Mezzana - Monte de' Bianchi
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Monte dei Bianchi is a walled hamlet situated in a panoramic position overlooking the Apuan Alps. In the Middle Ages it was the religious centre of the family of the same name. Here an ancient monastery dedicated to St. Michael was included already in the Diocese of Luni, however today only some elements dating back to the Romanesque period are still visible. Also of the ancient castle only some ruins are left.
The first monastery dated back to 760 AD when Ato, son of Eugenio the Longbard, left some of his belongings to priest Fratellus to build the monastery. In 1106 Pope Pasquale sent the Benedictine monk Bernardo Uberti to Monte dei Bianchi, he built the monastery dedicated to St. Michael and run by the White Monks. For this reason the village took the name of Monte dei Bianchi “the White’s Mount”. The family who owned these lands was of Longobard origins and was called “Bianchi d’Erberia” - Whites from Erberia , ancient name of Rubiera in the Province of Modena.
The monastery was wealthy under the rule of the Bianchi, but started its decay when it passed under the rule of the Malaspina family.
Mezzana is a small hamlet next to Monte dei Bianchi, overlooking the dramatic Apuan Alps backdrop and the River Lucido.