This is one of the small villages in the Lucca district that I have not been to as yet…
I don’t know about you but I am egaer as to get there…
Luckily Joanna @ love Bagni di Lucca has written a wonderful post about delightful village:)
Montefegatesi is the highest village in Bagni di Lucca, situated over 840 metres above sea level.
Looking at Montefegatesi when you approach it, the village seems to be clinging to the top of the mountain top.
It’s name comes from two things the mountain (Monte) and the colour of the clay present in most of the land around it which is purple liver coloured (fegato), and the village rises from the Fegana.
The combination of the three was what contributed to the name of this village, Montefegatesi.
The village is a close knit community, unchanged for generations, it welcomes visitors and tourists to explore its streets and learn about its culture.
To get to the village you can either go by bus (contact the tourist information office for bus times) or you can drive there.
From the tourist office in La Villa, it takes approx. 20 minutes to get there, yet the drive is really worth it.
Montefegatesi is simply breathtaking.
This is just one of the many amazing views that can be seen from the village. The views everywhere you look are simply stunning
We would recommend taking the road of La Controneria, from the tourist information office follow the sign posts for Montefegatesi,
you pass the villages of Guzzano, Gombereto, Longoio and San Gemingnano all are worth a quick visit en route to Montefegatesi.
The other route by car takes you to from the tourist information office to Ponte a Serraglio,
driving through Granaiola, Pieve di Monte di Villa, Monte di Villa and going towards the church of Sant’Anna before arriving in Montefegatesi.
The History of Montefegatesi
The name first appeared in a parchment in the archiepiscopal files in the year 983.
Montefegatesi was of vital strategic importance as a sentry post of the republic as it borders with Modena.
In 1449 it was given the concession by the Republic to separate from the Val di Lima.
This allowed the inhabitants certain privileges such as no taxes to be paid and concessions to the administration of justice.
Because of the geographic position of the village it was an indisputable outpost for the eventual war against the Dukedom of Modena and the Grand Duke of Tuscany. In 1539 it became part of the Val di Lima, but kept its previous privileges.
The parish church was built in the 13th century, it was restored and extended in 1771 and is dedicated to San Frediano Vescovo.
The musical organ inside it can be seen and dates to 1798.
Under the lodge inside the church you will also find a gallery of archaeological findings from the area.
In summer it is also filled with locals, enjoying the evening sun
Outside the church you will see an old tree, half dead now, yet kept because of one thing by the locals.
The fact that this was the place where 3 members of the village were executed by the Germans in the second world war.
One was hung from the tree and the other two shot to death at the side of the communal drinking trough (which can be seen to the right of the church).
These executions took place in front of the whole village, they were all made to watch.
This was done to set an example and to send a message, to those who were helping and sympathising with the partisans, who were fighting against the Germans in Italy.
Every year the villagers hang the photos of those executed, from these areas with messages and the colours of Italy are hung around the places they died.
Montefegatesi was renowned for its freethinking movement, this was as a result of the many families brought to the village by the emigrants.
The founder of this movement became well-known only on the day of his funeral when his coffin was brought to the cemetery draped with a white flag of the “Association of the Freethinker”.
Montefegatesi has also dedicated a monument to Dante Alighieri on top of the village.
It is well sign posted and well worth a walk up to it although the street leading to it is quite steep.
It was built-in 1908, from the statue the 360 degree views are fantastic.
The monument to Dante Alighieri was erected in 1908 by funds collected by the emigrants of Montefegatesi living in America.
The bust is the work of F. Petroni a the sculptor from Lucca.
It is rumoured that Dante stayed here while in exile and drew his inspiration for his world-famous Divine comedy from his stay here.
When standing at the base of the beautiful statue of Dante admire the surrounding mountain ranges including those of Monte Rondinaio, the Tre Potenze (the other side of this is the ski resort of Val di Luce), IL Mosca, Prato Fiorito and IL Coronato.
Alternatively, you can make use of the picnic benches around the small garden at its base, to enjoy a picnic with one hell of view!!
Another characteristic of the village is that a lot of the old people had a fair knowledge of classic literature from Omero,Virgilio, Dante and Ariosto.
From these readings through generations they have names their children after the people from this literature.
So don’t be surprised if you hear people called by the name of Anchise, Aiace, Creso and Egeo.
As you walk around the village, you will also see many monuments celebrating others such as the soldier Garibaldi, who was one of the founders of the nation of Italy and Vittorio Emanuele a former king of Italy.
Now a days the village is still full of quaint Tuscan charm and is a lovely place visit.
As parking inside can be difficult we would advise using the parking bays outside the village and walking the 2 minute walk into the centre
Once inside you have the choice of 2 lovely walks. Both are marked really well and both end up when you started, in the village piazza.
Here you will also find a lovely local bar, whose owner originates from Montefegatesi and lived in New York for many years before returning to his home land.
You will also find here a couple of shops, a trattoria and a Tuscan village life that has remained unchanged for generations.
Visit their Facebook page to see more pictures and to find out more. http://www.facebook.com/pages/Montefegatesi-Official-Page/348518021744
Once again, as always….Many Thanks to Joanna @ Love Bagni di Lucca.
If you are not loving Bagni Di Lucca, you better check out her site!!