Castello Di Romena – Tuscany

The ruins of Romena Castle are on the river Arno, around 2kms from Pratovecchio. It is not hard to see why people chose this place as a settlement in more violent times: the location of the castle means that you can see for miles around and approaching the castle from any direction requires you to climb a steep hill. Luckily, for the modern visitor to Tuscany, you can drive up to the small car park and then walk around the castle at your leisure. You will need to pay if you want to enter the main building but the grounds can be enjoyed for free. It is not known for certain how long people have settled on the site of Castello di Romena but Etruscan vases from the 3rd century B.C. have been found in the area. Records from 1008 show that Romena Castle was the residence of the noble Count Guido Alberto of the Marquises of Spoleto. From 1055 he extended his dominion to encompass the whole Casentino valley surrounding the castle. Over the centuries, Castello di Romena has been embroiled in a plot to forge false gold Florins and has changed ownership a number of times. In 1357 it was sold by the Count of Romena for 9600 Florins to the Commune of Florence. Then, nearly a century later, in 1440 the Viscounts of Milan conquered the area but they didn't hold it for long and soon after the Florentines regained control of the castle. The current owners, the Goretti de' Flamini have held Romena Castle since 1768 and although the Allies bombarded the area in the Second World War, a remarkable amount of the ruins have been preserved for visitors to enjoy. Castello di Romena is a great Day Trip from Florence.

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