fb track
location_cityHistorical Buildings

Aghinolfi Castle in Montignoso

A gem of a place on the slopes of the Apuan Alps, to the left of the Tascio stream

Map for 44.016089,10.170191
Montignoso

Proximity to the sea and direct control of the nearby via Francigena have always made Aghinolfi Castle in Montignoso an exceptional strategic point. An 8th-century document attests to the existence, even in the Lombard era, of Aghinulfo, an unknown character who seems to have been a functionary at the Lombard court in Lucca. The castle was built, albeit fitfully, in the late Middle Ages by the Lucchese government, which considered Montignoso a valuable place for control of the sea. The most recent military occupation of the castle was in 1945, when it was held by a Nazi garrison, who made a few architectural changes and turned it into one of the main strongholds along the Gothic Line.

There are many elements to the complex: a wide ring of walls, flanked by towers, encloses two spaces, both large but of different dimensions. The higher area contains the weapons-training ground and a patrol route, supported by numerous arches; a keep built on a large octagonal building (probably the oldest in the whole complex), which, via a walled courtyard, is joined to a circular tower, the bastion of San Paolino. The octagonal building, which is thought to date from the 1100s, seems to have had both military and residential functions over the centuries.

Aghinolfi Castle in Montignoso
Aghinolfi Castle in Montignoso - Credit: Wzgfan97

Restoration works on the castle, begun in 1998, have consolidated the ruins and integrated them with walls more recently constructed. A panoramic terrace has thus been created, and a display room has been furnished with a glass floor to allow you to look down through the historical layers of the building.

A visit to the castle will allow you to enjoy a beautiful view of the sea and the mountains and to understand the story of the monument, by way of the surviving material evidence.

Montignoso
Panorama includes sea, plains and mountains
Montignoso and its castle, were under Lucca’s jurisdiction until 1845, when it fell under the dominion of the Estensi Family before becoming part of the Massa Carrara province. THE HISTORIC TOWN CENTRE Castello Aghinolfi This castle, which dominates the panorama, was strategically important and constantly fought over by the military forces of Pisa, Genoa and Lucca. ...
Morekeyboard_backspace