The Verrucole Castle is a beautifully preserved Medieval fortress in the heart of the Garfagnana.

Tuscany doesn’t want for castles. But while most have been given new lives as hotels and private residences, the Fortezza delle Verrucole in the Garfagnana has been turned into an open air museum. A place where visitors can get a peek at life in the Middle Ages.

verrucole castle garfagnana
By MarcoPistolozziOwn work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link

Verrucole Castle – a living museum:

The Verrucole Castle was built between the X and XIII century by the Gherardinghi family to keep Lucca’s ambitions in check, the castle has been accurately restored and today is kept alive by a team of passionate guides that organise historical reconstructions. The principle that inspire them is the idea of the “living museum” . To this end they offer entertaining tailored and interactive tours, and historical reenactments. This includes a reconstruction of the battle against Lucca.

The rooms and the gardens are organised as they were in the XII century. Visitors can wander around freely and experience life in the Middle Age first hand. The tours explain what life was like for the soldiers and their families living at the castle, they talk about the traditional activities such as dyeing and weaving, and the importance of the herb garden.

The spectacular setting and views over the Garfagnana help make this a great day out for the whole family, a great option for family holidays in Tuscany.

Where is the Verrucole Castle?

The setting is magnificent. The “green island” of the Garfagnana offers great views and plenty of relaxing opportinuties.

Verrucole is a suburb of San Romano in Garfagnana, situated 1 hour drive from Lucca. Nearby there’s also the Orecchiella Park, a perfect place for long walks in nature.

The road access is easy but you can’t drive up to the castle. It’s a bit of a steep climb to the castle but the path is decent and the views from up there are truly spectacular.

To give you an idea of what it looks like, have a peek at the official site.