UPDATE: Antica Fornace is currently closed.
Antica Fornace, the new boutique hotel and restaurant in Mocrone, is certainly a work of love with its stunning swimming pool, sympathetic restoration and beautifully decorated rooms. It stands in the shadow of Malgrate Castle and has risen from the ruins of an old lime furnace.
Antica Fornace has been under construction for several years and is still not complete. It has four tastefully decorated suites with a fifth, executive suite spread across the whole of the top floor with views to both front and back, to be available in the near future. Additional accommodation is being built in a separate annex.
There is a large restaurant, which is able to cater for weddings and other functions. Unfortunately, the restaurant was closed when we visited and is only open out-of-season for lunch and dinner on Thursdays through to Sundays. Pizza is available in the evening. There is currently no a la carte menu as the chef cooks what is available in season. In the summer, restaurant guests may use the swimming pool with its striking views of Malgrate and the Apennines.
The building was formally a vertical lime furnace operated by the Molossi company which supplied all the hydraulic lime mortar (a type of lime that hardens under water) to local builders. The furnace was operational until some time in the 1970s, when it closed due to the competition from the new cement factory in Pontremoli. The costs relating to the manual removal of limestone, its collection by donkey cart, the wood for the furnace, and production and delivery of to construction sites just became too prohibitive.
The dining room of Antica Fornace is located in the original factory, and the bedrooms in the old furnace. The bedrooms are accessible by a glass lift with views of the swimming pool.
Antica Fornace’s website is currently under construction, but the staff are extremely helpful if you need further information.
If you have dined at Antica Fornace, do leave a comment and tell us about your experience.Antica Fornace 54028 Villafranca in Lunigiana (MS) Via Provinciale per Mocrone Tel: 0187 495324/498003