Rocca di Vobarno


Very little remains of the original structure of this mighty castle, once built to guard to Chiese Valley, and the Agna Torrent. It was recognised as the ‘hub’ of territorial defence strategies that connected the villages of Riviera, Valsabbia and Trentino. The castle reached its greatest extent of capacity between the 11th and 12th Century, when the upper tower and the houses attached were surrounded by a triple circle of walls that descended to the banks of the Chiese River. It was then quarrelled over many times and conquered by the Scaligeri in 1330 and by Bernabò Visconti in 1362, whom, in retaliation, demolished most of the fortifications. In the first half of the 15th Century it was still actively used in war, and hosted a lord of the castle commissioned by Sigismondo Pandolfo Malatesta, a nobleman from Rimini, who fought in the battle between Milan and Venice in the following years. The castle was then abandoned and transformed into an oratory at the end of the 15th Century, following the changing political conditions of the region. Of its three-layered ring of external walls, that enveloped the hillside of the castle, only some traces remain, as many are hidden by thick vegetation.