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Institutional Sites
Fortresses and castles: Ariosto’s Fortress and Mont’Alfonso’s Fortress

Historic capital of Garfagnana, it was already in the Byzantine era an important fortified town. 8th century documents show constant references to its walls. The city also had two other fortifications: S. Nicolao’s Castle and a Bishop’s Castle.
Castelnuovo was occupied in 1170 by the troops of Lucca, which destroyed Castel S. Nicolao and then, after the advent of Castruccio Castracani, the fortifications were renovated and was promoted the building of new walls.
Passed under the jurisdiction of Estensi in the 16th century, the town was designated as residence of the Commissioner General of Garfagnana, based in Bishop's Castle, Rocca Ariostesca nowadays, from the prestigious poet Ludovico Ariosto who stayed here in as governor Estense from 1523 to 1525.
Just outside of Castelnuovo Mont'Alfonso’s Fortress  rises in an elevated position, conceived at the turn of the 16th century, as the last defensive stronghold of the Duchy of Ferrara to guard the border with the neighbouring Lucca.
Built between 1579 and 1586 with great expenditure of resources and energy, it was designed by Carpi’s engineer Marc'Antonio Pasi and it is still qualified as the most important Garfagnana of Este’s architectural military emergency.

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