Fortezza delle Verrucole - Archeopark

Fortezza delle Verrucole - Archeopark, San Romano in Garfagnana: Hours, Address, Fortezza delle Verrucole - Archeopark Reviews: 5/5

Fortezza delle Verrucole - Archeopark

Fortezza delle Verrucole - Archeopark
Points of Interest & Landmarks
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10:30 AM - 6:30 PM
10:30 AM - 6:30 PM
10:30 AM - 6:30 PM
10:30 AM - 6:30 PM
It goes without saying that the word Verrucole, coming from the Italian verruca (wart), easily explains the choice of the rocky and unapproachable spot for the building of the fortification. A few ruins dating back to the Bronze Age and to a medieval hamlet have been found on the whinstone mountain where the fortress was raised. During the Middle Ages the territory of the “Curia delle Verrucole” was administered by the counts Gherardinghi, the local feudatory, then it was passed to the Republic of Lucca, the Malaspina family and since the sixteenth century to the Este family.The present features of the fortress probably go back to two periods governed by the Este dynasty, the age of Marquis Leonello (about 1450) and Alfonso II (about 1564). For more than four hundred years this fortress, which had a strategic location for the whole valley, was part of the duchy of Modena and the ancient province of Garfagnana. It is said that originally this complex had two towers, each one having its own castellan with guards protecting the two rocks, named the Round Rock and the Square Rock, placed at two opposite ends of the hill. The Round Rock with its still visible Ghibelline battlements, supports the present polygonal tower, which replaced a cylindrical tower, which is now visible after the recent excavations. The Square Rock is still evident in some traces in the vicinity of the north-eastern bulwark and it was defended by a semicircular tower and a north-oriented building. Coming from the old “Porta Piana”, which still retains its gatehouse and embrasure, it is now possible to visit the left battlement, the casemate and the bulwarks facing the majestic mountain “Pania di Corfino”. On the opposite side, next to the entrance of the casemate the scene continues with the ruins of the storehouse and the recently reconstructed quarters of the guard. Furthermore, rising on the hill of the Round Rock it is not possible to miss the old chapel and the partially restored tower. Any diligent observer will notice on the left hand side of the stone stairs the narrow “Porta del Soccorso”, a traditional emergency exit for the castles. From the north gate it is possible to enter into the “Orto del comandante”, containing a few service buildings, a rainwater tank and the gunpowder tower, struck by a thunderbolt and exploded in 1683.
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Tripadvisor gives a Travelers’ Choice award to accommodations, attractions and restaurants that consistently earn great reviews from travelers and are ranked within the top 10% of properties on Tripadvisor.
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.

595 reviews
Very good

James K
Cambridge, UK181 contributions
May 2015 • Family
Extended family and friends really enjoyed finding this excellent historical fort high in the hills/mountains. It's not sign-posted at all, so get a good map or use sat-nav. The fort had been partially restored, and there are multi-lingual guides to explain the history and how life was lived in the fort over the years. Armor and weaponry that the children can try bring it to life for them, and the excellent information boards and exhibits make this a go-to destination for famlies with children up to about 12 years old. The views are spectacular also, and there is a cafe which we didn't visit. There is a nominal charge to enter, but it is excellent value at 5 euros for adults...children less or free as I recall.
Written June 2, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Liverpool, UK1 contribution
Aug 2016 • Family
We don't leave reviews for visits on holiday often but felt we really should for this castle as it was so well done.

We picked it out of a list of possibilities at the end of a week in the Garfagnana area and were really impressed with this wart/verruca of a fort (that really is what the name means!). Diego and his wife (who own and run the place) and local volunteers have put a huge amount of effort into bringing the fort alive. We happened to arrive just before 2pm when the afternoon tour happened. Diego took us around and it was fascinating. He studied medieval history and has a deep knowledge of practices, customs, food, clothing etc from the time. His English is excellent. Our children aged 9 and 12 were also enthralled. It was only when I glanced at my watch at the end I realised the tour had been 1.5 hours! Lots of equipment, foods, clothing, beds etc on display almost all of which can be touched and examined.

We came during the week and as mentioned by others at the weekends there are often demonstrations of weaponry, catapults etc. Still it was a great visit and at €19 for 2 adults and 3 children very good value (€5 adult / €3 child 6-13).

There's a little cafe within the fort which sells soft drinks for €2 and cider, wine, cake, and some simple lunches.

Good luck to you both, thanks for the visit and hope this helps encourage visitors to visit you!
Written August 25, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Godalming UK11 contributions
Apr 2015 • Couples
We have been visiting this amazing Castle for the last 4 years and have seen how the local volunteer group have bought the tower back to life. If you want to visit, set your maps / sat navs for San Romano in Garfagnana, taking the road up - you will see the Castle sat atop of the 'wart'. The views from the Castle over the valleys are truly spectacular, and if you want to go at Festival time, 5th and 6th September 2015 sees the Castle holding it's main Medieval Festa. Verrucole is about 1hour 40 from Pisa, you can park in a small carpark on the left just before you reach the top of the road by the church, snacks and drinks available in the Castle grounds during high season, and joy of joys - rumour's of the village bar reopening soon.
Written May 10, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Toronto, Canada4 contributions
Jul 2014 • Friends
We stumbled upon the Fortezza on our way to one of the nearby lakes. What a wonderful place to visit! The tour was interesting and informative. Our tour guide, Diego, was very knowledgeable and obviously totally enjoyed his work! The views from the castle were stunning! The Fortezza is carefully maintained, restored, and refurbished. It was a delightful way to spend the morning!
Written July 9, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Rod P
Ashwell, UK2 contributions
Jul 2013 • Family
An excellent afternoon spent exploring this marvellous castle with an enthusiastic and knowledgeable guide who is part of a project trying to create a living history site. There is something here for all the family, try on chain mail (heavy and hot believe me), visit the armoury or visit the herbal garden, talk about dyeing and weaving of cloth generally get a feel for life in a medieval castle for both the military and their families. Almost forgot to mention the views - spectacular.
There is a café which was shut on the weekday we visited as the season wasn't quite in full swing. There is a bit of a climb on a decent path to the castle but that's true of just about everywhere in the Garfagnana valley, however, the road access was easy. Do go to this castle.
Written July 10, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Newcastle upon Tyne, UK39 contributions
Jun 2019 • Couples
I’d seen all the five star reviews and wasn’t convinced, but figured we’d have a look anyway. So very glad we did! We parked at Verrucole (following the signs and ignoring the satnav) and walked the much easier than anticipated walk up to the fortress. The views are stunning and the renovations on the fort are fantastic. The little domed building was well decked out with medieval decor, and the guide was full of information. There are lots of rooms to explore, and a few gifty things to buy on the top floor. We had beer and lunch at the tavern inside the walls; the food, drink, and service were excellent. I absolutely cannot fault Fortezza delle Verrucole. Best five euro I’ve spent this holiday (although when you add on the medieval wine, comic book, cook book, lunch, and trinkets it’s probably more, but I’m not counting!).
Written June 7, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

mark c
Hemel Hempstead, UK113 contributions
Dec 2018 • Couples
This is an amazing venue - despite the hard walk up to it if the train isn’t running - when docents in themed costumes bring history to life. Diego was knowledgable, interesting and enthusiastic to share his knowledge - I look forward to a return in the Summer
Written January 1, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

120 contributions
Dec 2018 • Couples
My cousins who live nearby suggested we visit this fortress. Unbelievable! So interesting & so well preserved. The climb up was definitely worth it but be warned - very steep!!!
Thank you Diego who was our guide for the day & despite being amongst a group of Italians, took the time to translate what he was saying into English so we could follow. A great day.
Written December 31, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

San Francisco, CA83 contributions
Aug 2018 • Family
We visited with her teenage children – a good activity on a hot day, as it is high up in the valley and therefore cooler. There is a little train that just started service, which makes the steep walk not necessary. It’s a little rickety – but an adventure and we did not feel unsafe. This operation is run by the community and provides jobs and opportunities for the locals –
Written August 9, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thank you for your visit and opinion, we are happy you enjoyed all! See you soon!
Written August 13, 2018
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

St. Albans, UK16 contributions
Jul 2014 • Family
We saw this described on a leaflet as one of the top dozen or so things to see in Garfagnana, so we went to look for it. No signs - nothing. One fort was signposted out of Castelnuovo, but it wasn't this one. We didn't give up. Even in Verrucole - no signs indicating where to park or get up there (we now realise that there are arrows painted on the ground (once you're on foot).
Once there - wow ! The folk that run it are so friendly, amusing & interesting. Diego's 'tour' was very enlightening - I thought I would have heard it all before. We left very happy (albeit with a sore head after a collision with a low beam)
Written July 29, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Fortezza delle Verrucole - Archeopark is open:
  • Fri - Sun 10:30 AM - 6:30 PM