As well as many other medieval hamlets in Lunigiana, Arcola and its castle overlook the valley. The ancient fort that emerges above every other roof was built in the 11th century by the Obertenghi family and it was one of the most majestic fortress in the High Middle Ages. It was turned into a monastery and into an elegant residence for the Malaspina family, the Dorias and it was occupied by Castruccio Castracani eventually.
What remains is the result of an intense post-Napoleon era restoration: in the face of the collage of diverse historical layers, it is surprising to witness the outliving of the ancient Obertenghi pentagonal tower: twenty five meters for a not to be missed landmark that has been declared a national monument.
Arcola, its castle, its cobbles streets and the view from there – a sort of natural cinerama above the Magra Valley – are worth a visit. Once in the main square, don’t miss the chance to watch closely a small stone tank: it dates back to 1601 and it amounts to half a barrel of wine, as stated by the Genoeses; what else is needed to prove the robust link between Arcola, its hills and vineyards?
Source: Trame di Lunigiana