The town's name probably derives from Hortus Novus which refers to the cultivation process of the lands. The most Eastern located town in Liguria, on the border with Tuscany, situated at the foot of the Apuan Alps, in the province of La Spezia. Perched on the top of a verdant hill, which slides towards the plain of the Magra river, the village features houses arranged in terraces with the outer walls that act as a fortified boundary wall in a horseshoe ring shaped plan with two gate main entrances. At the center, there is a watching tower, now become a bell tower, that dominates the entire lower Lunigiana area. From the village you have a spectacular view over the valley and the sea. Ortonovo is devoted to crafts, to the cultivation of olive trees and vines and the production of wine and oil.
The old town was built between the XI and XII century and was a possession of the bishops of Luni. In the XIV century, the village allied with Sarzana and submitted the domains of the Visconti and Malaspina at first; then, in 1400 it was bought by Lord of Lucca, Guinigi, along with the territories of Carrara, Moneta and Avenza. In the second half of 1400 the village was submitted to the Medici of Florence. In 1495 Ortonuovo became part of the possessions of the Banco di San Giorgio of Genoa, of which it directly followed the fate passing first the French and then in the Kingdom of Italy.
Not to miss:
The Sanctuary of Our Lady of Mirteto of the XVI century.
The Church of Saints Philip and James of the XV century.
The Church of San Lorenzo of the XVII century, located in the historic square of the village.
The tower of Guinigi, today the Bell tower of San Lorenzo. It was part of a castle that stood just where today the church stands.