The Castle of Levanto used to be part of the former defensive system of Levanto, the city walls, dating back to the 12th century, when the region was under the rule of the Malaspina family. The castle and the walls have been repeatedly mentioned in sundry historical documents, such that what is certain is the caste was extensively renovated during the 16th century. During the 17th century, the edifice was used as headquarters of the Captaincy of Levanto, but it was also used as prison under the rule of the Genovese.
Architecturally speaking, the castle consists of a square-based structure and an imposing circular tower. There are all sorts of decorative motifs which embellish the complex, of which the most notable are the ones reminiscent of the historical conflict between the Guelphs and the Ghibellines, as well as two bas-reliefs: one depicting the Annunciation and the other rendering Saint George defeating the Dragon.
Despite the fact the castle is at present a private property, it is a notable tourist sight in Levanto no visitor of Cinque Terre should miss out.References:
The city walls of Avila were built in the 11th century to protect the citizens from the Moors. They have been well maintained throughout the centuries and are now a major tourist attraction as well as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visitors can walk around about half of the length of the walls.
The layout of the city is an even quadrilateral with a perimeter of 2,516 m. Its walls, which consist in part of stones already used in earlier constructions, have an average thickness of 3 m. Access to the city is afforded by nine gates of different periods; twin 20 m high towers, linked by a semi-circular arch, flank the oldest ones, Puerta de San Vicente and Puerta del Alcázar.