An extraordinary example of military architecture in the Garfagnana, which became crucial in the 13th and 14th-century engagements on the banks of the Serchio.
The fortress of Ceserana in Fosciandora
stands on a terraced hill on the left bank of the River Serchio,
near the village of Lupinaia. This medieval structure was an important wartime refuge during the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries.
The fortress walls, which are built out of river stones, stand almost vertical. They are topped by a walkway for patrols and are punctured by arrowslits for shooting out at enemies. Two towers stand guard at the entrance of the village and look over the surrounding hills.
Between 1467 and 1474 the Este family did considerable work on the fort, updating it to modern defensive standards in response to the advent of bigger, more powerful firearms and the new Lucchese dominion, which bordered it. In the following century, however, the fortress of Ceserana was abandoned and became the rallying point for a group of brigands, who used it as a base from which to launch their raids on the surrounding countryside.
In 1614, thanks to conflicts between Lucca and Modena, a project was suggested to restore the fortress, which at that point was in terrible condition. The work was never completed, however, as a result of Lupinaia's withdrawal from hostilities.