Castiglione is in the region of Garfagnana, in Tuscany. The village dates back to the period of Roman domination when it was frequently the construction of castra, i.e. terre fitted with fortifications, and between these precisely Castrum Leonis (Castello del Leone). At one time it was held in great esteem for its position of control on the path leading to Passo San Pellegrino, one of the most easy steps of the Apennines. Because of its strategic position, the Castello del Leone had a past very tormented and often was forced to defend itself from the numerous sieges. It was destroyed in 1226 and rebuilt in 1230. Lucca obtained from the emperor Federico II the imperial investiture on Garfagnana, to administer the which the divided into vicariates and Castiglione Garfagnana became the most important Vicar of the valley of the Serchio. On 10 March 1371 in the castle of Castiglione was signed the peace treaty between Lucca and the Antelminelli and other noble garfagnini, and Lucca, retracted in possession of Castiglione in 1371, fortified with walls more robust and with a series of Torrioni. In the XV century Castiglione was dominated for a short period by the Florentines, but after the peace concluded between Milan (allied of Lucca) and Venice (allied of Florence), in 1433 Castiglione went back under the control of Lucca.
Al Casone di Profecchia and to the pitch of the roots are available ski lifts and ski trails and represent basis points for excursions on the countless peaks surrounding Apennine (Monte Prado, Monte Cusna, Monte Vecchio) through a dense network of paths immersed along beech trees.
The village of San Pellegrino in Alpe, with its 1525 m.s.l.m., is the country firmly inhabited the highest of the whole Apennine chain. His other peculiarity is that belong simultaneously to two common (Castiglione and Frassinoro), two provinces (Lucca and Modena) and two regions (Tuscany and Emilia-Romagna). Certainly deserve a visit the Sanctuary of the saints and Peregrine White and the Museo Etnografico Provinciale "Don Luigi Pellegrini" that preserves over 4000 items related to rural civilization of the valley of the Serchio and the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines. There are also interesting the panoramic point of the Pier and the devotional path (linked to the events of San Pellegrino), said of the "Giro del Diavolo", where we meet the pile of stones, carried and stored in the course of the centuries to penance by pilgrims and the "source of the Saint", where according to the tradition the Holy went to drink.
Very famous and popular is the Alpine Philharmonic of Castiglione di Garfagnana, founded in 1858 with the name of popular fanfare, currently led by Maestro Silvano Marcalli. In 2008 were celebrated the 150 years of activity of the Philharmonic, with a gathering of old and current members of the band.
"Land of wolves and robbers": so Ludovico Ariosto called Garfagnana when arrived there in 1522 as Commissioner Este. Today's visitors remain rather fascinated by this savagery, especially because it has not surrendered to concrete. Nature resists with severe landscapes, of contrast: the village of Castiglione is walled and lost in the woods, surrounded by mountains: border territory. The defiant death on the wooden Christ's face in the church of San Michele, the thirteenth-century Madonna of the altarpiece by Simone Giuliano, still archaic in the features, and the one more modern, more girl with a shade of melancholy, sculpted by Vincenzo Civitali in the church St. Peter, are figures of this austere land, the image of a different Tuscany, more bitter and mountainous than sweet and hilly. In the depths of the brown eyes of the Madonnas of Lucca, of this sweet wildness, are glimpsed the passage of time, solidified in the austere coats of arms of the municipal building. A window lit in the village invites us to the touched serenity of being up here: in the village at the top of the hill of houses thrown in, with its fortress, the mighty walls and the towers, signs of a still-living Middle Ages. The friendly names of the two towers of the Brunella, within the walls, and Campanella, in the castle, should not make us forget that this was the most important castle of the Republic of Lucca to defend the border against the Duchy of Modena, on the important road that from here crosses the Apennines towards the lands of "Lombardia".
The Municipality of Castiglione di Garfagnana
Province of Lucca
Altitude center: 545 m a.s.l.
The Municipality is part of:
I Borghi più belli d'Italia
Città del castagno
Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II 1 - Tel. +39 0583 69911
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