Oramala Castle

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Oramala Castle is of great historical and artistic interest. It was indeed the first dwelling of the Malaspina family, who established there one of the most powerful marquisate of Northern Italy. When Obizzo I Malaspina escorted Federico Barbarossa from Pontremoli to Germany in 1167, he put up the emperor in this castle located in the middle of the woods in Staffora valley, 750 metres above sea level. These times were the most brilliant ones for the Malaspinas, militarily, culturally and artistically. It is indeed in the massive and lone dwelling of Oramala that the most famous Provençal troubadours of those times stayed, later followed by Dante Alighieri, who celebrated his hosts in the VIIIth Purgatory song in the Divine Comedy and eventually by Goethe, who stopped by there too. In 1474, the castle was fortified by the marquess Niccolo Malaspina, who gave it its magnificent figure, still visible today. In the course of the centuries, the castle became the marquesses' second home and was later abandoned after the extinction of the branch, before being refurbished in the XXth century by its new owners.