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The Castle of Fosdinovo Malaspina

Between history and legends in Lunigiana

The inhabitants of Tuscany know well the jewels of their land, where you can discover important details between history and legends; the Malaspina Castle is part of these jewels that know how to tell about themselves through their walls and the most hidden corners.

The medieval fortress is located in Fosdinovo, in Lunigiana, borderland between Tuscany and Liguria, and dominates the city of Massa from its rocky hill.

From the fifteenth century owned by the Marquis Malaspina di Fosdinovo, in the nineteenth century it became a prison and remained in this capacity until 1946; From that moment until today it has become an attraction to visit absolutely, one of the reference points for tourists from all over the world. Its current structure is composed of the walls consisting of walkways, bastions, residence and keep, the residential part with fascinating frescoes and the beautiful courtyard: we are certainly facing one of the most evocative but also the most mysterious castles in Tuscany.

Yes, because like any self-respecting castle, the Castle of Fosdinovo Malaspina also carries with it a mysterious legend; precisely that of Bianca Maria Aloisia Malaspina who seems to have been killed within these walls in the thirteenth century by the will of her father who did not accept her love with the groom: it seems that the young woman was walled up alive in a cell together with a wild boar, symbol of rebellion, and a dog, symbol of loyalty. 

As with any legend, this one has no certain origins, yet it is one of the elements that makes this castle even more interesting in addition to its structure of remarkable beauty.

The structure of the castle of Fosdinovo

Despite the numerous restorations that took place during the 800, the structure of the castle remains the original one. Its layout is quadrangular in shape with two internal courtyards, has four circular towers connected by a walkway with Ghibelline battlements. Other elements still visible are the hanging gardens, terraces and loggias: no longer perfect as they once were, but always very fascinating, especially for what they can tell about intimate.

A detail that in past centuries was present and that protected the fortress but that today unfortunately no longer exists is the drawbridge at the entrance: although it is no longer present, the remains of the structure are still visible.

From the ancient Renaissance portico with stone columns you can access the rooms of the castle: the entrance hall, the dining room, the throne room (where there are stairs leading to the walkways and the crenellated tower), Dante's room (in 1306 the castle hosted Dante Alighieri who was a close friend of the Malaspina family), the living room with its sitting rooms, the trap room and the torture room.


The Museum of the Malaspina Castle


Just to discover its secrets,  the castle has been transformed into a museum that makes the entire structure available; From prisons to panoramic towers along an interdisciplinary path, designed for all ages, which includes, among many things, medieval re-enactments and Dante reading. 

Not everyone knows that the Malaspina Castle, since 2008 is also a cultural center designed as a place of thought and production where multidisciplinary initiatives and projects are organized. The aim of this cultural project is to allow an investigation of languages and narratives as a tool for artistic research focused precisely on language as a meeting place between literature, arts and nature.



Image sources: castello di fosdinovo