The Ancient Dwellings of the Terziere consist of a series of ancient buildings of important historical value. They have been restored in the most faithful way possible and furnished according to a style adhering to antiquity, with authentic furniture from the last centuries.
Those that today make up the ensemble of the Ancient Dimore del Terziere are houses that were already present in the early Middle Ages. At the time Castiglione was part of the territories of the Estensi, then moved to the beginning of the ‘200 to the Malaspina princes. The construction was already as we see it today in the early fourteenth century and contributed to compose the castrum (fortified site that defended the fortilitium).
From the bottom of the valley, the Roman road deviated from Vallescura to reach the fortified complex of Castiglione, as would then follow the Via Romea or Francigena.
The fortilitium, which dates back to the VIIIth-IXth centuries. C., dominated the castrum, and in the following centuries gradually transformed into the residence of the Imperial Vicar, the condottiere Castruccio Castracani. Then it later became a palatio of ressidents, that is the seat of the Representation of the Florentine Magistracy, first Republican and then Medicea. In fact, the history of Castiglione del Terziere during the Renaissance period is characterized by the numerous presence of magistrates, judges, and notaries of the Civil Government of that Florentine enclave in the land of Lunigiana.
After Castruccio, Castiglione del Terziere took control of the first marquis of the imperial fief, Franceschino Malaspina, branch of the flowery Spino, known as ‘il Soldato’. He held positions of considerable political importance as war captain of the Florentine Republic, Visconte di Luni and Podestà of Milan.
The headquarters of the Niccolò V Center for Humanistic Studies has been in the castle of Castiglione del Terziere for forty years; it has an important library with ancient and recent books of Italian history and literature, open to thousands of scholars every year. The Ancient Dwellings of the Terziere have in fact the main purpose of hosting scholars, writers, artists, and other people who want to find the silence and the inner stillness.
Each residence has its own name and its own history, making it breathe the centuries-old history that accompanies them.
There is the residence of the Gallo, of Giglio (where the Florentine troops are to be found), of the Santina (so-called for the murder of a young woman by a rejected man), of the Guard Corps, of the Simonino and of the Bargello (the ancient name of the ‘police officer’).
An overnight stay in the splendid Ancient Dwellings of the Terziere is included in the itinerary “The Pillars of Lunigiana“.