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The Montegualandro fortress

City Tuoro sul Trasimeno
Country ITA

The Montegualandro fortress, perched 450 metres over sea level, dominates the hills west of Tuoro. Nowadays, the entire estate is private and closed to occasional visitors, but remains nevertheless worth a walk around the walls, which afford scenic views over the lake and the plains of Tuscany.

The fortress’ strategic placement helps explain its military importance in past times. Protecting Perugia’s borders, it overlooks the entire Arezzo valley and rises, in fact, right above the ancient throughway connecting Perugia to Arezzo and Florence. Records of a site called Montegualandro are attested all the way back to the tenth century, but the oldest architectural remains date to the thirteenth.

The walls date from the second half of the thirteen-hundreds. The first written record of the fortress’ existence dates to the year 917, confirming ownership by the Marquis Uguccione II. Later, Montegualandro was conquered by Frederick I Barbarossa, who turned it over to the Marquis Ranieri. Destroyed and taken by the Perugians in the mid-thirteenth century, the castle formed, from 1261 to 1476, part of the Montemelini estate. For shorter periods it was wrestled between the Montemelini, who lost it once in 1476, and the Tuscan lords, who finally took the castle in 1643, under the leadership of Ferdinand II, Grand Duke of Tuscany.

To reach the castle from Tuoro sul Trasimeno, take road 75bis “del Trasimeno” in the direction of Arezzo and follow it as it winds up the hill for about two and half kilometres, then make a right turn. Keep to the left and you will find the castle walls after about one and a half kilometres.