Alas ! -- it's now being discovered; there is very little time left in which to see it in an unadorned state, because the arrival of various kinds of loud tourists will indubitably lead to the building of hideous bars, parking lots, playgrounds et al. If you want to see Italian mountain towns in an almost natural state, go to Lunigiana NOW.
I practised my developing Italian on the wonderful Brunelli family who run La Nuova Jera
, the albergo ristorante
we'd booked into for the few days of our stay; as ever, this practice brought only smiles and praise. They are so nice, the Italians ! -- and they tell such porkies ! ;-)
After our first night's dinner there, we changed our booking to mezzo pensione
for the whole time; Angela Brunelli's cooking was simply too good to miss out on. Nothing else to be said.
From Jera we covered as much of Lunigiana as we had time to do, trying to see all the castles we could. You can judge their attractiveness on the following page, and will understand why we are so drawn to them. We would rather 'do' castles than art, any time -- and we do.
The fact is this : I *must* go back to Lunigiana; penso di avere lasciato in quel luogo il mio cuore
I think I left my heart there.