The magnificent Fortezza delle Verrucole sits 600 metres above sea level above the village of Verrucole. It is 3 kilometres from the town of San Romano in Garfagnana. The fortress offers spectacular views over the Garfagnana valley and the Apuan Alps.
The fortress was built by the Gherardinghi family in feuding times around the 11th and 12th centuries. It was originally 2 buildings, Rocca Quadra and Rocca Tondo on each side of a hill and surrounded by a wall. It fell into serious disrepair until a 6 year restoration brought it back to life and open to the public. It is a wonderful glimpse into medieval life.
We visited on a cloudy spring day and walked up the path from the village.
There is a quaint ticket office at the entrance. A costumed attendant sold us our €5 tickets.
We walked up the steep steps to the tower, which had been very well restored. The first floor has been set up as if the original residents were still there.
The kitchen is particularly well done.
The top floor of the tower has information and history and great views from the outside terrace.
The toilet built into the outer wall might leave you a little exposed in winter.
We ventured to the other end of the site. There is a very good cafe that serves coffee and light meals.
We were able to have a little archery practice for the tiny sum of €3. Our friend Moira proved to be a natural and hit the target almost every time.
Jim tried too, but probably should keep his day job as an accountant. I am useless at things like this, so I was happy to watch.
We walked back through the village past an old church to the car park below…a last look at the Fortezza.
Fortezza delle Verrucole is very well presented and an interesting place to spend a couple of hours. The drive up to Verrucole is through gorgeous scenery. It is an easy day trip from Bagni di Lucca.