Castle of the Bastia: Renaissance fortress in the Taverone Valley
The Bastia Castle is actually a 13th century Renaissance fortress. Itss important and mighty structure gave it the reputation of an “impregnable castle”.
The Bastia Castle stands on the highest hill in the town of Bastia, dominating a large part of the Taverone Valley.
It is important to remeber the events related to the great life of its last marquise: the beautiful Annetta Malaspina della Bastia. She was married at a young age to the Marquis Giovanni Malaspina della Bastia, who shortly after became a gentleman of the chamber of Filippo di Borbone, son of the King of Spain, later Duke of Parma, Piacenza and Guastalla.
Annetta then moved to Parma, becoming one of the most influential women of court politics and literary salons of the eighteenth century in Italy. Many verses were dedicated to her, by those who loved and admired her, including:
“The lustrous dark of Lady Malaspina’s
vexing eyes were then anguish
for every heart”
“Erano d’ogni cor tormento allora
della vezzosa Malaspina i neri
Literature, economics and politics were the elements characterizing the life of this skilled and beautiful woman, who became the lover of the Prime Minister of the Duchy of Parma, the French Guillaume du Tillot. Annetta moved the threads of Parma’s economy in her golden period, encouraging investments, promoting political agreements and literature. To read more about Annetta’s life you can look at the website of the Malaspina Museum Archive in Mulazzo.
Curiosities for the tourist
Of the Marchesa Annetta Malaspina della Bastia, only three portraits remain today: one preserved in the Maria Luigia Museum in Parma (Glauco Lombardi Foundation), one in the Malaspina Museum Archive in Mulazzo and the last portrait kept today in the castle.
Where the Bastia Castle is located
The Bastia Castle is located in the locality of the same name, in the municipality of Licciana Nardi. Once in Licciana Nardi follow the signs for Bastia, about 4km away. It is well marked with signage.
Between 1294 amd 1307, Francesco d’Olivola gave the castle to the Marquis Malaspina di Villafranca. Perhaps following the pledge, the Bastia remained the property of the same lords of Villafranca until, in 1416, it was occupied, together with other Malaspinian castles, by the Genoese.
Private Residence open to the public. For info and tour guides see the website of Sigeric Local Guides here below.
Nearby you can find
Prati di Cisigliana, Castello Malaspina di Monti, Bozzi del Taverone, Castello Malaspina di Terrarossa.