Castelnuovo di Garfagnana is located in the confluence between the Serchio river and the Turrite Secca river and it is mentioned for the first time in a VIII century document, with the name of “Castro Novo”; however the real consolidation of the village occurred during the XIV century, under the jurisdiction of Lucca.
The Rocca Ariosteca is the symbol of the town and its name derives from the Italian poet Ludovico Ariosto who stayed there from 1522 to 1525, as Governor of the Estense province of Garfagnana. The Castle of Castelnuovo presents itself substantially renaissance being of course the result of continuous adequate restorations carried out throught out many centuries.The original structure dates back to the 11 century, probably a tower-house. Subsequent additions were carried out particulary during the Lucchese nomination.
The Cathedral of Santi Pietro and Paolo is set within the town walls and its origins date to the 10th century but the present structure is a rebuilding of the ancient Romanesque church carried out at the start of the 16th century with enlargement of the walls and architectural additions to the interior. There were modifications to the interior colonnade during the Baroque period, while the austere facade was left intact. During the last war there was serious damage to the whole structure, and the subsequent restoration revealed the original classical lines.
We also suggest to visit the Monte Alfonso Fortress (XVI century), the Alfieri theatre (1860), the Convent of San Giuseppe (1632) and the Archaeological Museum of the Upper Serchio Valley.