The parish church of Codiponte, in the municipality of Casola in Lunigiana, is one of the most fascinating and artistically rich in the area of the ancient Diocese of Luni; with its figured capitals, its austere and balanced shape, its artistic masterpieces is a true paradigm of Lunigiana Romanesque.
The parish church is located on the right bank of the Aulella, near a bridge beyond which you can see, in the distance, the ruins of the castle of the Bianchi d’Erberia from the 11th century. We are in an area rich in prehistoric finds and stele statues, a strategic passage area as evidenced by the toponym. Along this road axis the Romans connected Luni with Lucca and, further north, with Veleia and Piacenza.
If the excavations in the area have revealed traces of Ligurian (VII S. B.C.) and Roman presence in the same site where the parish church stands today, the first documentary mention is pre-Carolingian (793); this historical phase is testified by the base of an octagonal baptismal font from the eighth century, which shows how the church was already baptismal before becoming a parish church.
Mentioned several times in the 12th and 13th centuries, in the late Middle Ages and in the post-medieval and modern age, the Pieve played a central role in the religious organization of the upper Aulella valley. Remembered in the Tithes at the end of the 13th century and in the Estimates of 1470-71, it extended its parish from Vinca to Spicciano in the Lucido, Aulella and Rosaro valleys.
The church has a basilica plan with three naves with columns and round arches and perfectly preserved cubic notched capitals, which bear figures typical of the medieval image system. Symbolic images with a didactic, didactic, theological value that unfold a rich repertoire: palmettes, tree of life, lily, six-petal daisy; telamon, praying, man who blows two horns, rampant beasts, camel, birds, snake with feet, two-tailed siren.
The roof is trussed, redecorated in the 1900s; in the south aisle you can see a monolithic medieval baptismal font with a cross and figures of children in bands carved in bas-relief on the base. Also on the south side, on the outside, there is a beautiful portal with medieval symbols, probably the original portal of the parish church, then dismantled and reassembled in a different position.
Very interesting is also the late medieval triptych with the Virgin enthroned, the SS. Cornelius and Cyprian, owners of the church and the image of the Holy Face, the famous and venerated relic of Lucca, which reminds us of the passage, in these places, of the Via del Volto Santo.