Since the Middle Ages the territory controlled by the fortress
of Verrucole was contended between the government of Lucca and local noble families like the Gherardinghi; this gave rise to fierce territorial conflicts, extended to the neighbouring Communes of Pisa and Florence. And it was with Pisa that the Gherardinghi, Lords of Verrucole, Vibbiana, Mestiane, San Romano, Naggio, Boglio and Petrognano, formed an alliance against the expansionism of Lucca in Garfagnana
. Defeated by Lucca in 1170, the Gherardinghi gradually lost their power and sold most of their lands. So the fortress of Verrucole passed into the hands of the Guidiccioni; then, in the middle of the XIVth
century, into in those of Spinetta Malaspina and finally, in 1446, became property of the Dukes of Este. Works of extension and changes to the original round rocca
, that had probably stood on the hill since the XIth
century, began under the Dukes of Este: the space between the original 'dovetail' Ghibelline merlons
was filled in and the tower raised; meanwhile the hill was surrounded by strong walls and equipped with rooms for storing arms and an underground casemate.
During the French invasion, in the XVIIIth
century, Garfagnana returned under Lucca and as a consequence Verrucole was dismantled and condemned to a fate of relentless decay, like so many medieval fortresses in the area.