Giglio Island castle: history, charm and panoramas of Rock aldobrandesca

It overlooks the whole Giglio Island with its imposing figure, as if it wanted to protect the isle. And, indeed, the purpose for which the impressive Rocca aldobrandesca was built, in Giglio Castello, is just that.


The history

Probably, the fortress was built in the early Middle Ages, during the Tenth century. In the Twelfth century, it became a possession of Aldobrandeschi family, who enlarged it. The fortress was further enlarged during the domination of Pisa.

After some pirates raids that brought Giglio Island to knees, during Sixteenth and Seventeenth centuries, Rocca aldobrandesca was again restored. The fortress assumed its final appearance in 1762, when the chapel of Santa Barbara was built in the complex of the fortress.

After being home for nobles and bulwark against the pirates, Rocca aldobrandesca was used as a prison after Italian unification and until the middle of last century. Today is a private residential complex.


The castle

Rocca aldobrandesca is in the medieval village of Giglio Castello. It’s an imposing trapezoidal fortress. The whole complex is completed by the ramparts facing the village and by the imposing walls. It’s possible to enter in the fortress through the characteristic Porta della Rocca, which opens along the walls and is topped by the coat of arms of Medici family.



It is, perhaps, the best thing that Rocca aldobrandesca can offer: on clear days, you can see Tyrrhenian coast, Elba Island and Corsica.


Image source: “GiglioCastelloRocca2” di LigaDue – Opera propria. Con licenza CC BY 3.0 tramite Wikimedia Commons

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