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Lucca Castles and Fortresses: a real dive in the Medieval times

Lucca, the Apuan Alps and the Garfagnana area are packed with well-preserved Medieval castles and fortresses. These are fascinating places, rich in myths and legends, definitely worth a visit. After you have visited the center of Lucca, you may go wandering through some of the most beautiful remains of our land.

 

The Castle of Fosdinovo and the ghost of Bianca Aloisia

If you want to visit the Castle of Malaspina in Fosdinovo you have to travel to Massa Carrara, along the Tuscany Coast, but it’s definitely worthy because the Twelfth Century fortress is stunningly well-preserved. Going around the gardens and the halls, the towers and the ramparts, the courtyards, the walkaways and the terraces, you will feel like you have been thrown back in old times.

Visit the ancient rooms of the castle, such as the Throne Room, the Dining Room with the large fireplace and the pharmacy ceramics, the Chamber of the Tricks that threw into the torture chamber.

You can visit the room of Dante Alighieri, a friend of the Malaspina, who spent here part of his exile from Florence. Not to mention the many legends on this castle: the most famous is about the ghost of Bianca Aloisia, the daughter of Jacopo Malaspina, who was walled alive in a room of the castle because she disobeyed her father and dishonored the family and that today still infests the castle.

The castle is a museum, a cultural center and an exhibition space, not to mention the stunning view of its terraces.

Distance from Lucca: 1 hour by car
Opening hours and tickets: http://www.castellodifosdinovo.it

 

The Nozzano Castle

This very important Lucca Castle was used by the Lucchesi to protect themselves from the Pisani attacks in the Medieval Times: in fact, it lies in a strategic location on a hill overlooking the Valley of the River Serchio.

Visiting the castle and its town is a real pleasure, as you can go through the meandering cobbled streets along the colorful Medieval buildings feeling the very special atmosphere of the place.

If you are a fan of historical films, you must go to Nozzano in September, during the fair “Il Castello Rivive” (The Castle lives again), a real Medieval full immersion in the life of the Fourteenth century.

Distance from Lucca: 20 minutes by car
Information about the fair: http://www.ilcastellorivive.it/

 

The Living Museum of the Fortress of Verrucole

The Fortress of Verrucole is sited in San Romano, a town of Garfagnana, among the Apuan Alps.

This place has become an Archeopark: local volunteers wears medieval clothing and guide the visitors along the castle explaining all the activities of the Medieval times, the story of the place and the facts and legends about the Fortress.

This is quite a beautiful experience especially if you bring your kids.

Distance from Lucca: 1 hour and 15 minutes by car
Information and tickets: http://www.fortezzaverrucolearcheopark.it/home_ita.php

 

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