Here we present a few slideshow galleries of the lesser known places in Italy. Each presentation includes visiting and weather information, just in case you're interested in wandering around these places.
Fosdinovo is a Lunigiana hill town with a castle you can visit (although it's privately owned). The area around was the setting for Eric Newby's "Love and War in the Apennines."
Each year in summer many villages of the Lunigiana hold medieval festivals. You can taste foods from recipes with roots in the medieval, or see how things were done with the home-made tools as they would have used hundreds of years ago. The medieval festival of Fosdinovo is one of my favorites.
This slideshow features pictures of medieval knights, peasants, and jesters, as well as views of the interesting walled hill town of Fosdinovo.
Pontremoli is one of my favorite Lunigiana villages. A walk up the hill brings you to Castello del Piagnaro, or Piagnaro Castle, the home of the Stele Statue Museum with a decent collection of the statues like you see to the left, and how they have changed in artistic form over the years.
The Stele statues, unique to the Lunigiana, date from the copper age to Roman times, and you can see the stylistic changes over time by following along in the museum. They are probably meant, like the statues of Easter Island, to be stuck in the earth, as they are comprised of only a body and head, although many of the heads have been broken off, either in antiquity or due to hasty excavation.
A neighbor of mine in the Lunigiana found one of these in his fields. The pictures of it turn up in many publications, because there was writing on it.
You can find other stele statues in the La Spezia's Civic Museum in the Castle of San Giorgio.
The pictures in these slide shows were taken with a Canon 20D and the Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM Lens.
The lens is, in my opinion, nothing short of spectacular. In summer of 2007, it never came off the camera. It took pictures in a dark, unlit apse of a church in Aulla hand-held at 1/6 of a second that were tack sharp; the image stabilization is that good.
I have recently lightened the load and I'm taking pictures with the Sony Nex-7 with 10-18mm and 18-105mm lenses. The two lenses together are perfect for travel photography and cover a continuous range from very wide to moderate telephoto. The Alpha a6000 is a newer version of the mirrorless camera line, but doesn't contain the electronic viewfinder.