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HIDDEN TREASURES OF TUSCANY:Filetto Village Villafranca MS

Filetto medieval village was founded in 500-600 a.c. as a defense of “Limes”, that’s the defense line built by the Byzantines against the Longobard crossing most of Lunigiana valley. The quadrangular map of the fortified hamlet, provided with 4 circular towers sited in the 4 corners,unveils the roman origin of the borgo set up as a “castrum”. Starting from the end of XVI century the village, acquired first from marquises Malaspina then from marquises Aliberti, was enlarged and adornated with churches, palaces, towers and open galleries. Even today strolling down the narrow streets you can breathe a real medieval atmosphere, especially in occasion of the annual Medieval Market - held every august- when the hamlet brims with jugglers, minstrels, acrobats and sales stalls full of wood, iron and marble handiworks. Just a few kilometers from Filetto there is a wood of thousand-year old chestnuts, named “Sylva of Filetto”, where were discovered 11 “Stele Statues”, the enigmatic prehistorical sculptures made by sandstone, representing men and women with a pointy head and an “U” shaped face. As the legend goes in the sylva were celebrated pagan festivals and nocturnal dances and the famous “Selva oscura” mentioned in the first lines of the Divina Commedia from Dante was inspired right from this forest...

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