La Spezia

This is a town with two fortresses

Visitors to the Magra River will find medieval streets and antique markets

Gastronomical delicacies from the region, which are always based on the Ligurian and Lunigianesi cuisine, include for instance Ravioli, "Tagiarin", Testaroli, Scarpazza (vegetable cake), Zucchini alberello di Sarzana, Spungata (cake from puff pastry with fruit and jam) and some white wines like the Vermentino.

Fortezza Castruccio Castracani - built among others by Matteo Civitali

At the center is the Firmafede - also a fortress called Citadella

The Santa Maria Assunta Cathedral from 1474 with its Gothic portal made of white marble

Apart from a few churches, Sarzana also offers many Palazzi, such as the Neri Palazzo or the Magni-Griffi Palazzo. Not far from there is the Villa Ollandini, which used to belong to the Genoese family known as Ollandini. An impressive park is still one of the loveliest properties even today.

The old Piazza Calcandola (called Piazza Matteotti today) is definitely the heart of the historical town center of Sarzana.

Antique market, "Soffitta Nella Strada": takes place in the streets of the old town centre during summer

Festival della Mente: from end of August/beginning of September in the Firmafede castle

First European festival dedicated to creativity: brings together important Italian and foreign personalities who are leading representatives from the fields of art, literature, science and also showbiz;

International meeting of Acoustic Guitar Players: concerts and shows in the Firmafede fortress in May.

"Premio Spiros Arghiris": - Award for the upcoming generation of opera singers in the whole world, takes place in June.

"Books for the Road": with sales stands for books, while the most famous Italian and foreign literary artists present and debate their works.

National Antique show: takes place in the Firmafede fortress and is the home of the best Italian antique dealers. It takes place in August.

"Trespassing": music festival in July

“Open Art”: an exhibition of improvised, spontaneous art in July

Due to its location, the town is an important hub for the regions of Liguria, Tuscany and Emilia-Romagna. It was always agriculturally, commercially and strategically very important in the Middle Ages, and the diocesan headquarters and the courts of law were located here.

The name Sarzana first appears in a diploma of Emperor Otto I. dating back to 963. At that time this was probably a little closely knit village, set up for purposes of controlling the streets along the bottom of the valley. The fortress of Sarzanello now stands at that place.

Based on archeological findings, most especially of some stone statues, which is a popular art form in Lunigiana, one can conclude that there were already settlements in this place during the Neolithic Age.

Sarzana has been part of the province of La Spezia since 1923, and that is where the banking headquarters, the diocesan head office and the courts of law were moved to in 1929. The name is probably derived from "Sergiana", the Roman feminine word for Sergius, which is the military name of the castle dating from the conquest of the plains of Luni.

Sarzana is 15 km to the west of La Spezia, on the River Magra, and you can get there via the A12 highway or the SS1 Via Aurelia, and through the SS62 when coming from the direction of Cisa. The medieval streets which connect the town with the neighboring towns still exist.  The SP 22 "Via Alta" runs uphill to Fosdinovo, and from there you will have a panoramic view over the Magra valley. The SP21 leads to Marinella.

Sarzana lies on the railway line from Pisa via La Spezia to Genoa.

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