Nestled in the heart of Lunigiana, in the locality of Apella di Licciana Nardi, province of Massa Carrara, in high Tuscany, you will find the enchanting Agriturismo Montagna Verde. This agritourism destination is situated at an altitude of 660 meters, surrounded by the centuries-old chestnut groves of the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines National Park. The area was once ruled by the Malaspina, who were the uncontested lords of the entire territory.
The pristine environment and nature blend seamlessly with the hospitality and kindness of the agritourism staff, values that have a long tradition in these lands of Lunigiana. The agritourism facility offers all the amenities one would expect from an excellent accommodation structure, but with something extra: the unique backdrop of an untouched landscape where history meets nature. This area has been recognized as a UNESCO MAB Reserve since May 2015.
The agritourism is run by the family of Mario Maffei. A watchtower built in 1000 AD, which was later expanded into a defensive fortress in the 13th century and elevated to a bell tower and abbey in the 1700s, stands sentinel over the property. After years of neglect, thanks to the idea and commitment of Mario Maffei, the monastery regained its ancient splendor in 1995. Today, its imposing structure stands over more than 600 hectares of reserve, where guests can go horseback riding, trekking, and perhaps gather seasonal fruits such as wild strawberries, blueberries, chestnuts, and mushrooms, either alone or accompanied by expert guides.
The agritourism offers a restaurant in the central Torre building and accommodation in the renovated medieval village of Apella, less than 800 meters from the monastery. The apartments and rooms, all with private facilities, have been restored according to sustainable building criteria. On request, it is also possible to visit the laboratory where honey is produced, the chestnut dryers, the biopark, and the organic farm.
The Agriturismo Montagna Verde has received high praise on TripAdvisor, with a score of 4.5 out of 5 and ranking 1 out of 22 restaurants in Licciana Nardi. Reviewers have highlighted the quality of the food, the beauty of the location, and the friendliness of the staff. The restaurant offers a variety of dishes, including vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options. The reviews also mention the abundant portions and reasonable prices, with many guests praising the local, organic, and healthy food prepared at the restaurant.
Agriturismo Montagna Verde is not just a place to rest and enjoy the beauty of nature, but it’s also a culinary journey through the traditional flavors of Tuscany. The restaurant offers a variety of dishes that are a testament to the rich culinary heritage of the region, prepared with locally sourced, organic ingredients.
One of the standout dishes that you can enjoy at the restaurant is the “Tagliere della casa con sgabei e focaccia”. This is a house special platter that features a selection of local cheeses and cured meats, served with sgabei and focaccia. Sgabeo is a traditional Tuscan fried dough, light and fluffy, often enjoyed with cold cuts and cheese. The focaccia, a type of Italian flatbread, is baked to perfection, with a crisp exterior and a soft, airy interior.
Another dish that is a must-try is the “Tordei”. These are a type of pasta, similar to tortellini, that are a specialty of the Lunigiana region. They are typically filled with a mixture of meat or cheese and served with a rich and flavorful sauce.
For meat lovers, the “Tagliata al lardo cotta nei testi” is a delight. This dish features a succulent steak cooked with lard in a traditional Tuscan method using “testi”, which are terracotta pans. The lard melts into the steak as it cooks, infusing it with a rich, savory flavor that is truly unforgettable.
The restaurant itself exudes a rustic charm, with its stone walls and wooden beams, creating a warm and cozy atmosphere. The dining area offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape, making your dining experience even more enjoyable.
In conclusion, Agriturismo Montagna Verde offers a unique blend of history, nature, and gastronomy. It is the perfect destination for those seeking a peaceful holiday, in touch with nature, history, and good food, in a strategic and enviable position: just a few kilometers from the Parco dei Cento Laghi and the fabulous sea of the Cinque Terre and the Gulf of Poets, as well as the white beaches of Versilia, less than an hour’s drive from Lucca, Pisa, and Genoa