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Castello dell’Aquila

Eagle Castle: Imposing 13th century castle

The Castello dell’Aquila is located on the top of the hill overlooking the village of Gragnola, at the confluence of the Aulella and Lucido rivers. It is one of the largest castles in Lunigiana, along with that of Verrucola.
The origins of a primary fortified structure (mastio) date back to the 13th century, which sits on the top of the hill likely allowing for the monitoring of medieval movements from Central Europe to Rome.

In the 14th century the territory broke away from Fosdinovo and, precisely in 1366, the castle became the marquise seat of the Malaspina dell’Aquila line, from which it took its name, becoming an independent fiefdom.

It was during the dominion of the Malaspina that the most important architectural modifications of the castle were made. Among the leading figures of this period are Spinetta Malaspina and Leonardo I, who carried out the transformation of the manors, with the aim of giving prestige and importance to the family residences.

After the economic decline of the Malaspina, degradation fell on the beautiful Castle. In 1920 it was hit by the terrible earthquake that affected Lunigiana and in the early 1900’s it was abandoned.
Today the Castle is completely restored. It took two years to clean and restore it to its original grandeur, thanks to work carried out with passion, care, competence and respect, to the extent possible, of the architecture and original materials.

Curiosities for the tourist

During the restoration, the skeleton of a man was found inside the castle. With carbon 14 testing it was determined that he was a knight approximately 35 years of age, 5 foot 6 inches tall, carefully buried according to medieval tradition. He was determined to be a knight by the particular wear shown on his skeletal femur. There is a cast of the original skeleton in the castle today.
Visitable: currently not open to visitors

Where is the Castello dell’Aquila

The castle is located in the town of Gragnola, in the municipality of Fivizzano .

Nearby you can find

Borgo di Equi Terme, Tecchia di Tenerano, Borgo di Fivizzano, Castello della Verrucola, Bozzi delle Fate, Pozze di Magliano, Lago Padule, Museo di Arte Sacra di San Giovanni.

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