The castle itself was amazing and full of historical artifacts. I teach history and it is one of my favorite hobbies...needless to say, I took more pictures inside and outside of this castle than anywhere else on our 11 day trip to Italy. Prior to visiting the castle, I had read some reviews on the site about the friendliness of the people in town and in it's little grocery stores. Someone even mentioned that we stop at a grocery and buy food to make a picnic for eating on the castle's terrace.
First I must say that I love and respect cultures varying from my own and I very much enjoy learning about them. However, we (from the US) were greeted with very dirty looks when we went into town. It was very difficult to navigate the grocery store; but once we found it and walked inside, the owner muttered something under her breath to my husband and gave him a look as if he were trespassing. As we looked around, she continued to stare at him with her eyes squinted and possessing a look of anger that we were obviously not natives and therefore did not belong there. Needless to say, the shopkeeper made us feel very uncomfortable, so we left about two minutes after walking inside.
After this incident, we went to a little corner cafe to grab something to go because my husband was getting hungry. As we walked toward the cafe, a lady working inside gave us an unpleasant look as we approached. I stayed outside while my husband walked in to purchase something, but the lady kept her eyes on me, squinting and giving me a look signaling that we were unwelcome.
If you visit the castle, make sure that you stay at or around the castle. There is a new restaurant opened up at the bottom of the castle, right outside the big brown doors (castle entrance). This is not the same as the cantina, however right behind it. This place is owned by a husband and wife; the husband is the waiter and he speaks English. Also, ensure that after booking, you print the page specifying the room of which you booked and bring it with you to ensure that you receive the correct room. Overall, staying at the castle is an excellent opportunity as long as you don't venture into the village (if you don't appear to be a native).
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Malaspina Castle of Fosdinovo, dating back from the second half of the twelfth century, stands to the north of Tuscany between the Alps and the Tyrrhenian coast (Lerici, Cinque Terre, Versilia). Today the Castle is a museum, a cultural center dedicated to the production and diffusion of contemporary arts, a retreat for artists and writers and it hosts inside a small bed and breakfast welcoming and very charming. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Castello Malaspina Di Fosdinovo Hotel Fosdinovo