About Codiponte…

 

Codiponte in the local dialect means… capo del ponte or, at the head of the bridge. The name was a Medieval indication to merchants & pilgrims traveling La Via Francigena through the Lunigiana to & from Rome of a toll before crossing the only bridge to reach the church, Pieve di Codiponte, a way-station… a meeting point, church, market, dormitories & hospital… before climbing the Carpinelli Pass to Lucca, especially in time for its important religious festival, La Festa del Voto, and on to Rome beyond. Little remains of the Castle of Codiponte on one peak and the Convent delle Clarisses on the other and both dominating the village of Codiponte.

The town’s prosperity is due to the mild climate, ideal for the cultivation of olives & chestnuts. The populace lived off the flour milled from dried chestnuts… La Marocca bread, various pasta & soups plus a pancake called Cian… and selling the olives & olive oil to earn their livelihood. The hills towards the Apuane Mountains behind the towns & castle are covered in old chestnut trees, while on the opposing hills of the town’s Aullela River valley are the olive groves nourished by the constant sunshine.

Today, Codiponte is the home to 150 year-round residents. The population swells in the summer months to over 300. Mostly someone’s nonni… or, grandparents. The apex of the Summer months is the villages La Sagra dei Pomi… or, the Apple Festival, the first weekend of September. A sagra is an excuse to eat & dance for three days. Codiponte’s is the oldest in the region.

 

Photo medley for Codiponte…

Top row from left to right: the historic village of Codiponte, the village’s Pieve church & campanile, a remnant of the Castle of Codiponte, and an olive grove on the slopes above Codiponte…

Bottom row from left to right: view of the Borgo del Castello with the fragments of the Castle of Codiponte behind, the floats from the Sagra dei Pomi on the first weekend of September, and the Pieve of Codiponte and its campanile.

 

Practical information on Codiponte…

The village supports two convenience stores for basic food & cleaning items and fruits & vegetables, a bar… The Social Center of the community… an excellent butcher shop, Macelleria da Massimo, and a few other shops for household and clothing items. Casola in Lunigiana, the next town above Codiponte, has a post-office, bank, Carabinieri and similar food and retail shops. Gragnola, the next town below, has a Carrefour grocery store, an assortment of shops like the other towns and the train station for service to Aulla, Lucca and La Spezia. The nearest hospital and Emergency Room is in Fivizzano, a 30 minute drive away.