Lunigiana, a region located between Tuscany and Liguria, is renowned for its natural beauty, but is also famous for its medieval castles that dot its picturesque landscape. These majestic structures bear witness to the region’s rich historical past and its ancient traditions. In this article, we explore some of the most fascinating castles in Lunigiana, revealing their history and charm.
The Castle of Malgrate
One of the jewels of Lunigiana is the Castle of Malgrate, located in the municipality of Filattiera. This majestic structure dominates the Magra river valley and is a superb example of medieval architecture. Built in the 12th century, the castle underwent several transformations over the centuries and was used both as a defensive fortress and as a noble residence. Today, Malgrate Castle is open to the public and offers breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding valley.
The Fosdinovo Castle
The Fosdinovo Castle is another iconic castle in Lunigiana. Located above the village of Fosdinovo, this imposing fortress dates back to the 12th century. The castle has been the scene of significant historical events and has been used by various noble families over the centuries. It is said that even Dante Alighieri stayed inside. Today, the Castle of Fosdinovo is shrouded in an atmosphere of mystery and romance due to a legend: it is said that the albino daughter of the lords of the castle, known as Bianca, fell in love with a man of lower social class and wanted to run away with her lover. However, she was discovered by her parents, who severely punished her by walling her up alive in a room of the castle. Its well-preserved medieval architecture, imposing walls and towers make this castle a must-see destination for lovers of history and architecture. Today, in addition to numerous visitors, the castle hosts various events, including the Halloween Festival.
The Verrucola Castle
Near Fivizzano you can visit the Castle of Verrucola, another pearl of Lunigiana. This castle dates back to the 13th century and is known for its panoramic position and imposing towers. Today, the Castle of Verrucola houses a museum that offers a fascinating insight into the history of the region, as well as serving as a venue for cultural events and art exhibitions.
The Castle of Aquila
Located in Gragnola, the Aquila Castle is another outstanding example of medieval architecture. Its name conjures up images of nobility and power, and it is easy to understand why when you look at its towers and massive walls. The castle was fundamental to the defence of the region during the Middle Ages and is today a testimony to Lunigiana’s glorious past.
The Castle of Pontebosio
In the municipality of Mulazzo, the Pontebosio Castle attracts visitors with its Gothic beauty. This castle dates back to the 14th century and is situated in a picturesque location near the Magra river. Its soaring towers and Gothic windows create a fairytale atmosphere that seems to have come straight out of a period story.
The Castle of Bagnone
The Castle of Bagnone is another fascinating example of medieval architecture in Lunigiana. Dating back to the 13th century, this castle offers a spectacular view of the Magra river valley. Today, it is often used as a venue for cultural events and art exhibitions, which add a touch of vitality to its historical past.
The Castle of Treschietto
Located near Fivizzano, the Castle of Treschietto is another architectural jewel of Lunigiana. This castle dates back to the 12th century and is known for its well-preserved walls and intimate atmosphere. It represents an example of a small castle, but is just as fascinating and rich in history as its larger counterparts.
The Castle of Virgoletta
The Castle of Virgoletta, in Villafranca in Lunigiana, is another castle that captures the imagination of visitors. This ancient fortress dates back to the 13th century and is surrounded by a picturesque hilly landscape. The castle has been carefully restored and is now open to the public, allowing visitors to explore its rooms and admire its historical architecture.
In addition to these, there are the Villafranca Castle, the Bastia Castle, the Lusuolo Castle in Comano, the Fivizzano Castle, the Tavernelle Castle in Fivizzano and the Terrarossa Castle in Licciana Nardi.
As you explore the Lunigiana region, you will be immersed in a world of medieval architecture, breathtaking views and compelling stories. The castles of Lunigiana are true historical treasures that capture the imagination of visitors and transport them back in time, making each visit an unforgettable experience.
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