Castle of Montemagno
The road that climbs from Camaiore to Montemagno through the spectacular Freddana valley allows some magnificent views. Montemagno is a small, pretty village gathered around a church on the road to Lucca. A castle was built here in the Middle Ages and represents a good example for the Camaiore region of what was at the same time an aristocratic residence and a refuge in times of siege. Its outstanding position gave the castle control over the portion of the via francigena connecting Lucca with the Versilia Plain. We don't now exactly when the castle was erected; however, documents
From the archives mention it as early as 1099.
Excavation probes suggest that the palace stood at the top, where only the remains of some outer walls can be seen.

Place

Montemagno lucca

Conservation status

The remains of the castle can be seen on a hillock above Montemagno and have been restored by the owner. Part of the walls and the façade of the church consecrated to S. Bartolomeo are preserved.

Historical Information

After defeating the feudal lords of the Versilia region, who controlled their land from castles perched on the neighbouring hills, Lucca fought against Pisa for the control of the coast in the XIIth and XIIIth centuries.
The lords of Montemagno became Lucca's allies and helped to build another castle at Rotaio that was supposed to contrast both the Pisans and the troops of the lords of Vallecchia and Corvaia, relentless enemies of the government. The feudal regime definitively collapsed in Versilia around the middle of the XIIIth century and from then on the castle of Montemagno probably fell into neglect. An interesting piece of information comes from a document dated 1411 and kept in Lucca's Public Record Office. In this contract a certain 'Mucius' of Naples rents from the Commune of Lucca " una pezza di terra vineata et selvata et boschiva cum Castro distructo et cum Edificius Palatium murati et Ecclesia sopra se in loco detto al Castello di Montemagno": so we learn that the 'castro', i.e. the castle, was indeed already destroyed.

Bibliography

  • GRUPPO ARCHEOLOGICO CAMAIORE, I castelli feudali del territorio di Camaiore, 1993
  • SANTINI V., Commentari storici della Versilia, Pacini Editore, Pisa 1992
  • RINUCCINI G.B., Di Camajore come città della Versilia e sue adiacenze, Firenze 1858 (ristampa Arnaldo Forni Editore, 1981)
  • BELLATO F., Camaiore e dintorni (a cura del Cumune di Camaiore), 1999

Information

District/Location: Camaiore, locality Montemagno
District: Versilia

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Hospitality...