Luni, now archaeological site and museum can be visited without leaving the highway. Here is the new route

In Luni you can now visit the National Museum and archaeological site without leaving the highway. Here is the new route.

The new visitor route to the archaeological area of Luni (La Spezia), including the National Museum and the excavations of the ancient city of the moon, the great port from which the valuable Apuan marbles departed and which, according to legend, was mistaken for Rome itself by the barbarians because of its magnificence and the splendor of its buildings. As of last May 18, the new Portus Lunae route makes it possible to visit the site even without leaving the highway: the project, financed for 15 million euros by SALT - Società Autostrada Ligure Toscana, had been thought of since the 1980s but its implementation started only in 2016, and according to estimates it could triple the attendance in the area of the ancient Roman city. Now the National Museum (from which the archaeological area is accessed) is visited by about 15,000 visitors a year: the expectation is to increase the number to 50,000.

The Portus Lunae project has created several new entrances to the site: two parking lots along the A12 highway, for both directions, an access with new green spaces from Luni Mare (the modern seaside hamlet of the municipality of Luni), and one from the Marinella estate, the large maritime park destination for nature walks. The most visible new feature is the large bridge for pedestrians and bicycles that bypasses theAutostrada Azzurra and allows for walking access to the site for those coming from the highway from the north, or for those off the highway who decide to reach the archaeological area from the seaside towns. The large pedestrian walkway, designed by Sina and studio Piarulli, is 377 meters long and recalls the shapes of the coastline, and above it towers a 20-meter-high tower, made of Carrara marble, which will be illuminated at night and recalls the shapes of a lighthouse, a reference to the port activities of ancient Luni. An opea that therefore also changes the landscape of the Luni plain, being visible even from afar.

The entrance to the new path is preceded (for those traveling in the direction of Livorno or arriving from Luni Mare and Marinella) by a tunnel that includes amultimedia installation entitled Luni Experience, created by the Karmakina collective: an evocative re-enactment, with images (some of them of works that visitors will later find at the National Museum) and music that compose an emotional video, of the history of the city of Luni, from its birth to its end evoked by a stormy sea.

Portus Lunae does not stop there, however: soon, the National Museum and SALT let it be known, vintage craft workshops will also arrive along the route leading to the museum. “We are proud,” said Paolo Pierantoni, president of SIAS S.p.A., the holding company that controls 92 percent of SALT. “This is the first project of this magnitude in Italy.” All of this was carried out in collaboration with the Superintendence of Fine Arts and Landscape of Liguria to achieve a remarkable result that will introduce the town of Luni to a wider public.

Pictured: the new pedestrian walkway in Portus Lunae. Ph. Credit Finestre Sull’Arte

Luni, now archaeological site and museum can be visited without leaving the highway. Here is the new route
Luni, now archaeological site and museum can be visited without leaving the highway. Here is the new route

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