Liguria - Places to Visit - Ameglia
Population: 4391 Surface km : 14 - Height: 89
This ancient village of the Ligurians became the court of the bishops of Luni in mediaeval times. The ancient "Castrum de Amelia" is now the town hall. The internal courtyard has recently been restored and is used as a space for theatre performances in summer.
The parish church of San Vincenzo dates back to the fifteenth century. The traditional local festivals, such as the "L'Omo ar bozo" and the "Natale alla Fada" festivals, are of very ancient origin and famous throughout Europe.
Shipping services are the pride of Bocca di Magra, an ancient port of Ameglia and a summer residential resort in Roman times: the Magra estuary offers plenty of room for leisure craft to moor.
The monastery of Santa Croce del Corvo was founded in 1176 and Dante Alighieri once stayed there. In the remaining part of the presbytery (today part of the nineteenth-century "castle") you can see the "crow's crucifix", said to have arrived here by boat with the relics of Christ's blood.
Montemarcello lies at the top of the Caprione promontory and takes its name from the Roman consul Claudius Marcellus, who strenuously fought off a Ligurian attack in 155 B.C. Since 1985, it has been at the centre of a regional park: cluster pines and deciduous trees dominate the part looking onto the Magra, while the coastal side is populated with holm oaks and Mediterranean maquis.
The beaches along the coast are easily reached by boat. You can come by boat to Punta Corvo and Punta Bianca from Fiumaretta and Bocca di Magra.
The beach at Fiumaretta, on the left hand side of the Magra estuary, once stood opposite the Port of Luni. The fine sandy beaches are different from those on the nearby Versilia coastline: sea and river come together, pine trees alternate with cane brakes and the water is less salty.
In summer you can find bathing establishments, open-air cinemas, five-a-side football pitches, tennis and beach volley. The local cuisine offers some excellent fresh fish dishes as well as traditional Ligurian and Lunigian specialities: apart from "mes-ciua", pesto and herb pies you can also try local delicacies such as "moscardini" with spelt and stuffed mussels.