Lignana – A Medieval Village – Only the stones remain…

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An abandoned village in Pescia, Pistoia

Here I take a walk up to Lignana to check out its remains. 

The river Pescia flows through the foothills of the Apennine mountains in northern Tuscany. Today ten medieval hilltop villages remain in the Pesciatina valley rising like islands out of its dense chestnut forest. In the Middle Ages there was an eleventh.

Sitting high into the mountain, Lignana was in a strategic position to offer its rulers a place in which they watched and controlled the whole valley. The castle was destroyed in a raid by Pisa in 1362 after which the Florentines decided to permanently break down the village in 1364 being tired of continuous attacks. The inhabitants moved to nearby villages of Sorana, Castelvecchio and Lanciole. Lignana‘s stones are still to be found lying strewn deep within the forest.

Sorana built an extension to its village to house the influx of inhabitants which is known as ‘Paradiso’, as the women who came from Lignana to live there were beautiful.

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I'm a English photographer and mother living in a quaint medieval village in the hills of Tuscany, Italy. Almost every day I find myself lost in the stunning landscape and architecture of these ancient settlements. I try and portray this beauty through my images, in hope of transporting those browsing to a more peaceful and tranquil place.

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6 Responses

  1. Anne Bidez
    | Reply

    I remember driving through the mountains and seeing remnants of buildings, villages (?) and wondering, wondering………were they destroyed by bombings of WWll. Now I have more informatioin to wonder about. Thank you so much. I live in Savannah, GA and have only stayed in Baccana (west of Crispiana) twice but will never forget nor stop telling people of that mystical village.

    • TuscanyVillages
      | Reply

      Thanks for stopping by Anne. Yes, so many villages, houses were destroyed during the WW2, and remnants can often be seen. Also, past wars have certainly attributed. The village of Lignana has to stay like it is, the comune wont allow for it to be re-built.

      I was in a village house the other day and the owner said that his parents had to remove the original wooden stairs because the Germans in the 1940’s had occupied it and had inscribed graffiti into it. I wonder what that was like for his family:-0

      • Anne Bidez
        | Reply

        I cannot imagine what it was like for anyone during any of the wars. The last time I was in Casa D’Alloro in Baccana, I read a book by a man who was a British solider during WWII, was captured in Italy, escaped and was helped by the local people, eventually marrying a lovely lady he met while there. I can’t remember the name of the book at present but it is well worth looking up and reading.

        Thank you for responding.

        Anne

        • TuscanyVillages
          | Reply

          Hey Anne, many thanks for the information. I will try and find it. There are so many beautiful and inspiring stories that ought to be told… It was tough times. In most villages I see at least one village home, still dilapidated from the war.

  2. TuscanyVillages
    | Reply

    Hey Lisa,
    Thanks!
    Its a pretty good tourist hike in the area and one can see many hikers gather themselves in the village of Sorana before they head for their walk upwards.
    There’s something quite peaceful about Lignana, although in medieval times, it saw its fair share of destruction. Hopefully their beautiful spirits still live on up there, amongst the dense forest. The church has recently been restored, sadly that’s about it. One can get a real sense of when the village started as they stumble on the old stones lying on the ground that was once homes to the villagers.

  3. Lisa | Renovating Italy
    | Reply

    Hi Susan, I think perhaps these beautiful women remain at Lignana in spirit, and you connect with this so beautifully. It looks as if they just packed up and moved recently. The Church is especially hauntingl, and it seems natural that the stones can be found strewn through the forest. I wonder what the thoughts are of those whose heritage is from Lignana. ciao lisa

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