Our neighbor’s admission that he had found one of the Lunigiana’s famous stele statues in his field led us to Pontremoli’s Castello del Piagnaro and the Museum of Statue-Menhirs to check things out. There it was, number 48, one of the finest examples of the later Iron age stele found in the Lunigiana.
It is notable for the inscription on the chest, a lot of which has been rendered unreadable by the excavator.
It’s hard to say how long Pontremoli has been around but it’s old; mention of it first appears in the itinerary of pilgrim Segerico of Canterbury, where it is referred to as “Puntremel.” Pontremoli is on the Via Francigena.
In any case, one should wonder around this fascinating museum inside a castle in the historic territory of La Lunigiana. The views of Pontremoli are quite spectacular.
When my neighbor Alcide isn’t working his land in Bigliolo, a village noted for its almost perfect cranberry beans, he might be found at home, cooking up a storm and teaching us the traditional ways of cooking beans, as in Pasta Fagioli.
But perhaps you aren’t in the least interested in castles, ancient artifacts, or traditional foods of this small bit of Tuscany. You can always go to the paint and gun store. That should keep you busy sprucing the place up while keeping the tax man away.