Rocca and Town Walls
Left: The front toward the town.
Right: The western front of the Rocca.
Montecarlo is easily reachable from Florence following the A11 Firenze-Mare
until the exit 'Altopascio' and then following the signals.
Aerial view of the Rocca »»»
to 1333, the year when the walled town of Montecarlo and the Rocca was
founded, on this hill rose the 'del Cerruglio' fortress, part
of the fortifications of the nearby Castle of Vivinaia, now disappeared.
Several documents record the 'del Cerruglio' fortress as being 'a
badly aligned gothic building surrounded by mighty walls erected with
squared masonry stones and protected by a fortress with keep and towers'.
the fourteenth century the fortress played a strategic role in
the wars between Lucca, Pisa and Florence.
From its walls Castruccio Castracani, lord of
Lucca, directed the movements of the army that helped him in 1325 to
win the battle of Altopascio.
Ruins of the old fortress can still be identified
in the northwest section at the highest vertex of the triangular shaped
defence perimeter of the new Rocca, delimited by an imposing crenellated
round tower [the Keep], connected with the other two corners through
powerful curtain walls built in bricks and reinforced each with
a quadrangular tower in the middle. Also the main front of the fortress,
toward the city, is built in bricks, with a semicircular tower and double
walled curtain: the external one with battlements and the inner one
equipped with machicolations.
gate on this side can be reached only walking through a tight
path, delimited by walls equipped with machicolations and gun
holes. The fortress was renovated and enlarged by Carlo IV° and afterwards
- in the sixteenth century - by Cosimo I de' Medici with the
addition of two bastions (never completed) on the eastern
front, in order to create a great courtyard for the Valdinievole's
Army. In 1775 the fortress was dismantled and now it is a private
rocca is connected with the town walls, today fairly intact,
even if only a few of the 15 original towers remains. The Northeast
side is naturally well defended and it was built without towers.
Three town gates are well preserved: the Florentine Gate and
the smaller Lucca Gate were built in the 14th century, the Porta
Nuova (New Gate) is of the 16th century.
Fortezza di Montecarlo - Via Fortezza, 4
55015 Montecarlo (Lucca) Ph/Fax +39 0583 22401
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May– October: saturday and sunday 15.00-19.00, during the week with
November– April: only on appointment.