Sarzana main information page)
Area 32,95 Sq km
Altitude 22 m. above sea level (ASL)
A12 motorway exit - Sarzana
is the second largest town of La Spezia?s municipality. Its
territory is much variegated, going from Marinella, tourist sea
location at the end of the river Magra, also known for a Roman
archaeological site, to Falcinello, on the top of a hill in
front of Arcola.
a very old town and before year 1000 was known as ?Castrum? (The
Historically, the position of Sarzana has been indeed strategic
as it controlled some important communication lines: the Via
Aurelia, the Via Romea and the roads that led to the north
towards Parma and the Po valley.
itself offers a great
experience. Passing through the urban growth you enter the
lovely historic city center still partly located within the
ancient city walls and delimited by two main doors: Porta
Romana (XVIII century) to the East, historical entrance to
the city, near the massive "Testaforte Tower" and completely
in white marble, and Porta Parma to the west.
these doors we find the magnificent Piazza Matteotti with the
Town Hall, the War Memorial, and some old buildings from
The city is
full of charming squares, narrow streets, cafes, churches and
monuments, as well as craftsman shops, bookshops and, above all,
church in Sarzana is Chiesa Di Sant?Andrea (10th
century), modified in gothic and baroque times. Inside there are
important sculptures from XVI century and fine paintings by
Cattedrale Dell?Assunta (13th century), a
mix of Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque style, offers a lovely
rose window, some fine paintings, a carved marble altarpiece by
Riccomani and a Crucifix by Guglielmo (12th century).
Sarzana's importance and wealth, the Cattedrale has a marble
front with a gothic doorway. In the XVII century, two elements
were added to the sides of the portal, harmoniously integrated
with the original structure.
The wooden ceiling of the cathedral is richly inlaid, while the
walls are decorated with paintings by Fiasella, with sculptures
by Riccomanni and with a terra cotta from the Della Robbia
School. On the left of the altar, the "Cappella del Crocifisso"
(the Crucifix chapel) contains one of the most important
Romanesque paintings in Italy: a Christ by Mastro Guglielmo,
dated 1138. Another chapel hosts a fine reliquary called "Reliquario
del Sacro Sangue" ("Shrine of the Holy Blood"), where tradition
says it contains drops of Christ's blood).
Piazza Mazzini you?ll find lovely Palazzi like Palazzo
Communale (the town hall) from the 15th
century on Piazza Luni, that was built in the XV century and
heavily modified in the following century by the architect
Roderio. In XIX century it was also added the terrace facing
what is now "piazza Luni", and a small balcony overlooking
some importance are "Palazzo Podest?Ricciardi", neat
example of neo-classical style, Palazzo Neri decorated by
wonderful frescoes, "Palazzo Picedi Benettini", in
late-renaissance style, and "Palazzo Magni Griffi",
example of XVIII century classic architecture
Chiesa di San Francesco has some fine sculptures.
that stands dominantly over Sarzana is Cittadella (Firmafede
Fortress) which was built by Lorenzo De? Medici. The
building has a rectangular shape, and is divided in two
symmetrical parts. At the outer end of each of them there are
imposing circular towers that overlook the nearby valley.
of Sarzana, not far from the town, stands the amazing
Fortezza di Sarzanello (XIV century,) also named
after Castruccio Castracani, erected on the hill where the
bishop of Luni used to have his castle. The Fortezza was later
taken by the people from the nearby Genoa and by the French.
Fortezza has a ditch around it, towers and views.
building's main structure is an equilateral triangle with sides
of over 60 meters, reinforced at the vertices by hefty
cylindrical towers. Inside the triangle lies a square building
which is the core of the fortress.
Fortezza complex is divided in two parts: the "rivellino", that
is the outer wall, and the fortress itself. These two parts are
connected by a bridge standing in front of the fortress, which
is in turn linked to the allure through a narrow bridge.
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