Santo Stefano Magra
“D’azzurro all’aquila dal volo abbassato con la testa rivoltata al naturale, coronata all’antica d’oro, tenente tra gli artigli i fulmini di Giove, dello stesso. Lo scudo sarà sormontato da corona di Comune” (Descrizione araldica dello stemma)
Santo Stefano di Magra allows us to reach the lush Taverone Valley, the junction with Lunigiana and small mule tracks, dirt roads and trekking paths, that pass through ancient roads dominated by castles and walkways, the magnificent imposing Fortress Brunella, an impressive building that overlooks the town of Aulla.
The bends of the Gulf of Poets and the series of mansions are left behind, until we outline the mountain pass Lagastrello and the Apennine buttresses.
Events and places of interest
We reach the plains of Santo Stefano di Magra, it has features in common with the mountain village and speaks, believe it or not, the most authentic Lunense dialect.
Santo Stefano di Magra descends towards the plain, sheltered by the hills and merges with the neighbouring municipalities of La Spezia, with which it also shares the motorway exit and the railway line. The urban structure of Santo Stefano di Magra can be defined as a place rich in naturalistic beauties and, although it does benefit of the same fame as its neighbours, it preserves perfectly the character of medieval origin in its architecture, especially the narrow paved alleys of the historic centre, as well the rigorous and tireless spirit of its inhabitants.
The parish church dedicated to Santo Stefano Protomartire, is unique with its Genoese Baroque structure, that stands out from the shadows of the alleys full of porticos and slate roofs, it has the typical style of the medieval churches of Lunigiana, and is perhaps one of the most characteristic parish complexes of Val di Magra, for the size of the apse and its imposing structure.
A good thing is that the village is affected by the beneficial influence of the local cuisine, for example the knowledge of how to make the typical panigacci from Podenzana, it seems a shame not to share it; there are intense trades – also thanks to the small agricultural centre of Caprigliola, that once was part of the municipality of Aulla, there are many building material plants, just around the corner in Aulla and Massa Carrara.
The hamlets near Santo Stefano di Magra are Ponzano Magra and Ponzano Superiore, we recommend to visit Pieve di San Michele Arcangelo, inside you can admire an organ by Filippo Tronci dated 1825.
In summer, one of the most important and peculiar events in Santo Stefano di Magra is “Antico mercato sulla Via Francigena”, it recalls the “ handover of the keys ”, in the Middle Ages by Piero de ‘Medici, who ceded the Fortress of Sarzana to the French king Charles VIII; there are actors, flag wavers and jugglers, the whole village is decorated for this special event, the most exciting moment is the historic procession in the streets of the village.
Explore the surroundings
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