VARZI VIVA Cultural Association
Malaspina Tower

Malaspina tower
Malaspina Tower
( Antonio Di Tomaso)

Today there is a new way of getting to know Varzi; taking in the scenery, its rivers, from the hilltop Tower of Malaspina. This strong and mysterious symbol which has dominated the Varzi area for hundreds of years is now open to visitors. The monument, from the 13 th century is 29m. tall with a perimeter of 32.80 meters, wall thickness varying from 0.65 to 1.7 m. The top is reached with 41 steps on the outside of the tower and with 89 smaller steps cut into the internal walls around the perimeter. Greatly desired by the Malaspina, it remained in their family until the end of the second half of the 15 th century. Afterwards it passed along with part of the feudal properties to the Sforza of Santa Fiora later known in the 17th century as Cesarini Sforza. It is now owned by the city. The four rooms located one above the other and connected by a long, steep, and narrow staircase were first used for prisoners during the feudal system, later as the "Mandamento" prison of Varzi, and still later fell under the jurisdiction of the local police station. Its judicial function ended in the 60’s when jail cells was built inside of the new police barracks. After such an interesting initial visit in the area it will be even more fascinating going to see what you can discover in the historical center; colonnades, alley ways, towers, bell-towers, medieval palaces, shops rich with local products (salami, almond cakes, mushrooms, apples, pears, cheeses, etc.) If you have an entire day, you would find it interesting visiting the parish church of S.S. Germano (also called the Church of the Cappuccini) which is a national monument in Roman style dating from the 12-13th century. You can also visit the castle and pine tree covered grounds of Pietragavina, and the Castle of Oramala. Other worthwhile visits would be the Temple of the Fraternity located in the town of Cella and the small town church located in Bosmenso, both just a few kilometers from Varzi.

Antonio Di Tomaso

(Traslation: Domenico&Christine)