The Light Butterfly, prehistoric phenomen on on Mount Caprione behind Lerici

The days of the summer solstice return, and with them, the “pilgrimages” to the locality of Monti San Lorenzo, on Monte Caprione behind Lerici, where at this time of year, a fascinating light phenomenon occurs, projecting on Dolomia stone menhirs, forming the unmistakable shape of a light butterfly.

The Light Butterfly appears on the monolith in Monti San Lorenzo

Even though the meaning of the Light Butterfly site cannot be precisely deciphered, the event appears similar to others of this type that occur in many parts of the world (Stonehenge being the most famous), and that symbolize, in the symbology of ancient populations, rebirth, the passage to life beyond death, and continuous renewal inspired by the cycle of seasons and life. rebirth, il passaggio alla vita oltre la morte, ma anche il continuo rinnovamento ispirato dal ciclo delle stagioni e della vita.

The APS Enrico Calzolari Association and its extraordinary discoveries.

According to the APS Enrico Calzolari Association, the golden light butterfly is just one of the extraordinary testimonies in the area. The Association is named after the discoverer of the Butterfly and does impressive research on Monte Caprione, nestled in shady woods and dense vegetation and traversed by few paths that connect the slope above the Gulf of Lerici to the valley and the mouth of the Magra River.
By observing historical and contemporary maps, using advanced photographic scanning technologies, and clearing the underbrush, they have discovered incredible ancient “emergences.”

The volunteers connect the dots and identify the presence of ancient populations since the Neolithic era, perhaps those mysterious Liguri Apuani who populated the mountains and found places of particular spiritual significance here. Many findings are related to burial places, with funerary urns and mounds found in hundreds on all slopes and with the symbology of the passage to life after death, represented by the Light Butterfly.

Barbarasco and the Castellazzo, disappeared from maps and rediscovered

Among the findings are also “living” places, such as ancient remains of portoro marble quarries scattered throughout the area, with squared stones left in place and evident traces of “lizzatura” routes used to transport blocks to the valley.

More recently, the Association uncovered what is undoubtedly a water source with canals, probably for gardens and crops, from under meters of cleared underbrush.
This place, possibly medieval, could be the Barbarasco, which disappeared from maps after being the subject of long disputes along with the nearby “Castellazzo.” It’s important to note that these are also well-known boundary areas between the control of the Malaspina family and the Bishops of Luni.
Over time, these places inexplicably disappear from testimonies and official documents, as if swallowed by the forest. to understand if they have reemerged to tell an undeciphered story. Today, efforts are made to understand if they have reemerged to tell an undeciphered story.

The source was found near the location of the Golden Butterfly


The Calzolari Association regularly submits its findings and theories to the attention of the local Superintendency. While the identification of this discovery with Barbarasco is not yet confirmed, the site’s relevance is also very high for the competent authority.

San Lorenzo, ancient church that must be saved from deterioration.

A few meters from where the Light Butterfly appears are the remains of the church of San Lorenzo, which gives its name to the locality. A testimony from the year 1000, largely destroyed by time, but still recognizable in its essential Romanesque architecture.

The remains of the Church of San Lorenzo al Caprione seen from one of its single-lancet windows.


Little is known about the church, but the volunteers of the Enrico Calzolari Association believe that the proximity to funerary-type findings and the place where the Golden Butterfly appears cannot be coincidental. The Church often superimposed the Christian faith on ancient beliefs, not only in spirituality rites but also physically, in places of worship.

Therefore, the Association wants to restore this endangered architecture, study it, care for its history, and create a place of awareness for local history.

When can you see the butterfly of Monti San Lorenzo? Walks towards the Butterfly

The “magic” of the light butterfly repeats every day from the end of May to the beginning of July, from 8:00 PM to 8:45 PM (of course, good weather is necessary).
The further we are from the exact day of the summer solstice, the more the butterfly will appear deformed, until it disappears altogether.

In recent years, during the “Butterfly days,” car movements and logistical difficulties around the site have occurred. To avoid gatherings, organized walks in support of the Enrico Calzolari Association for Monte Caprione allow for a few more kilometers on foot in the forest to discover all these incredibly fascinating places immersed in lush nature, rich in ever-changing colors and lights until sunset.
In the relaxed and pleasant atmosphere of long summer evenings, one walks in the light surrounding everything with a golden wave until reaching one of the few open spaces in the forest.



Here, some rocks are positioned so that the last rays of the day, passing through the rocks (a base block, two columns, and a crossbeam above them), project a perfect light butterfly on a fifth monolith a little further ahead.

For information on the initiatives of the Enrico Calzolari Association, consult the Facebook Group.

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