Castello della Pietra (“Castle of the Stone”), in Vobbia, is enveloped in such thick mystery that nobody knows why this ancient fortress is there. It looks like something out of a Tolkien novel, nestled between two towering rock spurs in Genoa’s inland, in the area of Mount Antola’s Regional Natural Park.
The hypotheses on its origins seem to concur, at least approximately, that is was built in the 12th century.
Perhaps it was meant to defend the region from faraway enemies. Or perhaps it was a hermitage, where monks who longed for the pure harshness of this unfathomable valley could escape.
Documents dating as far back as the 1200s inform us of how Castello della Pietra was passed from one noble family to the other for centuries… until it was abandoned, damaged by fire during the Napoleonic era, and restored two hundred years later, during the 1990s.
Today, the castle can be reached on foot and visited after a short walk in the woods. While approaching, don’t be surprised if you start to expect an ogre or a black knight to come out of nowhere to attack!