Ameglia, Province of La Spezia, Liguria
The ancient town of Ameglia is today a privileged tourist destination, with mountains right in the background, in the middle of a regional park, and including smaller seaside resorts at Fiumaretta and Bocca di Magra, situated each on one side of the Magra river.
- Altitude: 89 m a.s.l
- Population: about 4,500 inhabitants
- Zip/postal code: 19031
- Dialing Area Code: +39 0187
- Frazioni & Località: Bocca di Magra, Fiumaretta, Montemarcello
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History - Antiquity and the Middle Ages
Archeological excavations have discovered an ancient necropolis, probably of the 4th century BC, showing that the area was a transit route from the mountains to the sea. It was later a Roman town, as shown by the remains of a Villa Marittima, and maintained its importance in the Middle Ages. In 963 the Castrum de Ameliae is mentioned as a bishopric seat. In the 13th century it was surrounded by defence wall, and the sighting tower and port were also built. It was for a time ruled by Castruccio Castracani, then came under different families of the area, such as the Doria, Visconti, and Campofregoso.
History - Modern Times
In the 19th century it was under the jurisdiction of Lerici, then in the 20th century a remarkable tourist development transformed the previously mainly fishing economy. After the Second World War it was a cultural retreat of artists, poets and intellectuals as Giovanni Pintori, Giulio Einaudi, Marguerite Duras, Franco Fortini, Albe Steiner, Elio Vittorini, Italo Calvino.
What to see
- A Roman Villa of the 1st century BC at Bocca di Magra, near the moth of the Magra river.
- The fortified borough of Montemarcello, on the monte Caprione, with a fine view over the Val di Magra and the Gulf of La Spezia, where the 15th century church of San Pietro can be visited.
- The Regional Park Montemarcello Magra, with an interesting Botanical Garden on top of Monte Murlo.