Rocca Ariostesca is the symbol of Castelnuovo di Garfagnana, it dominates the central Piazza Umberto I and owes its name to the poet Ludovico Ariosto who lived there, from 1522 to 1525, as governor of the Este province of Garfagnana.

A small garrison already existed on the spot in the 10th century, but the original structure of the fortress dates back to the 12th century; modified throughout the 13th century, it was significantly enlarged in the early 14th century by Castruccio Castracani, who led to an enlargement of the entire walls of the village; later Paolo Guinigi ordered the construction of the imposing tower located in the center of the Rocca, adorned with the civic clock. The terrace overlooking the square was erected in 1675, in conjunction with the opening of the monumental arch of access to the city center.

The Rocca was a military fortification first, and later the seat of public offices. It has always been the beating heart of Castelnuovo, and today, with a major remodelling and enhancement project underway, it will become a museum center of Ludovico Ariosto and the Garfagnana of the 16th century.

The “open site” will be accessible and host extraordinary events organized by the Municipality of Castelnuovo di Garfagnana, during the entire period of the remodeling, which is expected to end in 2021.

Sign up for the newsletter to receive information on the visitor’s calendar and events that will be organized in 2022 for the 500th anniversary of Ariosto’s arrival in Garfagnana as Estense Governor.

Ufficio Cultura Comune di Castelnuovo di Garfagnana

Il punto di vista di Ludovico Ariosto

La Garfagnana…. Questa è una fossa, ove abito, profonda, donde non muovo pie senza salire del silvoso Apennin la fiera sponda…

I Garfagnini ….O stiami in rocca o voglia all’aria uscire, accuse e liti sempre, e gridi ascolto. Furti, omicidi, odii, vendette ed ire.
Chiedendo a più riprese al Duca Alfonso, armigeri per agire contro li malfattori che pare abbiano eletto qui la loro sede
E il Duca a lui … “Non attizzate li calabroni, mandateci piuttosto acqua dei Bagni e trote da amarenare”

Where to sleep

Where to eat

Other interesting places to see: