A History of Villa Montarsiccio.
The Following appeared in " L'ARALDO della Madonna di San Marco" it is a local magazine published in Bedonia. The article was written by Chiara Fava and translated byFrancesca Belli.
History of a Village: Named Montarsiccio
by Chiara Fava
Monzolus, Mons. Artiolus, Arciolus, Arsicius; in the past these names indicated Montarsiccio, the town which stands on the wooded slopes of Mt. Segarino. (alt 788 meters).
The first settlers, of which are known, (thanks to the discovery of stone weapons) were a proud and war-like people, who with-stood more than any other "italiche" population the advances of the Romans, who conquered the area only around the second half of the II century B.C.
There now remain only a few ruins of the Montarsiccio Castle's primitive interior which goes back to the III century B.C. This castle was considered the last defense of the Ligurians against Roman domination.
The first recorded document from Montarsiccio is dated October 5, 1022.
Plato de Platis's sons divided the territory from Gotra to the borders of the ligustico State, which included Compiano, Tarsogno, Montarsiccio, Albareto, San Quirico and other nearby towns. This Land became the duty of Luxardo and he bestowed the Lusardi dynasty, its name: Lusardi, Signori di Montarsiccio. The family coat of arms is that of a primitive design, which had been found on a stone that was part of the castle wall. It is a design of a tower, on the left architecturally indicating battlements (Guelfi) and on the right there is a crown with five points and stars above it.
The Lusardi domain, united with that of the Granelli dominated the Montarsiccio territory for many years and at times their power had been equal to the Landi domain, dominators of Compiano. These families had always been allies: remembering in particualr the victory of Lusardi against Fieschi at Compiano in 1270.
Different historical events caused the castle to fall into the hands of Malaspina many times. In 1187 the castle was occupied by Morello Malaspina and in 1262 it passed to Federico Malaspina, who gave it to Uberto Pallavicino.
The "Ghibellini fort" was commanded by Ubertino Landi, who fought at Benevento in 1266 and held Manfredi, the King of Sicily and his two sons prisoners.
Ubertino Landi passed long periods of time at his home and it is there where he died in 1298. In 1927 while work was being done to enlarge the church's altar area, a tomb was discovered that contained a skeleton, whose clothing included a type of belt, in which was found a knife with an inlaid handle. It is believed that these remains are that of Ubertino Landi.
The last power and independence of the Montarsiccio castle dates back to 1451 when Manfredo Landi held the highest power in the land. At a certain point, the Lusardi-Granelli family completely conceded to Landi in exchange for immunity and protection of their families. That agreement was kept until the Borbonico period in 1765.
The towns church, dedicated to St. Martin, is now where once stood the castle's chapel. The nave is decorated in Piacentina-Ligurian style. The altar, built in 1801 of marble, has the name of its artist inscribed Giuseppe Solari and that of by whom it was commissioned, Daniele Lusardi.