Trassilico is an ancient medieval village located in the municipality of Gallicano, in the province of Lucca. It is located in the Serchio Valley in Garfagnana and is set at an altitude of 720 meters above sea level.
We visited Trassalico on our way back from Grotta del Vento; being perched on a promontory, the visit to the village is practically all uphill.
We strolled through its characteristic stone alleyways until we reached the Church of San Rocco and from there took the detour, also uphill, that leads to the Rocca (from the parking lot to the Rocca is about a 15- to 20-minute walk).
Like other villages we visited on our tour of Garfagnana, Trassalico also has very few inhabitants (about 80) so, except for a few tourists who, like us, wandered around in curiosity, there was not a soul around.
The visit to the village and the Rocca, will take you about an hour and, if you are in the area, is definitely worth a detour.
Fortress of Trassalico
The Fortress of Trassilico occupies the highest position of the eponymous village. This strategic position, controlling the middle valley of the Serchio River, allowed it to control a vast territory (including Fabbrice, Gragliana, Vagli di Sopra and Vagli di Sotto) rich in mineral deposits that were used to supply the military foundries in the area, and watercourses whose motive power was used to power the mills that produced chestnut flour.
Due to bloody wars with the Republic of Lucca, in the 17th century there was a need to restructure the walls and build new fortifications suitable for large-caliber firearms. Paslo Pasi, an architect in the service of the Este family, was in charge of designing the new plan.
The decline of the Rocca, in the 18th century, was not caused by wars but by bad weather (lightning and strong winds).
Today the Rocca di Trassalico remains a beautiful place to admire a magnificent panorama of much of southern Garfagnana and the Apuan Alps.
☛ The Rock is accessible for disabled people or people with reduced mobility by booking assistance at La Maestà Refuge – Phone +39 351 5073333.
☛ You can leave your car in the large free parking lot at the beginning of the village.
☛ If you want to eat something, there is the La Mestà Refuge in the village.
How to get to Trassalico
One has to exit at Lucca (A11 exit) and take the SS12 of Garfagnana. When you reach Gallicano, you have to cross the small town and follow the signs to Trassilico, which is about 9 km away.
Before entering the village, an artistic fountain-washtub with friezes and inscriptions can be seen. The letters, carved in stone, follow a Spanish-speaking Italian and bear the words, “non es fuogo che mas arda come lingua che mas habla,” which in short was an invitation addressed to women to hold their tongues.
▶ You might also be interested in Discovering Garfagnana with children.