Castello del Leone, the ancient name of this fortified village, still intact and austere, is located in a strategic position to guard the road that leads to San Pellegrino pass, a road connecting to northern Italy. The destiny of Castiglione, unlike most villages of Garfagnana, has been linked to Lucca since 1371, never being under Este family dominion, despite suffering attacks. The walls and the majestic towers surrounding the town, date back to 15th century. They were built to defend of the stronghold (todays private residence), which rises elegantly above the roofs of houses and is equipped with three additional towers. Within the walls, there are two important churches: St Peter, which dates to the Lombard period and the 15th century St Michael, which conserves a beautiful painting of the Madonna and Child by Giuliano di Simone. Inside, there is a wooden crucifix from a 1389, which comes, according to the tradition, from the ancient church of St. Christopher of the Castle of Verrucchia, destroyed in the 14th century in the wars between Pisa and Lucca. Legend has it that the witch of Castle of Verrucchia, the night before its devastation, going from house to house forewarning the inhabitants by beating on the chain of the fireplace shouting: “Lock the doors, I tell you, so that Magdalene knows that tonight at midnight the fortress of Verrucchia will be destroyed!”.
Castiglione is part of the circuit “I Borghi più belli d’Italia (The most beautiful villages in Italy). To visit the village you enter through one of the gates of the castle, following along the walls. The clock tower, the tower of “Brunella”, Fattori’s Tower and St. Michael’s and St. Peter’s tower follow each other, one after other, and the majestic stronghold that can only be visited on reservation at the Pro-Loco. From the rampart of Torricella the panorama ranges from the Apuan Alps to the Apennines.