Castle of Vallico di Sotto

Vallico di Sotto is situated on top of a low hill on the south-western slopes of Monte Penna, not very far from the castle of Vallico di Sopra.

Few traces of the original castle have remained.Infact, only one of the gates is intact while the layout of the village helps suggests where the walls were.

The church of San Giacomo Apostolo houses a painting from 1564 depicting the Madonna with Child and Saints Rocco and Sebastiano by Simone Carretta; the beautiful fifteenth century triptych of the Madonna and Child with Saints attributed to Bernardino del Castelletto; and a marble tabernacle a with trefoil apex (XV cent.). 

Historical notes

Sources have passed on little information about the settlement: the first written record comes from an act of 997 that lists the dependencies of the Parish Church of San Giovanni di Gallicano.

The village, in particular the parish church dedicated to the saints Iacopo and Cristoforo, is mentioned again beginning in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. The church is mentioned in the Appraisal of the Diocese of Lucca in 1260 and in the records of the collection of tithes in 1387. In 1308 it is mentioned among the villages that had to show their submission to the City of Lucca by participating in the procession of the Holy Cross. There are also reports of a pastoral visit in 1467 during which, on Valentine's Day, a miracle happened. During the celebration of mass, a wolf kidnapped a child; many parishioners, frightened and alarmed, tried to leave the mass to save the child but were blocked by the celebrant who ordered them to stay until the end of the sacred function and to trust in God and in San Valentino, their patron. The child was later found unharmed at the well located “foris de castello”.


Castle of Vallico di Sotto, panoramic view
Castle of Vallico di Sotto, entrance