The first mention of the Madrignano Castle dates back tothe imperial diploma of Frederick Barbarossa of 1162, where it was assigned to Obizzo Malaspina.
During the Middle Ages, the village of Madrignano was part of the fief of Caliceal Cornoviglio, until 1400. In 1416 it passed to the Genoese. In 1465, Madrignano and Calice were sold to Tommaso Campofregoso, who in turn sold them to the Marquis Azzone di Mulazzo. Shortly afterwards it passed again to the Republic of Genoa, in exchange for Castevoli. The Marquis of Mulazzo reconquered and kept it, but lost Calice. It was then contested again by the Genoese and the Marquis of Mulazzo, and finally thecastle was part of the territories belonging to the Malaspina for three centuries. It survived the battles that destroyed Lunigiana, but the castle was damaged by an assault between 1705 and 1706, during the battles between the French, the Spanish and the Austrians. The manor was occupied for ten days and its structure was badly damaged. From 1772 the area returned to the Grand Duchy of Tuscany and followed the same destiny.
Even though the castle’s structure dates back a long time, its original architecture was destroyed by the Genoese in 1416, and it was then enlarged and modified. The only evidence of the structure, are the round corner tower and the impressive ruins.The building has recently been strengthened, restored and assigned to the Ligurian Super intendence of Fine Arts and Landscapes.
Today the castle is owned by the municipality and houses the Museum of Ancient Ligurians.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.