ADDRESS: Via del Castello, 442, 55100 Lucca
Legend has it that the construction of the castle of Nozzano dates back to Matilde di Canossa, Grand Duchess of Tuscia and the bishop of Lucca's friend. The existence of the village is documented since the ninth century. The castle of Nozzano was destroyed and rebuilt several times, thanks to its position at the dangerous but strategic border with Pisa, on a narrow passage between the plain of Lucca and Versilia.
Initially built in wood, it was destroyed by the Pisans for the first time in 1314, and rebuilt a few years later by Castruccio Castracani, but after his death, the Pisans, dominating Lucca again, destroyed it for the second time. The Pisan fortress of Ripafratta, which still exists, was located in front of it and, together, they represented an important element of the communication and defense system that extended from the coast to the plain of Lucca and the Serchio valley, up to the Garfagnana castles.
In 1395 Lazzaro di Francesco Guinigi (Paolo's father) rebuilt it as we know it today: an elliptical wall to defend the houses with a single access gate and a polygonal fortress with high crenellated walls and two towers.
Due to its strategic position, it was used until the end of the 16th century to control the ships that came up the Serchio river towards Lucca, but by the time the fluvial routes of the plain of Lucca were less used and they lost their importance.
Every year, in the last weekend of August, the "castello rivive" event (Castle revival) takes visitors back in time to Matilde di Canossa and the village comes alive with jesters, musicians and scents of food from ancient times.