Top off your Lunigiana itinerary with a dip into Fosdinovo, widely considered the “gateway to the Lunigiana” and a winning stop for wine lovers. By car, it’s about 45 minutes from Podenzana.
At the top of your must-taste list: a crisp glass of Colli di Luni Vermentino D.O.C. white wine, paired with a fish-based soup or a snackable fried seafood mix. With a straw-yellow hue and an intense, fruity aroma, this dry and vaguely almond-tasting wine is a crowd-pleaser, having earned its D.O.C. designation in 1990. The “Colli di Luni” production area includes Fosdinovo, Aulla and Podenzana in the province of Massa-Carrara, as well as an additional 14 towns in the Ligurian portion of Lunigiana.
Though the Vermentino is perhaps the most famous regional wine, there are numerous others from further around the Lunigiana, including reds and rose’, to suit your palate. The IGT Val di Magra production area stretches from Pontremoli through Aulla and even Zeri.
Follow this with a sweets fix: chestnut fritters fixed up with ricotta are a local favorite. If you’re in the mood for a market wander, keep your eyes peeled for apples—mele rotelle della Lunigiana, to be precise—especially if it’s autumn. These “spinwheel apples”, primarily green with some red striping, are harvested in the second half of October and have a long shelf life, making them perfect to pack up and take home with you. The honey of Lunigiana was the first in Italy to obtain DOP (Denominazione di Origine Protetta – Protected Designation of Origin) status from the European Union, and currently it is the only DOP honey in Tuscany. In Lunigiana, woodlands of acacia and chestnut trees cover the hillsides providing abundant nectar for bees.