Not far from Aulla on the Via Francigena, and affording amazing views over the Magra Valley, are the ruins of Bibola Castle. Like so many castles in Lunigiana, Bibola Castle has changed in looks and function over the centuries.
The original castle is thought to have been built as a fort by the Byzantines to defend the harbour of Luni. Even then, it was probably built on older defensive ruins. In the Middle Ages, Bibola Castle controlled the road that connected the Via Francigena to Sarzana and Luni.
Bibola Castle is in line of sight of the towers of Filattiera and Grondola, as well as the castles of Bastia, Monti, Lusuolo and Castiglione di Terziere. It would have been able to communicate with them using smoke signals or reflections.
Ownership of the castle passed from the Bishops of Luni to the Malaspina, and then the Este family. It is thought that it still played a defensive role up until 1659.
My thanks to Luciano Callegari for the use of his photos.
The Ruined Castle of Bibola appeared on Ciao Lunigiana on 15 May 2015.