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fortifications

The walls of Perpoli


typology: Borgo fortificato,Sec. XVII
Area: Garfagnana
District/Locality: Gallicano, locality Gallicano
Foundation: Fortified complex is medieval

E' un insediamento alto medievale posto su un colle a strapiombo del fiume Serchio per il controllo del fondovalle. Circondato da terreni terrazzati coltivati a vigneti, il paese occupa la parte sommitale del rilievo e il tessuto urbanistico si sviluppa ad anelli concentrici.
Luogo di grande importanza militare sin dall'antichità, tanto da costituire nei documenti medioevali lucchesi il punto di riferimento per la divisione della Garfagnana con due grandi aree (denominate appunto sopra e sotto Perpoli).
State of preservation

The village of Perpoli now presents two concentric circles of walls; the older one, of medieval origin, lies within the village in the highest part and is now just a low wall. The newer, outer wall instead was built during the Renaissance and possesses a monumental stone entrance gate; gradually it has been incorporated into houses.
Historycal news

The fortification was originally part of a system of garrisons and towers controlling the territory along the roads, in particular those of the Serchio valley and that across the pass of Monteperpoli.
A stronghold of Lucca since the XIIIth century, it became a reference point in the military set up of the Serchio valley; its importance increased when part of Garfagnana accepted the domination of the House of Este in the XVth century. Perpoli remained loyal to Lucca and became so an outpost bordering on the possessions of Este. In the XVIth-XVIIth centuries, because of continual conflicts, the defensive system along the border was strengthened and Perpoli was surrounded with new walls that can still in part be seen incorporated into buildings; access to the village is through the monumental gate.
From here we can see the Rocca di Ceserana on the other side of the river as well as that of Trassillico.
Roads

Perpoli is situated at the top of a hill and can be reached by turning off the provincial Gallicano-Castelnuovo road near the pass of Monteperpoli; continue along the communal road until you reach the village. Park your car outside the walls and continue towards the centre of the village on foot.

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