Fosdinovo Malaspina Castle
Malaspina Castle is a historic residence registered with the A.D.S.I. and bound by the Superintendence for artistic and architectural heritage. It is located in the town of Fosdinovo in the province of Massa Carrara. It is the largest and best preserved castle in Lunigiana, recently restored.
The castle of Fosdinovo was the main residence of the marquis, ruler of the fief of the same name, belonging to one of the branches of the Malaspina dello Spino Fiorito, from the fourteenth to the eighteenth century.
The construction of the imposing fortress, which blends perfectly with the sandstone rock, began in the second half of the 12th century, even if the Castrum Fosdinovense is already mentioned in a document of Lucca of 1084.
Raised to dominion and defense of the primitive Castro of Fosdinovo, in 1340 it was officially ceded by the Nobles of Fosdinovo to Spinetta Malaspina, who died in 1352. He thus created the marquisate of Fosdinovo residing in the castle that his nephew Galeotto I, who died in 1367, later will enlarge and beautify.
At the end of the fifteenth century the castle was rationally restored by Gabriele II Malaspina. In the sixteenth century, thanks to the work of the aforementioned ruler and his successor Lorenzo Malaspina, the castle acquired the appearance of a noble residence and the dimension of a Renaissance court, while in the seventeenth century, during the marquisate of Giacomo (Jacopo) II Malaspina, the village it was further enlarged to count, in 1636, as many as eight hundred "fires".
Fosdinovo Castle dominates the village bearing the same name. It can easily be reached following the A12 Genoa-Leghorn until the 'Carrara' exit, from here the take the Aurelia road towards Sarzana until its connection with the SS446 that leads to Fosdinovo.
With its 12th century walls still intact, Fosdinovo Castle crowning a hill 550 meters high. The castle still dominates a great part of the Thyrrenian coastline. During the Middle Age its position was ideal to maintain control of the Apennines outlet to the sea and the Lunigiana region, with its roads and mountain pass linking the Thyrrenian coast to northern Italy.
We have records of the existence of Fosdinovo Castle as fief of the Erberia family since the year 1124, under the direct control of Bishop-Counts of Luni. This arrangement continued until 1317, when the unstoppable rise of the marquises Malaspina, strictly connected with the Ghibelline cause, brought the Episcopal power to a rapid decline and the leader of the family Spinetta Malaspina took possession of the castle. Immediately after Fosdinovo was conquered by the great commander Castruccio Castracani, Lord of Lucca, that besieged the castle with 6000 soldiers and 1000 knights. In the 1334, after the decline of Castruccio, the castle returned into possession of the Malaspina.