Fivizzano: All you need to know
If you wish to visit the Museum you can book at the Tourist Centre. On the left is Palazzo Benedetti-Chigi. At the end of the Borgo on the right is the Misericordia (volunteer workers) once a hostel for pilgrims and travellers built by Spinetta Malaspina il Grande. After Misericordia is the Piazza Labindo dedicated to Giovanni Fantoni, a poet and an important civil figure whose image looks down on you from above. Around the Borgo are the entrances to ancient “botteghe” one of which has its original stone counter. Now you enter the Piazza Vittorio Emanuele with its wonderful Medicean Fountain donated by Cosimo III in 1683. It was the Commercial Centre of Fivizzano. All around lived the families of nobility in their Palazzos, the families of Coiari, Cargiolli and many others. Also in the Piazza is the 14th Century Church of SS. Antonio with its small Parish Museum. If you wish to visit this Museum you can book at the Tourist Centre. From the Church you can see Palazzo Coiari in Piazza del Marzocco. A symbol of Florentine domination. Beyond is the ancient House of the Marchesi then Palazzo dei Priori and the Court House, today the Town Hall. In the Town Hall are the coats of arms of prior nobility. In front of the Town Hall and on the side of the rebuilt St. Giovanni is the Convent of St. Giovanni Battista founded at the end of the 14th Century. With wonderful frescoed cloisters and the Friars garden. Finally you reach the Chiesetta delle Carceri (Little Church of the Prisons). This church dates from the 18th Century. Then you arrive at the end of the route at Porta di Sotto.
The Castle Verrucola - Fivivizzano
The magnificently fortified hill the Verrucola, situated between the Mommio stream and the Collegnago canal, dominates the route leading from the Magra River Valley to the mountain passes of the western Lunigiana and the planes of Parma and Reggio Emilia beyond. As far back as 1044 there are records referring to the existence of this caminata domini Bosonis, the fortified residence in which, prior to the ascendancy of the Malaspina, the noble Bosi family had established the seat of their dominion. Vestiges of the original structures remain unmistakable in the arrangement of the imposing central Keep, built in the manner of the classic tower houses of the High Middle Age, as well as in several southeastern sections of the encircling wall. In the mid 14th century, with the advent of the seigniory of the Marquis Spinetta Malaspina, the castle took on the dimensions and appearance visible today: the support towers of the central donjon (or Keep) were built, and the perimeter walls completed. The collapse of the domination of Spinetta, the disastrous earthquake of 1481 and the progressive assertion of the political and mercantile power of Fivizzano, a city within the Florentine sphere of influence,all combined to determine the gradual decline of Verrucola. The ancient fortress eventually lost all strategic importance; one sing of which was the use of its south-western wall as a supporting structure for construction of the Church of Santa Margherita, with its graceful and harmonious renaissance arcade. Today the castle belongs to the sculptor Pietro Cascella, whose atelier has become a site of prime interest to travellers.