napoleonic Empire, it became again a hamlet of Fivizzano and finally, in 1919, it reached the status of independent municipality.
The fascinating remains of the castle of Comano are a testament to ancient times. However, only the dungeon, the splendid fortified tower with a circular plan, is all that remains of the original structure. The walls were added in the 15th century.
Other relics of great importance are preserved in the sacristy of the Church of S. Maria Assunta in Crespiano. We are referring to the Epigrafe di Otone (1078), which reads: «Anno ab incarnacione Domini millesimo septuaginta VIII quando restaurata fuit ista ecclesia Oto magister me fecit». The inscription refers to Master Otone as the person responsible for the restoration of the parish church, which has therefore much older origins. This is one of the oldest writings of Historical Lunigiana; its great peculiarity is the incorrect punctuation, with the full stops inserted between letters of the same word. This could mean that the stonemason was illiterate or, more likely, that he was copying without having a knowledge of Latin: if the cleric didn’t object to it and nobody else raised any objections, it is because around the year 1000, even in the villages of Lunigiana, the common people only knew the new language (called vernacular), the same one that was celebrated by Dante in his crucial work De vulgari eloquentia, before being eternally glorified in the Divine Comedy.