The first to be called Malaspina was Alberto, a direct descendant of Oberto, progenitor of the noble and illustrious Obertenghi family (945 AD). Theories and legends are wasted on the origin of this name. One of these, illustrated in a painting preserved in a room of the castle, traces its origin to the year 540 AD when the young noble Accino Marzio avenged the death of his father by surprising the king of the Franks Teodoboerto in his sleep and piercing him in the throat with a plug. The desperate cry of the king “Ah! bad thorn! ” gave rise to the surname and, later, to the family motto “Sum mala spina bonis, sum bona spina malis”.
Once you enter the throne room, look up, the spots you see on the ceiling tell the story of Bianca Maria Aloisia, daughter of the Marquis, guilty of having madly loved a groom. In 1620, her father had her walled up alive together with his dog and a wild boar, a symbol of rebellion. From that moment on, the father, daughter and two animals can be recognized in the stains on the ceiling. And there are many who claim to have seen the spirit of the young woman wandering around the castle or a heart beat in the bed that belonged to her father …
For over a year Dante Alighieri stayed in Lungiana at the court of the Malaspina, forging close friendship especially with Moroello and Franceschino. It was also hosted at the Castle of Fosdinovo to settle an ancient affair in progress with the Bishops of Luni. Even today it is possible to visit what was once his room, adapted from an ancient chapel, which has since been called Dante’s Chamber in his honor.
Castello Malaspina di Fosdinovo
Via Papiriana, Fosdinovo