Nearest town: La Spezia
Nearest village: Campiglia
The Christianized menhir of Tramonti
is situated in a little clearing on the Cinque Terre hills
In the splendid Cinque Terre area in Liguria (Northern Italy), not far from Sant'Antonio Pass, lies this enigmatic site. Discovered in 1922 by U.Mazzini, this megalithic complex consists of a central sandstone menhir about 2.3m (7.5ft) high, a smaller and fallen one, two low stones with a rectangular and a circular cavity, and the so called Posa Grande, a drystone wall.
The central monolith was Christianized in the 17th century with an iron cross on its top. The original cross was stolen and has been replaced with a new one. At the base of the standing stone some researchers of the Istituto di Studi Liguri (Institute of Ligurian Studies) recently found a rhomboidal protrusion which may represent a vulva symbol. The standing stone is aligned to the Winter solstice sunset.
On the left of the central menhir there is a smaller stone (about 1m high), now fallen. In 1922 U.Mazzini reported that some local elderly people remembered two stones, one on either side of the main monolith. Unfortunately, the right stone is gone: it was probably used for walling or building.
In front of the central monolith lie two low stones, one with a rectangular cavity and another with a circular one. At a short distance there's the Posa Grande, a drystone wall 6m (19.6ft) long. The Italian name means Big Shelf because the peasants were used to resting against it with their panniers.
Not far from the standing stone Matteo Borrini and Gianluca Nastasi, two young amateur archaeologists from La Spezia, found a red jasper pick probably dating from the Mesolithic.