Tourist Attraction in Sarzana: Fortezza di Sarzanello
The existence of a first military-purpose structure is mentioned for the first time in the diploma of Emperor Ottone I, which is granted to the Bishop of Luni, the possession of six castles among them, the one of Sarzano. With the passing of the years and with the change of military and political situations, the fortress became increasingly important to host, around the end of the tenth century, one of the bishopric residences of the valley. Castrum is constantly quoted in 1076, 1078, 1080, as curtis of Emperor Federico I, in 1191 as curtis by Henry VI. The slow and progressive decadence of Luni, which had begun since the fourth century, brought its inhabitants to migrate to the surrounding hills in search of security, thus giving rise to the growth except for the emergence of new villages (Nicola, Ortonovo, Castelnuovo Magra, Ameglia ) And the same hill of Sarzanello populated with exiles settling there, gathered around the most important residence of the Bishop. In the period between 1314 and 1328, the imperial Viceroy Castruccio Castracani was plenipotentiary in the area, in which Niccolò Machiavelli identified "Il Principe". Probably, choosing Sarzanello as his residence, Castruccio just made changes to the existing fortress, but there is no trace left behind since it was completely destroyed or embedded in the fortress presently present. In 1421 the Genoese Tomaso Fregoso made repairs work and other modifications and restorations continued until the arrival of the Florentine lordship. After fortified the city, erecting the Citadel, but having destroyed it, the doctors decided to turn the old fort and adapt it to the new war needs. Francesco di Giovanni called Francione and Captain Luca were given the task of giving the project the new structure completely replaced by the previous one. When in 1494 Piero dei Medici handed Sarzana and Sarzanello to Charles VIII, the fortress was still incomplete. The work was resumed later when the king returned to France and the two sites came into possession of the Genoese Banco di San Giorgio and curated by Pietro Biancardo and Matteo Civitali who terminated it in 1502, following faithfully the "Florentine" project. After building the fortress, with the three towers at the tops, the revelation began, which probably incorporated the ancient castrum tower. This new structure was necessary both to protect the entrance to the fortress and to prevent this side being beaten by the artillery from the hilltop to the southeast, called the Fortino, where a rudimentary defense line was soon established. It was only then that the fortress reached its formal fulfillment, in an extraordinary balance of volumes.