The town's name derives, for some, from the local plum cultivation, represented also as emblem in the municipal coat of arms, whilst for others from prunetum, the name of the tangle of weeds that grow around the plum trees. Town in the province of La Spezia, at the foot of the Apennines, near the rivers of Vara, Gravegnola and Chicciola snails, Brugnato is part of the Mountain Community of Val di Vara and the Regional Natural Park of Mount Marcello-Magra. It hosts several exhibitions, concerts and theater performances during the Summer Season.
Between the VII and VIII centuries after the conquest by the Lombards, the monks of St. Colombano built here a monastery that soon, became a center of major economic importance, and this attracted the attention of neighboring towns and caused a dispute with the Bishops of Luni. The hostilities ended in the first half of the XII century, when Brugnato became a Bishopric under the Benedictines. In 1300, during the wars between Guelphs and Ghibellines, the bishop was forced to leave and seek asylum in Pontremoli. The territory became a possession of the Malaspina who claimed their rights and taxes from the village for some time. The town was sold to the Fregoso Family and then it passed on to the Republic of Genoa in 1500. After the Congress of Vienna it was acquired by the Kingdom of Sardinia and in 1861 from that of Italy.
Not to miss:
The Cathedral of Saints Peter, Lawrence and Colombano which features a façade lined with columns and pediment above and is partly covered by the nearby diocesan museum. Built in the XII century and located in the main old centre.
The Episcopal Palace, which adjoins to the cathedral, was in 1133 the residence of the Bishop of Brugnato. Over the years it has been the subject of numerous rearrangements and now houses the diocesan museum, which is divided into two sections: the archaeological part and the diocese exhibition.
The Shrine of Our Lady of the Olive, which is located outside the town. The present building, dating from the XVIII century, has a façade of great simplicity and an interior with a single aisle and features a fresco of 1821 of the artist Comaschi from Lucca.
The former convent of San Francesco with the adjoining church, which was completed in 1635. A single nave building, that contains paintings of the XVII and XVIII centuries.
The Oratory of San Bernardo