Tuscan villages

by Samuele Sodini

Fortress of Montecarlo

The fortress of Montecarlo and the Bastion of Cerruglio

The fortress is entered from the steep slope that leads to Piazza Garibaldi.
The mastio, the higest part which also includes the ancient bastion of Cerruglio, is the oldest part of the monument complex; the head of the frotress is almost cylindrical in shape and is situated at the northwest edge.
It is completed on the opposite side by two square toers called the tower of the Aapparizione (in the west) and the Cerruglio, also known as the Santa Barbara tower (in the east), which creates an imposing, triangular-shaped layout.
The enlargment of the fortress dates back to the second half of the 15th century or the first years of the 16th, when a new shaped structure with a semicircular tower was added and the ancient keep was adapted to accomodate the new strategies of attack after the introduction of firearms. Other fortification work was carried out under the medici: Cosimo I ordered the bastions to be raised, but this was never carried out even though the work began again in 1592 under Ferdinand I.
No longer considered to be suitable for military purposes, the fortress was offered for sale by Pietro Leopoldo, Grand Duke of Tuscany, and it became private property in 1775. The restoration and maintance work on the monumental complex has been carried out by the owners themselves and it can be visited by appointment.

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