La Fortezza

The Fortress of Verrucole, founded by Gherardinghi family above a previous human settlement, dates back to a period between the X and XIII centuries. Gherardinghi built a first fortress and a public palace to keep the territory under its control. However, the expansionist aims of Lucca towards the north caused innumerable battles in these places around XII and XIII centuries. Probably, the most difficult moment was at the end of the XII century when Gherardinghi family joined the alliance between Pisa and feudal lords of Garfagnana and Versilia against the republic of Lucca, which reacted in 1170 with a large-scale military campaign. This also included the siege of "Verucola gherardenga", the ancient name of the present Fortress of Verrucole. In the following years the feudal lords of Verrucole managed to wrest from the Holy Roman Empire and from the Pope promises of independence and autonomy, promises that materialize in the drafting of a municipal statute dated 1271. In 1296, the Fortress passed to Lucca, in particular to Giudiccioni's coterie. When the epic period of Lucca’s leader Castruccio Castracani was over, the Fortress lost its importance so that in 1328 Spinetta Malaspina, a Ghibelline marquis and prince of fortune, could seize it and held it until 1345. And then again The Fortress of the Verrucole was abandoned until arrival of Este dynasty. In 1429 a part of the Garfagnana passed under the dominion of Este family of Ferrara. Between 1522 and 1525 Ludovico Ariosto was the ruler of the Garfagnana and had to organize the military garrisons, including Verrucole. In the second half of the 16th century, Duke Alfonso I d'Este invited the architect Marc’Antonio Pasi to restyle the Fortress to new military needs. So, the current polygonal fortress and the ramparts were modified. In the middle of the 18th century the Fortress lost its original strategic and military function. However, the structure were maintained thanks to ducal engineers. At end of the 1700s and at the beginning of the 1800s, under the French domination, there was an auction for the fortress, but it remained unsold. The entire complex was sold to unknown persons in 1866. In 1986 the Municipality of San Romano in Garfagnana bought the Fortress, starting its conservative and reconstructive restoration, succesfully completed in 2012. Since 2013, the Fortress is visited regularly thanks to the Fortezza Verrucole Archeopark project, designed and created by the association STUDIUM 1984 APS.

About us: STUDIUM 1984 APS is a non-profit social association of Lucca’s province active for over a decade in the field of Living History. We deal with experimental archeology, historical reconstruction, cultural organizations of historical reconstruction events.


La Garfagnana

It is called the green island of Tuscany and indeed this valley is close to important historical sites such as Lucca, Pisa, Florence and Versilia Garfagnana remained closed on itself, living its own history and building a strong identity that still preserves.

Garfagnana literally means Great Forest, as this valley appeared to its first visitors and even today we remain amazed in front of the luxuriant extension of its woods. Among the expanses of beech and chestnut trees, there is a rich natural fauna: foxes, wild boars, deer and various birds. So, Outdoor Excursions to discover flora and fauna are easy to do at every time. For example, you can discover Orecchiella Park or Tuscan-Emilian Apennino National Park; all their activities of natural protection and cultural diffusion.

In this immense green valley appear, almost suddenly perched on a hill, lying on the plateaus that slope down towards the river, overlooking the dizzying rock faces, the small inhabited village that characterize the valley. Here, time passes slowly, the rhythms are those of other times, children's games have been the same for centuries, and the shops have an antique scent.

Garfagnana is worlwide recognized for its typical and excellent food andnot only for its natural and historical beauties. Typical dishes and food remains the same through the centuries, sometimes dating back to the Middle Age. Spelled and chestnut are the absolute master of a food tradition to be discovered and pleasantly unexpected.

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STUDIUM 1984 APS - Sede Legale: Via Torre, 9 Bagni di Lucca, 55022 Lucca ITALY  C.F. 90008440464 e P.Iva 02319360463 tel. 3403586862 
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