Castles of Lunigiana

Over a hundred castles dotted during the Middle Ages, Lunigiana. The origins of the more ancient the roots to the days when the Lombards dominated much of the Po Valley and looking for an outlet to the sea of people in the past Cisa the natural transition between the Apennine chain. Those that are described below are just some of those, many still live in this area characterizing the face with the ramparts and towers.

  • Castello Malaspina to Fosdinovo
  • Castello Malaspina di Castevoli
  • Castle Malaspina of Verrucola
  • Castello di Aghinolfi Montignoso
  • Castle Piagnaro Pontremoli
  • Castle Malgrate
  • Fortezza della Brunella

    Castello Malaspina to Fosdinovo

    Just as there is no rose without a thorn, there is the castle that does not conceal, between its walls, ancient secrets. And many are those that lie behind the imposing bulk of the castle Fosdinovo that, by the 'windy hill, with its round towers "(D'Annunzio), dominates the village below, most of the Tyrrhenian coast and the valley Magra. Ideal position to control the Lunigiana and the outlet to the sea of its roads and its Apennine. No wonder then, that in the fourteenth century the Lords of mass you have wanted to raise this fortified dwelling, later extended, in which they lived for many centuries and still lives in which the ghost of Mary White. At the full moon, it is said that the daughter of the marquis to wander the rooms of the manor without respite, with a white robe and long hair loose about her shoulders, still trapped between the walls that saw die, you just live sidescuttles sixteen years, guilty of being in love in the stables.

    To feel a shiver down my spine roll is not necessary to meet this unhappy spirit, simply visit the hall of the trap, also called sorrow, where, at the center of the bedroom, it is clearly visible from the manhole where the cruel Marquise Cristina Adelaide Pallavicino did precipitate some of her lovers: a short flight on a forest of sharp knives.

    Among those who have crossed the gate of the castle you remember the great Dante Alighieri. From this "room, narrow and bare as a cell", which was hosted "he could see on his window at the end of each day, the formidable peaks of the Alps marble dominate and ignite the Val di Magra already submerged in the shade and in silence "writes D'Annunzio. In this room would have occurred sometimes inexplicable events: statues who move from sun and shade evanescent viewed at night through the windows.

    Untangling this web of legends, mysteries sealed for centuries as a hidden pertugio, visit the kitchen, the room of weapons, the prazo hall and finally take a deep breath in front of the beautiful and spacious landscape that is open along the top walkway between blackbirds Ghibellines. During terse gaze takes in the Gorgona, the Capraia reaching Corsica.

    Opening Hours
    every day except Tuesdays, with guided tours

    Phone 0187 68891


    • Review "Sounds of Spring" in April
    • Fair Saints Peter and Paul in June
    • Medieval festival in July.

    Castello Malaspina di Castevoli

    Born in a small fortress, the castle was in the sixteenth century a number of operations, who made a comfortable residence for Thomas Malaspina, which reorganized the entire village.

    Among the many legends that are handed down in the land of Lunigiana, there is also one that hovers around the walls of this building. It is said that towards the end of the eighteenth century a young woman from travestitosi, was accepted by the Marquis in his bedroom and him accollelato here to avenge the many abuses committed in the name of jus primae noctis. The story confirms that there was a revolt, but in reality it was caused mainly by heavy taxes imposed on the population. It is the sunset for the rule of the Malaspina, died in 1797.

    Since then the castle was abandoned, returning to live only in 1990 thanks to the restoration ordered by the Loris Ricci Nelson painter who has supervised the reopening as International Cultural Center in the field of art.

    Opening Hours
    Visits by appointment for groups interested in the artist and his work

    Phone 0187 850500, 0187 850490


    • Exhibitions of the artist, cultural and artistic meetings

    Castle Malaspina of Verrucola

    Scene of bloody battles, this castle was the siege of Castruccio Castracani that violated in 1317. Only after the death of this valiant man of arms of Lucca, the Marquis Spinetta Malaspina reimposessarsene succeeded in giving the green light to construction of the towers of sponsoring next to keep the original and the completion of the external walls, which characterize the present appearance of fortress, a noble example of medieval architecture. Is erected in the fifteenth century, set against the castle, the church porch with arched sandstone.

    From a structural point of view, is of particular interest to the time the arms room on the ground floor, set on massive octagonal central pillar. Falls into the state of Abbado with the end of the rule of the Malaspina, the castle was restored by the sculptor Pietro Cascella, current owner, making it possible to admire one of the most beautiful fortified Lunigiana.

    Opening Hours
    Visits by appointment

    Phone 0585 92466 / 92444

    Castello di Aghinolfi Montignoso

    Already in the name you can see traces of its ancient origin Lombard. In ancient times it was the strongest castle in the valley and safe haven for the local population in case of danger.

    Today, visitors traveling on a dirt road are only impressive ruins of which, however, testifies to the ancient splendor of this castle which was in the middle centuries of struggle, the community context of Lucca and Pisa, the rule of the bishops of Luni, the Malaspina and their relatives Marchesi di Massa. Because of the dispute was its strategic location, well maintained in recent times in 1945 when it became the main stronghold of the Gothic Line Sea of German troops.

    Working un po 'di fantasia, listening to the stories of guides and supported by virtual, proceed to visit this castle trying to imagine how things were be. We start from the first courtyard, surrounded by a large wall, which were placed in a time many buildings, of which some traces remain. Continuing in a southerly direction along a path carved into the rock toward the sea and sheltered by a parapet, the road reaches the top of the castle. At the end of the exit was a gate protected by a drawbridge, hence accessible to a second courtyard, the interior of the castle. Passing through this door located on the left the military, marked by a walkway and dominated by the keep.

    Opening Hours
    From June 1-30: Sundays 16-18.30
    From 1 July to 14 September: daily except Monday 16.30-19.30
    From 15 September to 31 May: Sundays and holidays 15-17.30)

    Telephone 0585 8271204 / 226

    Castle Piagnaro Pontremoli

    Originally built in Lombard times, this castle stands on a hill overlooking the Val di Magra, in a strategic location that has a throat emperors, kings and leaders. For this reason, over the centuries, the castle was often surrounded siege, has faced several attacks, has suffered many destructions and back, each time rising to the top town of Pontremoli. Like that time in 1252 when he was felled by Frederick II and, five years later, rebuilt by his son Enzo.

    The main entrance introduces, through a hall, in a court. Going down a staircase, you reach the oldest part formed by a semi-circular tower dating from the fifteenth century, while the middle and bottom are remakes later.

    After having been the military governors, military barracks, a refuge for poor families, the Castle currently houses in its halls the interesting Museum of the stele-statues of Lunigiana.

    Opening Hours
    From 1 to 30 April: Tuesday to Sunday (closed on Mondays) 9-12 and 14.30-18
    From 1 May to 30 September: daily 15-18.30 and 9-12.30
    From 1 October to 31 March: 9-12 and 14-17 Closed on Monday and during the period December 24-26

    Telephone 0187-831439


    • Cultural and recreational

    Castle Malgrate

    Perched on a hill, which enhances the strategic position, the castle was built with defensive, in the fourteenth century became the residence of the feudal lord. Maniero soars on the slender cylindrical tower and the whole is protected by a solid circle of walls.
    In the Middle Ages belonged to the Malaspina, the feud in 1641 was bought by the Marquis of Cremona Aribe which brought out the transformation of the fortified residence in the elegant building. Guard on the door of the village, was built the chapel of the castle called to St Celsus. After Aliberti, began a phase of decline, during which the building became a storage farm. Today, thanks to several restorations, has the look of the classic medieval fortress with curtain walls, with battlements Guelph slopes and walls, slits, projecting corner turrets, battlements walkway and keep central.

    Opening Hours
    July-September: 9.30-12.20 and 16-19
    Winter Hours: guided tours by reservation for groups and schools

    Phone 0187 404400, 0187 409077


    • Conferences

    Fortezza della Brunella

    This magnificent example of military architecture sixteenth, presents itself as a powerful building a square, surrounded by a deep moat, with four large triangular Puntoni. Situated at the confluence of the rivers Magra and Aulella, is in an ideal position to monitor the two valleys. The origin of its name is the color of the spur of volcanic rock on which it stands and from which it was derived the material for its construction.

    Many question overshadowed the history of this building: its date of construction, the architect who designed and the developer. In the myriad of assumptions there are three more convincing. The first building dates back to an exponent of the Medici family, Giovanni dalle Bande Nere, came into possession of the fief of Aulla in 1522. This theory is supported by studies in which it is recognized Brunella nell'artefice of Antonio da Sangallo the Elder, architect Medici. The second hypothesis attributes the construction to Adam Centurione, exponent of a Genoese family, now owner of the fief of Aulla in 1543. Finally, the third hypothesis on the work at the end of the fifteenth century for the will of the lord of Aulla of those times, namely Jacob Ambrose Malaspina. This is the version of events most credited by many scholars, the most consistent with certain architectural features of the fortress.
    After a period of decline in 1920 was bought by British conuigi Waterfield and restored for used as a luxurious residence. Not only the building but also the surrounding space is affected by these interventions. The town becomes a hanging garden and a thick forest of oaks was planted on the hill, then strips.
    Returned to the state property has been used to establish the Natural History Museum of Lunigiana in which it is collected to illustrate the most significant area of Lunigiana which the Mediterranean scrub, coppice, chestnut, the beech forests, crops and the caves. Outside in the park of the castle is open to a garden of great interest.

    Opening Hours
    March-May and October: 9-12 and 15-18 Park 15-18.30
    June -- September: 9-12 and 16-19 Park 16-19.30
    November-February: 9-12 and 14-17 Park 14-17.30

    Phone 0187 400252 / 409077