Museums and Castles

The Museo delle Statue Stele Lunigianesi is located in the Piagnaro Castle in Pontremoli. The Stele Statues, male and female human figures represented in abstract forms, were carved in sandstone by people who lived between the 4th and 1st millennium BC and still represent a partly unsolved enigma. These prehistoric and protohistoric images are characterised by the "carabiniere hat" head and the U-shaped face, classified by archaeologists into three typological groups (A, B, C); they were made between the Copper and Iron Ages and have crossed the centuries to reach us, undergoing voluntary concealment, reuse and reutilization over time, which have often modified their form and function. Today the Statue Stele are to all intents and purposes the identity symbol of Lunigiana, the valley of the river Magra along which all the finds are distributed. The Stele Statue Museum is the most representative in Italy in terms of the number of specimens collected and the documentation on the sites where they were found, the raw material used and the working techniques.


The Piagnaro Castle is located on the hill overlooking the historical centre of Pontremoli and is an integral part of the town's defence system together with the walls and towers that defended the medieval village. Built around the year 1000 for defence and road control purposes, it was the last bastion of defence for the citizens of Pontremoli on several occasions. Its name derives from the "piagne", sandstone slabs traditionally used in Lunigiana to make roofs and still visible inside the structure. Long used for military purposes and as a barracks, it was then used as a school and later as a private residence; after a period of abandonment, it has been completely recovered in the last 30 years thanks to numerous restoration campaigns. The current architectural complex, the result of numerous reconstructions and extensions, is characterised by an imposing keep (early 15th century) which, located on the highest part of the hill, dominates the entire fortification and still shows traces of the ancient raised entrance with drawbridge. Opposite the keep stands an imposing building, used in the past as a barracks. The remaining part of the Castle is characterised by defensive structures from the 17th and 18th centuries, equipped for the use of artillery and firearms, with a large courtyard surrounded by powerful bastions equipped with connecting ramps and corner sentry boxes. In addition to the museum, the castle houses a reception point for pilgrims travelling along the Via Francigena.

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  • Museums and Castles 5

    Opening hours:
    October– April:
    9.00 – 12.30 / 14.30 – 17.30

    May – September:
    9.00 – 12.30 / 15.00 – 18.00

    Closed on Mondays


    Full price ticket 5,00 €
    Reduced price ticket 3,00 € (over 65, under 14, groups)
    Approximate visiting time 2 hours

    Entrance fee 3,00 €

    info: 0187.831439 –

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