The Italian Riviera has always been a popular tourist destination, but many miss the less popular, but no less spectacular hidden locations of Sarzana and Luni.
Located at the mouth of the River Magra, and only minutes from the beach, Sarzana and Luni are situated on the border that divides Liguria from Tuscany.
Sarzana is a striking medieval town with a rich historic centre at it’s heart – The Piazza Matteotti is surrounded by beautiful palazzi; home to important citizens of that time. Built by Florentines in the fifteenth century, is the Cittadella Fortress when Genoans seized the town and later used as a prison. Nowadays the Fortress is the perfect backdrop
for the numerous street markets and quaint little shops selling antiquities.
Luni is located only a few miles away. It is the most important Roman settlement in the area. Named by the Romans after the goddess Luna (moon), protector and patron of the city. Luni was a vital port used for the export of Carrara marble needed for the buildings of Rome and remained an important trading centre up until the Middle Ages. Changes to the environment caused it to be abandoned (nowadays, the former Roman port is located more than a mile from its original sea side location). The excavation site proves the former importance: temple remains, the forum, streets, squares, houses and especially the Amphitheater. The Luni National Archaeological Museum houses many artefacts found in digs, including statues, coins, glasses and objects dedicated to the goddess Luna.