Villages hidden among the panoramic paths of the Garfagnana, woods and streams of pure water

Much of the vast territory of Minucciano is protected by the Regional Park of the Apuan Alps, where some of the so-called marble basin’s highest peaks stand.

The area’s important stone mining began to expand significantly in the early 1900s, although the quarries had been discovered over two centuries ago. The lack of adequate communication routes to the Minucciano quarries hindered mining expansion for a while, but at the beginning of the last century roads intended for the marble trade were built, significantly stemming the emigration phenomenon from these valleys to the border between Garfagnana and Lunigiana. 

Those who visit the area’s beautiful alpine landscape can follow wonderful excursions along scenic trails through woods crossed by fresh water streams.

What to see in Miucciano

The area’s history began with the historic Ligurian-Apuan populations; numerous archaeological relics of the settlement have been found. The stele statues (menhirs dating back to the Bronze Age, whose copies are on display in an archaeological park near the Hermitage of Minucciano) are particularly interesting. 

A row of hills divides the municipal area into two halves: the Garfagnana area and the Lunigiana. In the center is Minucciano, the capital, perched on a rocky outcrop with its ancient medieval castle. Many popular traditions are still followed in the area, such as the stunning bonfire competition, the Natalecci di Gorfigliano. In the town it’s worth visiting the beautiful complex complete with the Church and Tower of the Castle (mentioned in a Franco-Lombard document of 793 AD ). 

The tower of Minucciano (part of the Castle, partially destroyed during the earthquake of 1837) deserves a mention, as does the Crucifix of Annigoni (located in Gorfigliano’s cemetery in the Pancetti Chapel) the Parish Church of San Lorenzo , the Parish Church of Pugliano, the Church of Castagnola (built in Romanesque style in the twelfth century) and the Sanctuary of the Beata Vergine del Soccorso, with the adjoining Archaeological Park. 

Finally, the Gramolazzo lake is also in the area. It’s artificial and gathers water from the Acqua Bianca stream, and can be reached via trekking routes that start in Piazza al Serchio.


Garfagnana and the Middle Serchio Valley, in the province of Lucca, is a fascinating area made up of chestnut woods, small villages and fairytale scenery. In San Romano in Garfagnana is the majestic Verrucole Fortress, a medieval site that the Gherardinghi family wanted to build – and managed to do so around the 11th-12th century - to defend their area and fend off the Bacciano family from San Romano. 

A few kilometers away is Vagli di Sotto, a truly unique destination. Best known for its large artificial lake, it’s known for its so-called ghost town of Fabbriche di Careggine, submerged in deep waters since the 1950s. For the more adventurous of you there’s the Flight of the Angel, a picturesque leap into the void hooked to a steel cable that allows you to fly over the surface of the lake.


While planning a trip to Minucciano, it’s worth bearing in mind the packed calendar of folkloric events organized in the municipality’s various hamlets. Some of the most memorable take place during the Christmas period, such as the Representation of the Living Nativity and, on Christmas Eve, Natalecci - a competition between the districts to see who lights the biggest fire; there’s also the Canto del Maggio, an epic popular theater sung in the woods and in the town squares, and the beautiful Festa del Grano. The Palio dei Micci, a folkloric race, takes place in the summer on August 15th in the hamlet of Pugliano.

Typical dishes and products

In the Minucciano woods you’ll find all kinds of chestnuts and mushrooms, ranging from the most common such as porcini to the rare “Grifoni”. Typical dishes can be made from the precious sweet chestnut flour produced in the area, forming the fundamentals of the Minuccianese diet. From polenta with pork bones to "ciacci" or "cian", a kind of wrap prepared with traditional instruments called testi and generally eaten with ricotta. The delicacies continue with castagnaccio and a sweet bread called "marocca".