Castelnuovo Garfagnana

The Rocca of Castelnuovo Garfagnana

Built by the Dukes of Este and dominates the town’s main square

Castelnuovo di Garfagnana
The Rocca Ariostesca, in the main piazza of Castelnuovo Garfagnana, is the symbol of the city. The fortress was built in the 11th century and gained its name, Ariostesca, for having provided a home for the poet Ludovico Ariosto between 1552-55 when he served as Governor of the province of Garfagnana.
The city structure is characteristically Medieval, with small corner towers and a central prison. Under Lucchese domination it underwent some changes, like the extension of the city walls and the creation of fortress and civic clock at the centre of town. It was restored in the years following World War II to repair damage from bombings during the war.

Inside the fortress is located the Archeology Museum of Garfagnana where the early history – from the Bronze Age onwards – of this area is documented, paying particular attention to the Apuan Ligurians.

Ligurian presence in the Garfagnana is documented as early as the 13th century BCE, and by 250 the Serchio Valley was densely populated by the Ligurians and Etruscans. The two cultures established commercial relations which helped to establish both peoples in the region.

Town Hall until the end of the Second World War, the Rocca of Castelnuovo was heavily bombed in 1944 the original structure was seriously damaged. The subsequent restoration has drastically changed the original aspect of much of the complex.

The Rocca now houses administrative offices, a historical archive and an archaeological museum with archaeological finds from the upper Serchio valley.

Castelnuovo di Garfagnana
In the heart of Garfagnana, rich in natural and historical beauty
Castelnuovo is the main centre of Garfagnana, positioned at the merging of the river Serchio with the Turrite Secca, a typical mountain torrent coming down from the Apuans. The town is the commercial and administrative centre of the valley, seat of the 'Comunità Montana' which unites 16 communes, and many other public offices. ...