Rocca di Vergemoli

The Fortress of Vergemoli is situated on top of an outcrop of rock in the vicinity of Pania Secca, almost precipitously overlooking the valley carved out by the Turrite di Gallicano stream. The tactical position of this site made it possible to monitor the road that led through the valley to Versilia and some iron mines to the southwest.

The site has been recognized thanks to several archaeological excavations and surveys of the existing walls, of which some stretches are evident in an elliptical arrangement around the top of the hill and visible in all four cardinal directions.

On top of the hill there is an abnormal depression near a portion of collapsed wall to the east. It is thus supposed that in medieval times a tower was located approximately in the centre of the circuit of walls.

During the excavations four enriciani coins were recovered, minted in Lucca and roughly attributable to 11th-12th century. One can therefore conclude that a degree of urbanization had taken place in the central Middle Ages before the wars that the town of Lucca brought against the lords of the mountain.

Historical notes

The Church of Saints Quirico and Giuditta is mentioned in 10th century scrolls from Lucca. The Romanesque structures were modified over time both for aesthetic purposes and restoration. In 1638, a radical modernization of the place of worship took place with the interior rearranged into three naves divided by columns with Ionic capitals, as still today. There are several works of great value such as the pulpit, from the Church of the Intercession of Castelnuovo, and the wooden statue of Madonna and Child, dated 1514. 

It is certainly worth visiting the cave called Grotta del Vento, or Cave of the Wind, in the centre of the Park of the Apuan Alps, an area full of spectacular Karst phenomena. The natural elements relentlessly dig, sculpt and model the limestone creating majestic natural sculptures and sensational scenery. The Grotta del Vento is characterized by an exceptional variety of underground Karst phenomena such as stalactites, stalagmites, lakes, streams, forms sculpted by erosion, mud formations and even perfect vertical wells, all visitable via paths of differing levels of difficulty.


Rocca di Vergemoli, church facade
Rocca di Vergemoli, bell tower detail
Rocca di Vergemoli, remains of fortifications
Rocca di Vergemoli, remains of fortifications