Visiting Friends in Lunigiana, Italy—where is that?

October 6, 2020

Have you heard about Lunigiana?  I had a terrible time pronouncing it. It is LOON E JOHN AH.  You can find it where Tuscany and Liguria meet. In Roman times it was called Lunensis Ager or Luni Province of Rome. It was a passageway for traders and travelers through two mountain ranges, bringing disparate groups of humans together. Today, you can find it in the provinces of La Spezia and in Massa Carrara.

I had no idea of what to expect. I went to Lunigiana to visit my friends Eva and Chris Lock, the Founders of SHABBY SHEEP DESIGN.

If you like the look of these masks and Chris’s tee-shirt, check out what else they offer by clicking here.

Eva and Chris moved from England to Italy about 15 years ago. Chris has written four blogposts for me describing their trials and inherently hilarious travails during their move and settling into Lunigiana, Italy. They fell in love with a home that needed more repair than they realized—typical Italian experience—learned the language, met the neighbors, and started a business. 

Our visit was mostly for the camaraderie. They wanted to show me their part of Italy.

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First, we stopped for dinner and met more friends, Eric and Aprile. We ate a lovely meal with the locals at Bernardi and moved on to Aprile’s gorgeous home for an affogato al caffe`.

And, of course, more gathering and laughing. For me, being with friends I haven’t been able to see in person for months and months because of Covid, well, it was a gift.

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When we said ciao, ciao to Aprile and Eric, we headed to Chris and Eva’s gorgeous home outside of town. We had a wonderful evening of talking about business and personal things, eating, drinking and being merry. The next day we went exploring. First, we were looking for a location that was a very unusual pizzeria, Il Selvatico. The owner is a collector of bikes and motorbikes. The approach was unbelievable. Here’s the parking lot (below).

Bikes and bombs were everywhere.

This row reminded me of the escape scene from E.T. 

I don’t understand the connection with the bombs, bells and bikes but It was fun to see. Unfortunately, the pizzeria was closed on Monday. The exterior was worth the drive.

When we couldn’t eat pizza, our next choice was, what else, wine tasting! Chris and Eva have discovered an excellent winery nearby and off we went. 

Ca’ LVNAE, or Ca’Lunae, winery is a multi-generational estate cultivated by the Bosoni family. 

Their location is huge, yet welcoming.

The outdoor area includes green paths and a huge piazza with seating and meals offered.

Such space and comfort.

Indoors has a warmth where you feel you could spend hours shopping and tasting.

Besides wine, there are many other items to purchase.

I could have spent a small fortune here.

But we came for the wine.

We enjoyed tasting several wines with a bit of food in between. I ended up buying a few bottles to take home. Chris and Eva restocked they wine cellar.

I had actually thought of purchasing a few things as Christmas gifts. However, I have chosen to purchase several items from Chris and Eva’s Shabby Sheep Design for my family and friends back home. So many people are aching for visiting Italy again. So many who are Italian-Americans, Italian-Canadians, Italian-Australians, and more who either are temporarily banned from travel to Italy or just cannot afford it yet—those people would really enjoy a special something Italian from Santa this year. I encourage you to check out the link below. Many of my friends and followers already own some of the masks, tee-shirts, beach towels, water bottles and more. I know I do. Eva’s artistic talent and Chris’s sense of humor, you’ll love their offerings.

Besides thinking about shopping, we all enjoy a good meal and exploring beautiful towns. Our next day included crossing the border of Tuscany into Liguria to visit the town of 

I have visited a few towns along this border but this was a first for me. Chris and Eva visit often. And I can see why. We parked the car and entered through the archway.

Within the ancient walks I found a colorful Ligurian town.

Medieval flying buttresses that look like arches yet hold up the buildings.

Winding streets of colorful buildings.

A huge piazza my friends frequent often for aperitivo  with a huge statue.


More color everywhere.

And tiny, family run restaurants. We chose to eat on a side street.

Even the house wine was very good. There is a train station in Sarzana if you would like to visit without a vehicle. I know I’ll be back.

The rest of our time together was discussing how we can assist one another in our separate businesses. I know I will be busier next year when Covid is more under control and more people can travel back to Italy. Please remember I am here for you as an expert travel planner with special locales for you to add to your journey in Italy. 

Shabby Sheep Design is here NOW to help you with your Christmas List. Please check out their website. I promise you will find many things to love and to share.

Get 10% off your first order! Check it out. 

I need to get shopping myself. Thanks for traveling with me once again. Ciao for now.

Ciao for now!

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