Aulla

La Spezia

Town of pilgrims and trade

It was already an important crossing point for the Romans due to its geographical location

The Fortezza Brunella fortress from the 16th century with the museum of natural history of Lunigiana and the surrounding botanical garden.

The birthplace of Napoleon Bonaparte

Aulla’s old town centre

The abbey of San Caprasio in the historical part of town with archeological excavations and the pilgrim museum

Aulla was the 30th stage, Aulla Route, on the pilgrim route Via Francigena - Sarzana was up to 90% a loose-gravel road and one could travel its entire length in six hours; there are markings from Cisa Pass to Sarzana.

In the Middle Ages the town grew due to Via Francigena, the pilgrim route, which the archbishop of Canterbury called "Aguilla". In ancient times this route already lay on the Roman Street of Cento Miglia which ran from the port of Luni to Parma.

In 1522 Giovanni de ‘Medici’, known as Giovanni delle Bande Nere, bought the Aulla estate from Malaspina. He wanted to make a state of his own in the north of Tuscany. He built the fortress of Brunella but resistance from the local population induced him to sell the estate. It was acquired by the Centurione di Genova family and hence became a fortress under the influence of the Genoese.

Intense rains and landslides made River Magra to overflow its banks in 2011 and that destroyed large parts of the town, including the city library and the school.

Aulla indeed lies in Tuscany, but it is only 30 minutes away by car from La Spezia via the A 15 highway. This zone is also known as Lunigiana. The Aulella River flows into River Magra at that point and the valley becomes narrow and is enclosed by the hills, hence Aulla has always been an intersection of important commercial routes. Even today the A15, the SS62 and the SS63 run past this town and one can also access it through two railway lines: Parma-La Spezia and Aulla - Lucca.

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