Villages and Culture

The Este dominion in Garfagnana and the "kingdom" of Ariosto for a journey back in time between castles and fortresses

6 days for a fascinating journey among ancient fortresses.

Exploring the fortifications and fortresses of the Garfagnana is like taking a trip back in time and returning to the Middle Ages, when this fascinating land was a border territory, at the centre of interest and confrontation of various noble families.

Even today, most of the villages remain perched and have often kept intact wonderful walls, castles and fortresses of great artistic and cultural importance.


.Early afternoon arrival in Garfagnana, by own means. Meeting with the guide in Castelnuovo di Garfagnana where the tour starts. Check-In. Accommodation in the reserved rooms. Presentation of the programme by one of our representatives. Visit to the Cinta Muraria (surrounding walls )  and Rocca di Castiglione di Garfagnana. Medieval centre that has preserved completely intact the walls, the medieval castle and the two churches of San Michele and San Pietro. Typical “Garfagnana” dinner with a tasting of local cuisine. Overnight stay.

In the morning visit to the fortified village of Cascio. Built in 1615, it overlooks the access to the Serchio river on the plain of the middle valley. It has 5 semicircular towers and two entrances. This is followed by a visit to the Rocca di Sassi. It stands on a rock overlooking the valley of the dry Turrite stream. Of medieval origin, it was built in the second half of the 15th century. Transfer to Calomini to visit the hermitage of the same name: a mystical monastery set into a vertical rock face. Free lunch. In the afternoon visit to the Rocca di Trassilico: built in medieval times on the highest point of the village. Its importance was mainly due to the control of an area abundant in mineral deposits. Return to Castelnuovo di Garfagnana after a brief stop at the fortified village of Perpoli. A locality still partially enclosed by a walled enclosure with an internal fortress, built in the 12th century; destroyed by the inhabitants of Lucca in 1170 and restored by them in the 13th century. Later it was absorbed by the Estensi and in 1440 reconquered by the inhabitants of Lucca. Its fortifications  were  partially rebuilt and restored in 1613. Return to the hotel. Dinner. Overnight stay.

In the morning visit [ only outside ] of the Rocca degli Estensi of Camporgiano. Built on a strategic site in Garfagnana dominating the upper Serchio valley, it was the residence of government commissioners. The fortress, which stands on a rocky spur, was built around the 10th century and enlarged in the 13th century. Today it houses the Museum of Renaissance Ceramics, which were found in the well of the fortress itself. Free lunch. In the afternoon we head for the majestic and superb Fortezza delle Verrucole, one of the most beautiful examples of a medieval Tuscan castle. At the Fortezza delle Verrucole it is possible to visit the Archeo Park, which is a living museum offering historical reconstructions. Return to the hotel. Dinner. Overnight stay.

In the morning we visit [ only outdoors ] the Rocca Ariostesca of Castelnuovo di Garfagnana, which dominates the centre of the village and which in the sixteenth century hosted the poet Ludovico Ariosto for three years, who had been appointed governor of the province of Garfagnana, then under the rule of the Este family. Walk through the streets of the centre of Castelnuovo di Garfagnana. Possibility to buy local products in the shops. Followed by a visit to the Fortress of Mont’Alfonso. Free lunch. In the afternoon visit to the Rocca di Sillico. The fortress dates back to the Renaissance period and is still in an excellent state of preservation. It has two entrance gates, a tower dating back to the 12th-13th centuries and a portion of the surrounding walls. On the way back to cheese school! From stable to table. A journey that will take you to the heart of cheese production (from the arrival of the milk to the maturing process). Possibility of purchasing products. Return to the hotel. Dinner and overnight stay.


In the morning we visit the fortified village of Ceserana, a small jewel inside a recently restored 15th century wall, located in the southern part of the ancient Este province of Garfagnana. The renovation of the ancient fortress dates back to the second half of the 15th century, also to ensure the resistance of the original narrow and high walls to the firepower of the artillery of the time. Also occupied by bandits of the Moro del Sillico lineage, it was restored again in the 17th century, and equipped with semicircular towers that can still be seen. Following a brief stop at Castelvecchio Pascoli for a visit, on the Colle di Caprona, to the house where the poet Giovanni Pascoli lived and is buried. Lunch in a restaurant at the “Antica Locanda San Leonardo”. In the afternoon visit to Ghivizzano with its castle. Walk through the village. Guided visit to an artisan pork processing workshop, from the production and marketing of pork products and typical local cold cuts such as Biroldo della Garfagnana, lard, sausage and soppressata sausage, passing on the peasant memory. Guided tasting. Possibility of purchasing products. We recommend the new Prosciutto Bazzone della Garfagnana e Media Valle del Serchio: Bazzon Cotto del Podere delle Pianacce, the mark of excellence. This is a leg of Italian pork selected at origin for the production of the raw ham. The ham is flavoured with a natural brine prepared by boiling aromatic herbs and vegetables. It is boned by hand and vacuum-packed before being steamed. Return to the hotel. Dinner. Overnight stay.

Check-out and return by own means.


Travel notes

This programme may be subject to change, both before and during the trip, depending on the weather, the needs of the travellers and the people hosting the group of travellers. All the visits are guaranteed, but they may be subject to change, on site, respect to the order listed above, at “our” discretion, for the sole purpose to ensure the best success of the tour, but without changing the substance of the visits [ The visits may be reversed depending on the opening times of the museums or for technical reasons, but the programme remains unchanged ].

Special requests

When defining and accepting the travel contract, it is necessary to indicate the presence of people requiring special diets or with reduced mobility in order to be able to verify the services and the possibility of assistance.

These are necessary

For all walking tours, you will need hiking boots, a water bottle of at least one litre, a kway or poncho, a backpack of at least 20/30 litres. Spare socks or T-shirt are recommended, as well as food or energy supplements.

Level of difficulty of walking tours

The trip is suitable for people who can walk, not necessarily trained but in good health. It is not suitable for children.

The price includes

Not included

Methods of payment

  • DEPOSIT: € ___, within 7 days of registration
  • BALANCE: no later than 21 days before the date of departure: € ___, by __________








760 €

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TOUR 6 Days/5 Nights


Period 01.06.2020 / 30.09.2020




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