More recent are the fortresses of Castelnuovo di Garfagnana, which the Via Matildica encounters as it continues on its way to Lucca. The historic center is accessed by crossing the stone bridges dedicated to the Virgin Mary and Saint Lucia, the latter directly connected to the ancient walls. Within the village, the Rocca Ariostesca has been integrated into the urban fabric, but its charm has remained unchanged: the castle was built during the Middle Ages, but it has gone down in history for being the home of Ludovico Ariosto during the period when he was governor of Garfagnana. A short distance from the town center is located the Fortezza di Mont’Alfonso: irregularly shaped and dating back to the 16th-century, the structure stands imposingly, the last bastion of the Duchy of Este in Tuscany.
The Via Matildica del Volto Santo continues encountering again numerous fortified villages and bridges that defy the centuries. In Gallicano you cross a long walkway that rises above the Serchio river, and from the village you can reach the thousand-year-old Rocca di Trassilico, which, with its terraces and panoramic location, provides breathtaking views of the green Garfagnana landscapes.
The Ponte del Solco, partly covered and hidden by vegetation, marks the approach to the hamlet of Filecchio; from here, a few kilometers separate travelers from Ghivizzano, an ancient medieval stronghold. The village is a maze of alleys and underpasses, and ancient history can be found in the layout of the castle, as well as in the fortress and the Torre di Castruccio, which once featured battlements that have almost completely disappeared.